Friday, October 14, 2011

Facebook & Makani fins

After hearing a lot of good things about Makani fins from freestylers, I bought a Makani Auku slalom fin a couple of months ago. It was intended for my Warp 71 slalom board with a 7.0 m sail. I followed the Makani fin guide to pick the right size, a 38 cm fin.

I got to use the fin only a few times, but the results were mixed. On perfectly flat water (in the cove at Fogland), the fin worked like a charm - it felt very slippery and fast, and delivered great speed. But as soon as I went out into choppier waters, I got one spinout after the other, forcing me to switch to a different fin.

Today, Makani fins announced on their Facebook page that
"Our first blend of slalom fins are not working to our standards so we are liquidating them on eBay at $79 with Free shipping".  
Following the link to the eBay auction, they state:
"This AAUKU is designed for free race boards and slalom boards with TUTTLE BOXES for LIGHTWEIGHT RIDERS in the larger sizes especially as they are very soft. "
A little Google search quickly confirmed that soft fins cause more spinouts. Well, hats of to Makani fins for recognizing a problem and acting on it. Anyone buying the fin on the eBay auction now has the information that the fins won't work well for middle- and heavyweights. Still a bummer, though, that I spend $120 on what turned out to be a useless piece of plastic (unless I magically loose 50 pounds..).

Another thing that bugs me is that Makani has not updated their web site yet. On the web site, the Auku fin is still described with terms like "The power of Speed", having a "powerful shape" that "permits using fins 2 cm smaller than regular slalom fins", "the best slalom fin", and "a winner from the starting line". No mention whatsoever that the fin is designed for " LIGHTWEIGHT RIDERS"!

So, dear Makani fin people, please update the web page for the Auku fin ASAP, unless you want to loose a lot of trust. And while you're at it - how about offering anyone who purchased the Auku and found it a poor performer a replacement?

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