Without having exactly the same shaped fin, but made from other materials, it’s hard to distinguish with certainty, which attributes would be the result of either shape or material. However after using two 38cm control fins of different materials (and different shape), I will attempt to give it my best shot.
After the initial surprise of the plastic Fang feeling so similar in performance to the composite fins, I tried to differentiate the small details and differences.
The first thing that was apparent to me was a slight smoothness over chop compared to the two composite fins. The smoothness is hard to explain, but definitely apparent. Its a smoothness in a horizontal plane, so it doesn’t stop the board slapping as it flies over the chop, but as it lands from each small ‘jump’ you don’t get quite the same harsh and sudden ‘bite’ of grip that you get from the composite fins. It just makes the ride feel a little more consistent and less ‘rattily’ underfoot. It’s subtle but noticeable.
I have to be honest here and say that I think this was perhaps the only factor (positive or negative) that could be directly accountable to the material. The rest I think is mostly down to shape.
In terms of the fin itself, it had impressive control when fully loaded. It seemed to generate a lot of lift at lower speeds and with less power, but once wound up, it was really controlled. It’s perhaps the wider base and narrower tip that contribute to this. As the board starts to lift and fly at the top end, the working area of the fin reduces rapidly and therefore keeps the board under control.
Upwind, there is plenty of drive to keep the board pointing high and it didn’t feel at all ‘draggy’ off the wind at speed.