Thursday, September 8, 2016

Today Surfboard Fins Vary in Size & Numbers

Gone are the days of having only the one, original fin on your surfboard. Today, surfboard fins are interchangeable, and they can change-up your ride. You are not limited to just one, but can have a pair or three fins attached to your board.

Fin Box Types & Size
There are two different types of surfboard fin boxes – Fin Control System (FCS) boxes and Futures boxes. A fin designed for one, will not fit into the other.

Originally designed in the ‘90s, the FCS box has two plugs or tabs that are attached using set screws on the board. The older design used a key or grub screw, and this is still available, but there are also models now, where that is not required.

A truss base is used for the Futures box, with the fin fitting the length of the box. This allows for a stronger connection.

The fin size is really determined by the weight of the rider along with the size of the board, and the waves anticipated to be ridden. The heavier the rider, and the longer the board, the larger the fin size.

A single fin remains the most common on a longboard. It isn’t easy to turn on the longboard, and a single fin does not make it any easier. However, single fins are fast, and allow for stability and control.

Twin fins are better equipped for a shortboard. They are not designed for big waves, and speed up the shortboard. Twin fins make for a more maneuverable, playful board.

The thruster, or three-fin board, continues to grow in popularity. These provide more stability and control for beginners, as well as the more experienced rider. Here you also have the option of adaptability. Just because this board accepts three fins, does not mean you need to use them all. You can change up your ride depending upon the conditions, your mood, or both.

There are also quad-fin and 5-fin boards available. Quads are good for speeding up the board, and are also easier to maneuver in big surf. The 5-fin is not designed to accommodate five fins at once, but rather to allow the rider to mix and match at his discretion.

You can still get a board with a glassed-in, single fin. They are smoother and sounder to ride, however, they are less versatile – if conditions change, the board will not. And, should the fin receive any damage, it will be difficult to repair.

At, we offer a variety of FCS and Futures fins. Feel free to give us a call, or drop us a line. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and we love to talk surf and boards!

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