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Whisper Fin Review

HortonHorton Posts: 27,397 Administrator
edited April 25 in Reviews
Before the release of the Whisper Fin, conventional thinking was most skiers prefer a fin setting somewhere along the spectrum of “Long / Shallow” or “Short / Deep”. The number of possible combinations of fin depth, length and distance from tail are nearly infinite as are the number of theories about how it all works. The Whisper Fin and the recommended methodology that comes with it adds a distinct third ski setup dimension. The Whisper Fin instructions introduce the idea of “Bindings Forward / Small Fin”.

I am not going to try to regurgitate the official theory of “Bindings Forward / Small Fin” as I would surely mangle the details. What I will say is that for a portion of the skiing public is it going to be extremely successful. Below is my version of how it all works.

Many skiers who prefer a traditional Long / Shallow setup do so because they need more tail slide before the apex of On Side. The Whisper Fin achieves something similar with less surface area as opposed to a shallower traditional fin. Bulletproof On Side turns were the first thing I felt with the Whisper Fin.

With no other adjustments the Whisper Fin does not have enough surface area for stable Off Side turns. This is where the logic of “Bindings Forward / Small Fin” starts to make sense. By shifting the bindings forward the amount of fin surface becomes less critical at the apex of the Off Side. With more of the surface of the ski providing additional grip the lack of fin surface area is fully compensated for. If you read the Fin Whispering web site ( https://finwhispering.com/ ) you will find the official theories about the tradeoffs and benefits of taking grip from the fin and then compensating with bindings forward.

With the Whisper Fin set up with Bindings Forward / Small Fin some additional effects become apparent.
1. The ski automatically built surprising amounts of additional angle into the wakes
2. Margin of error was significantly increased – the ability to scrap out a pass was increased.
3. The attitude of the ski was often more constant in and out of the turns.

Will this fin improve your skiing? Yes – No – Maybe. Unfortunately there are no silver bullets in water ski gear and no two skiers like the exact same thing. I strongly suspect that skiers who ski 32 off or less are very likely to love this fin and setup method. The increased forgiveness and newfound angle into the wakes will mean more buoys. Many of these skiers will also be relieved to find instructions to successfully set up their fin & bindings with nothing more than a tape measure.

Skiers who run 35 off or shorter and are calm and ride the middle of the ski through Off Side may also enjoy the benefits. Skiers at this level or above who are aggressive and front foot heavy through the Off Side turn may find that they cannot find settings that are a balance between controlled tail slide at apex and excessive grip into the wakes.

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Comments

  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 661 Crazy Baller
    Thanks Horton!
    As a longer line skier this will be high on my “gotta have it” list.
  • jakecuz23jakecuz23 Posts: 23 Baller
    @Horton Do you think that the whisper fin is $300 better? For the 32 off or less skier, you can buy a good amount of coaching for that money. Being a collage skier myself, I can get a few days at a ski school for $300. If you were me, where would you put your money?
  • ballsohardballsohard Posts: 252 Baller
    seems less of a "breakthrough" and more of a "slight improvement".
    jimski
  • bsmithbsmith Posts: 7 Baller
    @Horton In order to discover the difficulty in finding a setting that is a balance between controlled tail slide at apex and excessive grip into the wakes, does that mean that you personally are one of those front foot heavy, aggressive 35 off short line skiers or was that potential issue learned from other skiers using the Whisper Fin?
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 580 Crazy Baller
    Sweet you saved me 300.00.
    jimski
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 580 Crazy Baller
    @SkiJay the 5 pro skiers can can ride a 2x4 and still collect prize money. A skier of that caliber can make just about anything work.
    What a pro skier does with a new product does not impress me. It what the working amateur skier does that raises my eyebrows and goes humm.
    ozskiJASjimskiDrago
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,649
    @Horton are you / would you be keeping the fin in your ski in your pursuit of more buoys at -39?
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski - KD Platinum

    block
  • igkyaigkya Posts: 632 Crazy Baller
    edited April 25
    @jakecuz23 if you went to 'collage' at MSU, you should probably ask for a refund. :D
    Hortonskihounddislandjakecuz23
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 580 Crazy Baller
    @richfoster I’m aware of how the pros want that edge. I see it everyday when there at the tournament. I also know some of the people using the fin. What we don’t know is did they have to change there binding placement? If it works for them great.
    I have also talked to others in another area who have had the same result as what was in the review.
    No offense taken.
    JAS
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,397 Administrator
    @jakecuz23 good coaching before almost any fin, binding, rope, handle, or ski.

