We just caught up with Lachlan Leckie, founder & director of the Salty Merchants based on the East Coast, Australia.
How do you choose what fin to ride on any given day?
It’s generally based on wave type. Also the board, but for most boards I have 2 fin options that go best in each board depending on wave type.
What's your go to fin at the moment?
The Beau Young 10.75” has spent a lot of time in my log while in California. But I’m heading to Noosa and will probably opt for the Cuts Doloro 10” for a bit more nose riding. In my 7’0 pintail I have a 9” matte black that goes amazing and I have been riding a twin fin of late with some new semi-keel style fins that are coming out in a few weeks called the “electric twins”.
What was your journey to arrive at these fins?
For the Beau Young fin I was surfing a lot of small shifty beach breaks and still had my 10” Matte Black in the board from Bali, I couldn't keep in the pocket or turn tight enough with it so I opted for something more upright and more area. The Beau fin always looked a little bit ugly to me (haha) but after one wave on it I fast got over that and really fell in love with it. It’s a good all rounder.
Do you change the fin(s) dependent on the surf, or once a fin is working with a board, do you keep it locked in ?
Usually there are a couple good options for a board depending on waves. Not every fin will work but usually are 2 that are more specific. Like un upright pivot type one or a more raked one depending if the waves are short and slow or fast and long.. for example...
my 7’0 pintail: In California it went fantastic with a 9” flex in it because the waves were a little sloped and sometimes softer so the flex fin gave me some added spring and life and I could draw out some pretty nice turns. When I got back to the Gold Coast, we were getting some sucky head high sand bottom barrels and I had to change to the 7.5 wolfhound cause the flex of the 9” was getting twitchy and a bit wild. The shorter more stable Wolfhound was much more suitable and offered heaps more control. Surprising how different they made the board feel. Yet, if I had that smaller fin in a fuller softer wave it would feel slow.
Anything you'd like to share about your fins, sponsors, surfing, life?
I’m definitely stoked on the fins at the moment, there is something for everything and everyone in the range right now. I’ll always keep playing and refining and that’s what keeps it fun, just like surfing. Sponsors? Eden at Dead Kooks thanks for making me some great boards of late!! Chariots of the Sun wetsuits are too good and warm that I can’t (always) wear them on the Goldy 'cause I get too hot at the moment, haha..
Many thanks to Lachlan.