Futures AMT Honeycomb Twin + 1 Surfboard Fin Review
Twins have gone from cutting-edge, to overnight outcast (thanks to Simon Anderson's thruster), to the semi-mainstream option it is today. As times and tastes have changed, so have twin fin designs, giving us everything from modern keels to twin + 1s. Today's range of twin fins and surfboards to go with them can handle fast, drivey, hollow waves and high-performance vertical ripping.
One of my favorite twin fin set-ups is the Futures AMT Twin + 1. The same design is known as the Al Merrick Twin + Stabiliser if you need an FCS II base. The AMT is very upright, making it appear the pivotiest of pivot templates. Like the early MR twins of the 80's, the AMTs are made for performance surfing.
Although it looks like a big fin, Futures calls it a medium, and a look at the specs backs that up. In terms of area, it's in the middle. But from base to tip, it's one of the tallest twins in the Futures catalog, the Son of Cobra being only 0.05" taller. I'm guessing it's the height that gives the AMT its hold through big turns. You can come off the bottom straight into an oncoming section, carve hard into the lip, and hold the rail all the way back down to the bottom of the wave without even a suggestion of slip, as long as you've got your weight solidly planted on your back foot over the fins. Of course, having that trailer fin to keep the tail in the water helps, and that's the beauty of this fin set-up. In waves with speed, these fins offer great hold for a twin and still initiate turns instantly. If you're looking to slide the board around a bit, remove the center fin and your tail will soon be facing forward. Thanks to the depth of the side fins, recovering from tail drifts isn't hard, but if the waves are steeper and/or speedy, I feel more comfortable having all three fins in the board.
Even with the trailer fin installed, the AMTs won't give the "anchor" feeling that a center thruster fin has. The small profile, "plus one" center fin, still allows that high top-end speed that twin fins are known for.
I've ridden these fins on a few different boards, and they've felt best on something with a wide tail and enough lift to really push against. I did not like them on my standard shortboard. Also, I wouldn't use these in gutless waves. The tall height and short base don't produce enough drive for true grovelling. Conversely, these are probably not the fins to go charging big or ledgey waves on either. Even though they offer a lot of hold, if you don't have your back foot weighted hard over the fins in a buried-rail turn, your board will slip out. Honeycomb construction keeps the flex responsive and slightly whippy. If hold on big, steep faces is a main objective, try something fiberglass and with more base than these.
Where do the AMTs shine? For performancey waves up to head high-plus where you're looking for top-to-bottom speed to set up your next driving hook into the lip, the AMTs feel so good you'll be laughing all the way back to the line-up.