Like many of Hawaii’s progressive surf designs, the Vektor Fin system found its start in the Waialua Sugar Mill. Ryan was foiling and cutting fins for other shapers, and started playing around with his own templates—just to do something different, with a focus on drive. Once the fins were developed, he started testing them on the North Shore, refining the templates and foils after each surf. The fins started out pretty big, but after a lot of hands-on R&D, the were shrunk down a bit to their current size.
When you first look at Vektor Fins, you immediately notice that they are different than your standard fin—or even the Nubster, which Ryan also developed. The design is focused on creating bite and drive—with a longer base length—but also the ability for release, which comes from the tapered rake. This creates a smoother, faster, more powerful ride without compromising performance.
Lately the Vektor team has been experimenting with a five-fin setup in heavier, hollower surf, adding Vektor’s a trailing side-bites in the rear quad boxes to supplement the standard thruster setup. This gives barrel riders the best of both worlds—the stability off the bottom provided by a thruster, but also the extra drive and down-the-line stability of a quad when in the tube and sitting on the foam ball. The beauty of these fins is that they are small enough to use as side-bites (as far as depth goes), but their increased base length produces the drive that you want when you are looking for an exit in a 10-foot Backdoor barrel.
But Vektor’s are not limited to big, scary barrels. The fin design is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a fifth (center) fin on a standard quad setup, similar to the half-moon five-fin setup Kelly Slater has used in the past. This adds a little more stability off the bottom without sacrificing the drive and commitment to the rail of a standard quad, allowing you to go more vertical on your top turns while still being true to the carve on the shoulder.
They can also be used as rear sidebites for a twin fin, turning your twin into a Vektorized “twinzer.” This setup feels like a compromise between a twin and a quad—you still have that looseness and speed of the twin, but with a bit more stability during bottom turns. And some guys are even experimenting with the Vektor in a seven-fin setup! Since the Vektors are designed to work with FCS boxes, the options are nearly limitless.
While Vektors started out as side bites for longboards, they have now proven themselves to be valuable on nearly all forms of surf craft, from shortboards to paipos and bodyboards, and even wakeboards! Whether you are longboarding knee-high peelers or towing house-sized slabs, these fins bring a fresh and exciting feeling to your surfing that is only possible with more drive and speed.