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Since starting working at Degree33 fulltime (March 2014), I've tried to steer away from building "standard" thruster shortboards that all look too similar to the rest of the market. I wanted surfing to feel new and exciting every time I made a new design. A new perspective for the waves. A progression of some sorts.
Something that I noticed when tinkering design concepts for my new 2015 board (shout out to Luc and Holly for the rad christmas present!) was that we don't have any boards in our lineup other than the Poacher that we would truly recommend installing a single fin (other than our Ladle). Wanting to find that middle-ground between something high performance, yet rounder, more forgiving and more retro, the "Karma Chameleon" was born.
Its a 4+1 fin setup, so you technically have three different fin setups you could ride (Single fin, 2+1, and Quad).
It fills the gaps of what Garek and I were achieving to do; Get a retro feel with less drag on the reef breaks we surf in Encinitas and Carlsbad with the Single Fin, and also be able to plug in my Captain Fin Quads if I wanted more performance.
With waves on tap this past week almost everyday, I gave my Karma a few days on my Andy Davis Pineapple Quads, and then left one morning session available to feel out the Alex Knost 10". After surfing the Karma Chameleon as a Quad for forever, the waves were clean and sizeable this fine Friday morning to where I knew I would get a good single fin feel.
It's much faster than I anticipated.
It arcs and carves like a dream when on the open face, and draws a nice line for the barrel section. The surface texture was a little bumpy, but overall, I felt faster, with far less resistance. I felt reckless, yet completely in control at the same time.
The Alex Knost Fin (Available in 7.5" or 10") is a Flex Fin - Fins with more flex will have a different feel than something similar in shape with less flex. Cutbacks will have more power and higher projection.
The fin has quite a bit of "Rake" as well (The rake measures how far back the fin curves in relation to its base.), which adds more performance when hooking your turns. Captain Fin Co. actually recommends this for more pulled in tails or pintails (the Karma come in round tail or aggressive pin options).
I would recommend this fin in all pintails, from sizes to 5'8" to 7'6". It provides a real retro feel, very fast, and a lot less resistance. The first few waves took a few attempts to feel it out, I found myself trying to generate drive and speed as if I had trailer fins in.
If you're looking for speed for super fast barrels, and want to work on your arcs and style, this fin is all you need.
Take a look at my 5'8" Karma Chameleon below with the Al Knost 10". The Knost 10" can be ordered on our website, and you can call the shop (858-693-3692) if you're interesting in ordered a Karma Chameleon.
Oh, and check the vids down below of Alex Knost himself shredding on his Signature Fin in Newport, Costa Rica, and Bali.