Introducing Connor Baxter’s New Fin – The Condor
After 12 months of extensive research and development, Black Project’s elite collection of high-performance SUP racing fins is getting a new addition for 2020. Meet the Condor.
Determined to develop the fastest fin on the planet, we enlisted the knowledge of Black Project athlete and 2019 ICF Sprint Racing World Champion, Connor Baxter. One of the most winning paddlers in the sport, Baxter took a lead role in designing the Condor, applying both his invaluable experience and our advancements in fin technology to create a world-class product.
Fellow Black Project team paddlers including Seychelle Webster, Martin Vitry, Fiona Wylde and Bart de Zwart also provided feedback, giving us a wider range of perspectives. This diversity of opinion has allowed us to better optimize the Condor to excel for different athletes.
This new fin is dramatically smaller than anything we have made before and is the fastest fin we’ve ever developed. Of course, pushing boundaries comes with a disclaimer. To achieve industry-leading speed, the Condor sacrifices some of the stability found in other Black Project fins like the TIGER or RAY.
Our disclaimer: The Condor is not for all paddlers. It was designed to give elite paddlers a competitive edge during races where fractions of a second make the difference between winning and losing.
What are the main differences compared to other fins in the range?
- 15% smaller than the Sonic – 182 cm2 / 28.21 in2.
- Reduced Cord Concept – 13 cm / 5.12 in compared with 16cm of the Sonic and 14cm of the Tiger.
- Enhanced foil.
Who will benefit most from the Condor SUP race fin?
The Condor is best-suited for expert paddlers with excellent board handling skills looking for some extra speed. It was designed to be paddled with a high cadence using foot and paddle steering techniques, rather than relying on increased fin size to achieve tracking. The smaller size of the Condor offers a higher potential speed without sacrificing too much tracking thanks to the new foil and 18 cm depth.
The new Reduced Cord Concept combined with a newly optimized foil enables us to reduce the fin size while maintaining tracking. It also increases tuning options as the Condor can be moved forward and aft, even in short fin boxes – move your fin forward for more pivot and back for increased tracking.
As board technology has developed and provided paddlers with better stability and tracking, it has allowed us to design a smaller fin. With this in mind, back in August we assembled the Black Project team in Hood River, Oregon to complete final testing of the Condor. Using brand new 2020 boards, our athletes were impressed by the increased speed potential and maneuverability of the Condor and Baxter signed off on his namesake fin.
Of course, just because the Condor is cutting-edge does not mean that you can expect to install this fin and win right away. Getting used to a smaller fin will take practice, so we suggest adding the Condor to your quiver and use it in training. Then once your GPS device confirms that you are faster in a range of different conditions, you can confidently make the switch and reap the benefits of the Condor’s unrivaled speed advantage.
How does it fit into the SUP race fin collection?
The Condor SUP fin is the smallest fin in the line up and is ideally suited for advanced and professional paddlers looking for a little extra speed as they chase race wins.
LiteCORE Technology – Our Lightest & Strongest Carbon Construction Yet
Our hand-laminated, ultralight carbon construction takes quality, lightweight and durability to new levels.
The new layup featuring our carbon infused LiteCore technology enables us to control weight, strength and flex more precisely than before. The result is a paddleboard race fin which is both lighter and more resilient to damage.
What do paddlers say about the new CONDOR SUP race fin?
“The Condor is everything I wanted in a fin –– speed, tracking and control. Not to mention, you still have the ability to beach start in shallow water and buoy turn on a dime. The Black Project team and I put in a lot of time and effort to develop the best all-around fin and I believe we succeeded in that mission.
The Condor slips through the water in a forward motion while keeping you stable and tracking in a straight line. The best part about the fin is the control it gives you, especially now that most boards are 14 feet long and high in volume. Whether you find yourself on a downwinder, in the surf zone or on flatwater, the Condor’s small outline and excellent maneuverability gives you 100% control, from buoy turns to rail steering.”
Connor Baxter, Multiple SUP World Champion
How to Know Which Fin Base Option To Use
When investing in a fin upgrade, you need to make sure you have the correct fit for your board. Unfortunately, board companies have so far not agreed on the preferred standard for fin boxes.
What makes it more confusing is that to the untrained eye, both fin box systems look almost identical. Luckily we have this area covered and the details below will ensure that you get the correct fin for your board.
US STANDARD Base
Fits Starboard, JP-Australia, Fanatic, Mistral, RRD and most production brands with an origin in windsurfing. This is the same fin box that’s found on many windsurfing boards and is wider and deeper, with the pin set further from the deck of the board. The base is 9.2mm thick.
US SURF Base / Longboard Base / Bahne Box
This is the same box that is standard in many surf longboards. It is a narrower and shallower base as used by SIC, Infinity, 404, Naish, Flying Fish and many more. Narrower and shallower than the US base, these boxes have the pin set closer to the deck of the board. The base is 9.0mm thick.