Friday, July 20, 2007

Fish vs. Turbo vs. Pintail

A good boat for it's time, the Turbo's two main ideas are better served when they are split into two different boats. For example, Ted moved from the Turbo to the Fish because the Fish is more playful and has more bounce. Maurice moved from a Turbo to the Pintail because it is faster and more predictable and stable.

I need to preface this by saying that I enjoyed paddling a Turbo for a year, but the Fish is what convinced me to move over to DragoRossi.
The Turbo is a great boat but it tries to be too many things to too many people and ends up being too much of a compromise (at least in my opinion). There are lots of people who have gone from a spud, to a Turbo, to a Fish, so it's like a transition boat for many. I call it the "Fish training boat", (although I don't think the training part is needed)
Additionally, the Pintail has the added length and volume needed to make a better river runner than the Turbo.

First thing you'll notice is the differences in rocker. A smooth transition and high rocker in the ends make for a drier, more predictable ride. And of course some length helps make the Pintail a much faster boat than the other two.

Larger cockpit and more knee room make the fish a better play-specific boat, and although the photo doesn't show it well, the Fish is shorter but for some reason maintains pretty much the same speed on a wave. Seeing the length difference in the Pintail is easy here. It also has the slightly larger cockpit and wider knee area, giving it easy control in the rough stuff, and that tail is a good length for stability.

All of these boats are fast, photos like this don't really reveal every factor that goes into a boat's speed. But notice the double concave in the Pintail. This is a technique used on beginner surf boards to make them plane up faster. It gives the Pintail unparalleled ability to catch fast waves on the fly. The Fish has a similar concept in the stern but leaves the bow nice and flat and clean for added slipper predictability. I think, from this view, that the Turbo shows it's surf heritage. The bit of slowness that it does have is probably more an issue with the little bit of "kick" rocker that was given to the boat.

Here are some off-angle shots of the Turbo and Fish so you can see how similar they are and how much of a natural progression forward the Fish is from the Turbo.

and some photos of the Pintail and the Turbo, which should help you understand how the Pintail took the river running intentions of the Turbo and pushed them to make a more predictable river runner.


Cooper Lambla said...

What about the Nitro?

ScottBarnes said...

thought about that, but it's a very different boat from the Turbo, fairly boxy and not as smooth as the three compared. But, it is worth talking about in this category, althought it's too big for someone my size and still slower than the Pintail so I had to make the cutoff somewhere or we could just go on and on forever. (besides, it's more of a comparison of Corran's design progression and an example of what happens when he is allowed to just do what he wants)