    @bsmith yes. For ME to get enough grip at exit of On Side I found settings that gave me huge angle and awesome turns but was too extreme/quirky when hunting for a high score.

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    JASski6jonesDanE
  • Scaramanga Scaramanga Posts: 9 Baller
    What is the definition of pro skier?
    Drago
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,601 Mega Baller
    @jakecuz23 why not both???

    Where are you going to get lessons for 300 bucks in Michigan?

    Fin you can probably resell with the current production I bet you could get it to move if it didn't feel good
    bf`SkiJayjakecuz23
  • C5QuestC5Quest Posts: 257 Baller
    I’m down skiing with Matt Rini quite a bit this year and they have good things to say about the WF. Whitney is currently using one. She’s seems to like it and skiing well this year
    jayskiThan_Boganballsohard
  • C5QuestC5Quest Posts: 257 Baller
    Last I saw it was the blue fin on her blue Vapor Pro Build. Wouldn’t surprise me though
  • dwfrechdwfrech Posts: 37 Baller
    Thanks for your balanced input, JH. It is good to know how it works between 38 off and 22 off. How your reviews are = Excellent. You start it and that makes us all think more.
    @ballsohard seems less of a "breakthrough" and more of a "slight improvement" That is a comment that could apply to a lot of us. I think with new gear it is worth experimenting. this group will be de-facto arbiters on whether it's worth it or not. It's like a new restaurant where you try it and like it, then you will go back, and it may become a regular, if not great, than OK won't go back but it's OK.
    ballsohard
  • bf`bf` Posts: 136 Baller
    edited April 27
    @Horton Question for you: As you continued testing of the wf, I read that you started using calipers rather than the "1/2 turn" type tuning instructions provided with the fin. Did you continue to follow the tuning flowchart at that point, or did you resort to more traditional fin tuning methods?
  • paul413skipaul413ski Posts: 161 Baller
    @horton what were your mfinal settings ..
    sailworks
  • JASJAS Posts: 247 Solid Baller
    @Horton Thanks John for stepping up and giving the WF a rip because for many of us 300$ is out of budget to take a test drive. A couple of questions
    -Did you feel more acceleration from ski?
    -Did you feel less Drag?
    -How much forward binding movement are we talking about to compensate for the small fin area and forward fin.
    Steven_Haines
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,397 Administrator
    edited May 2
    As often happens I learn something right after I publish a review. @SkiJay encouraged me to try one more set of numbers after I had the review done. I now have 3 sets on these numbers. 2 of the 3 sets on with the new settings are the best practice scores I have run this year. (The third set might have been just too soon after the 2nd.)

    On rides 1 & 2 I ran very comfortable 35s and then ran 4 or 5 @ 38. For me at this time of year that is pretty good. On ride #2, I ran 5 @ 38 but looking at the video I am frankly embarrassed at how bad the skiing is. I am conflicted because the skiing is ugly but the score is above what I expect this time of year. My assumption is that there is something about the fin & set up has created a huge margin of error.


    I do not totally understand what is going on here but this is a fun pass.


    I can't believe how bad I screwed this up and still got 5.

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    Ryota jayskijipster43
  • Steven_HainesSteven_Haines Posts: 1,025 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton, are you or would you be getting close to running 38 with a conventional set up this early in the year? That 38 was rugged but it’s amazing how the ski just kept moving. Great skiing!
  • carlm6298carlm6298 Posts: 7 Baller
    Wow...i love it...sooooo ripping
  • DWDW Posts: 1,985 Mega Baller
    @Horton: 5 is 5 ugly or not the buoys don't care, nice work.
    schafer
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,397 Administrator
    edited May 2
    @Steven_Haines I put the whisper fin as soon as I just started running 35s this spring and only have a few sets with a stock fin so I don't know how to answer your question.

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    Steven_Haines
  • GarnGarn Posts: 477 Crazy Baller
    How does this compare with the Denali boys fin?
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