May 29, 2013 - The Darc Drive from Shapers Fins is an add-on stabilizer fin for your quad setups. It adds drive and control, and it's meant to give you the best of both worlds from quad and thruster setups while reducing their drawbacks.
Profile view of the Darc Drive fin. Very hydrodynamic outline.
I decided to review the Darc Drive fin by comparing it to its rival cousin: the Knubster fin, which performs a similar function, but is a fairly different sort of fin.
First, note that the Darc is even smaller than the already tiny Knubster. And unlike the Knubster (which is essentially just a mini keel,) the Darc has a super unique shape; very hydrodynamic and efficient looking- which it is.
Darc compared to the Knubster, alongside a stock model AM2 side fin.
Regardless of how small a fin is, adding one to your tail will interfere more with planing than if it wasn't there... But the ultra slight outline of the Darc minimizes this effect so much that the amount of drag it creates is honestly undetectable. With the Knubster fin however, this drag is a bit more prominent (, particularly when making small rail to rail movements.)
One big difference between the two fins is composition. The Darc is a full on fiberglass build, and the Knubster is plastic.
The low profile design of the Darc is actually so subtle that it feels less like a 5th fin and more like having channels shaped into your tail. Essentially, it firms up the feel of your quad setup without interfering with responsiveness.
The Darc plugged in. You could flip it the other direction if you want to alter your tail's pivot point.
Ultimately,the Darc and the Knubster have qualities in common, but serve different niches. In both fins, there's a reduction of drift in wide turns and a boost to overall top end. But because the Knubster is a more typical fin- with more surface area- it adds more drag and is only really suitable on a quad setup that normally feels a little too loose. The Darc on the other hand, works better added to a quad setup that you actually like already. It livens up the feeling that's already in the tail without messing with any of the good stuff.
The Darc is small enough to fit in your pocket.
I throw mine in my bag whenever I go surfing now. It's small. It's light. It's sick.
The Darc Drive from Shapers. Check it out.