Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Basics of Surfboard Fins

Surfboard fins play a pivotal role in overall performance. has a number of fins to choose from, but the vast array may be overwhelming to newcomers. Below are some basic points to remember when shopping with us for surfboard fins.

The flexibility or stiffness of a fin determines the way a surfboard handles in the water. Stiff fins are good for beginners because they are more forgiving and provide greater stability. However, this lack of flexibility makes it more difficult to make sharp turns. Stiff fins tend to revert quickly to their natural position, which may make turns faster. Flexible fins add a level of feel to the surfboard that more advanced surfers prefer.
The length is measured at the widest point of the fin at its base. The base length impacts the way a board turns and drives. A longer base provides more surface area that pushes against the water. This makes turns stronger and increases drive, but the larger base does not permit the board to turn sharply.
The depth of a fin is the length that sticks into the water. It is usually measured from the bottom of the surfboard to the tallest point of the fin. Depth impacts the way a board grips the water through turns and may help determine the stability of the surfboard. The taller the fin, the more hold it has in the water, which typically provides the rider with more control.
The cant of a fin is the angle it makes in relation to the bottom of a surfboard. A fin that sticks straight up, perpendicular to the board’s base is said to have no cant. Increasing the fins’ cant produces a more responsive surfboard through turns. Decreasing the cant makes the board faster especially when moving in a straight line.
The amount a fin curves back in relation to its base is called the rake. Fins with a small rake are stable and propel the board faster, but there may be some sacrifice in turnability. Fins with a large rake allow for a tighter turning radius, however, the board may be less stable.
The thickest part of the fin is in the middle while the thinnest part is at the outer edges. This shape is known as the fin’s foil. It impacts the way that water flows under the board. Foil helps create lift under a surfboard and propels it in different wave conditions. Generally, the more pronounced the foil, the more lift it provides. However, this also causes drag on the board, which slows the speed of the board.

These are just a few points to keep in mind when shopping for surfboard fins. Contact us to find out which fins might be best for your needs. We sell all kinds of surfboards, accessories and apparel that may be of interest to you.

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