Thursday, May 22, 2014

An Introduction to the Surfboard Fin

If you're new to surfing, you may not be familiar with the many integral parts of your surfboard. In a previous blog we discussed rail choices, and now we'd like to take a moment to introduce you to the surfboard fin. 

Before the surfboard fin was added in the 1930's, the stability and maneuverability of a board were drastically lacking. Thankfully, Tom Blake revolutionized surfing by attaching a fin to his board which ended up giving the surfboard more control and direction.  

In today's world of surfing, you have multiple choices when it comes to your surfboard fin. Below we've compiled a list of important fin characteristics that can help you get a better understanding of how fin selection affects your surfing.  

The Base Of Your Fin  
The fin base is simply the part of the fin that touches the bottom of your surfboard. The length of the base determines two things. The first is how fast your board will ride across the surface of the water and the second is the turning arc of your board. When the fin base is longer the board will move faster and it will have a larger turn arc.  

The Depth Of Your Fin  
The depth of a surfboard fin, which is its length from base to tip, directly relates to the hold your surfboard has on waves. A Greater depth means you'll have more hold during turns which stops you from sliding. On the other hand, less depth equals less hold and that causes your board to break free more easily during turns.  
The Flex Of Your Fin  
When people talk about the flex of their surfboard fin, they are referring to the amount of give it has from left to right. If a fin has little flex, it is more responsive to your movements and travels faster. A fin that has lots of flex will be less responsive and slower, but more forgiving when you make a mistake.  

Fin Setup  
While there are quite a few variations in fin setup, three of the most common are the single, the twin, and the thruster(three fins). The single setup is mostly used on longboards and is best for beginners due to increased stability. Twin-fins offer heightened speed and maneuverability on smaller waves and are usually found on shortboards. A thruster setup combines control and movement, making it idea for a variety of boards and ocean conditions.  

If you're in the market for a surfboard or you're need of some new equipment, please contact us to view our large inventory of surfing gear.  

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