In the early 2000's there was somewhat of a war against the thruster that broke out, as an undertone to the emergence of the “ride everything” movement.
While I understand where the disdain toward three-fins was coming from, it was entirely misguided.
The root of the sentiment shouldn't have been against the thruster itself; but rather against riding the wrong equipment for the conditions at hand.
Three-finned shortboards had become so ubiquitous that everything else was considered "alternative surf craft", so there was naturally some push-back against the incumbent ruler of the quiver.
Personally, I couldn't be happier with the breadth, depth, and creativity that has developed over the last 15 years—and the acceptance of different-looking surfboards for the general surfing public.
The quickest way to maximize your session is to bring the right board for the day—and from time to time, that may even be a thruster.
Speaking of thrusters, here's a look at a new Survey we built for Drew Meseck: