What are the Best Fins
to Use on a Surfboard?
Back in the old days all surfboard fins were
glassed in, meaning they were part of the surfboard and couldn't
be removed. When you broke a fin, you broke the surfboard,
so in the early 90s three Australian surfers invented
the fin control system (FCS). This allowed the broken fin
to be easlily replaced with little out of the water time.
That's why they had the tabs as the weak point, so you don't
break your surfboard.
These days we don't really think about fin systems
for not breaking your surfboard, it is more about changing
the feel and performannce. That's why we see the brand Future
Fins, no weak point to break, but they say has more of a feel
of glassed in fins.
Below are a few tips on surfboard fin designs
The following basic rules can be used as a guide
to selecting a second set of fins to tune your board, or to
complete your fin quiver.
Surfboards with a lot of rocker may require
a fin with greater area, more depth or sweep. Alternatively
surfboards with a flatter rocker require a more average
or smaller size fin.
Surfboards with a lot of rail (eg guns
or long shortboards) require less fin area.
Surfboards with deep channels in the tail
also require less fin area.
Surfboards with wider tails require more
fin area than those with narrower tails.
A smaller fin, one with less sweep (more
upright) or more flex, will loosen a stiff surfboard.
To give a loose board more drive, a bigger,
more swept or stiffer fin selection will work.
To make a board more forgiving, select
a fin with a high amount of flex, for more responsive
choose a stiffer fin.
A particularly strong or powerful surfer
should use a bigger and/or stiffer fin with more resistance
If you are feeling a little under-gunned
and want a small board to work in bigger waves, use a
larger more swept set of fins.
Changing fins can change the way your board feels, and can
freshen or improve your surfing.
Don't be afraid to customize fins to meet
your needs by experimenting with different side and center