Actually because the board has so much area it doesn't take much to get it moving, For example in the marginal conditions we were out in we we were getting long rides when the other boards weren't even making the first section at all. . .. so it doesn't need a lot of wave, just likes it ! Keep in mind that it's 27 wide at the wide point so has loads of lift at low speed from the nose area, unlike ultra narrow nedle guns .
The reason I say it was only first gear is simply because I know how they fire up when they get going faster , particularly when the tunnel has a degree of positive lift in it.
Regarding low buoyancy the buoyancy is good but for a board of nearly 13 feet and 27 wide is relatively low ( about 90 litres according to my rough estimate ) . I kept the board very thin for flex. The same design made half an inch thicker is even more of a wave magnet though.
As far as fin drag goes, the tunnel reduces drag and tunnels are the lowest drag fin setup which it possible to make . .. so we put them there because they increase speed and drive. When tunnels are set up parallel to the bottom they are like a supercharger which is on at all engine revs, however by adding a small amount of lift it makes the power band 'peaky'. . .. so it's like a two stroke motorcycle with a power band. . . . . . goes well at low revs but suddenly takes off at a certain speed. Overall by making it peaky we go faster when it's cranking and nearly as fast in slow conditions. .. . still plenty of glide there though !
All going well that board will be in Hawaii soon