3 reasons to change your surfboard fins
At The Surfboard Warehouse we find that many customers ask "will changing the fin configuration or type of fins make a difference to my surfboard's performance"?
The short answer. Yes. Fins can make a huge difference to a surfboard’s control, manoeuvrability and overall performance.
So are you ready for a change? Here are 3 reasons to consider changing your fins.
Your board doesn't feel right in the waves
Are you surfing 4-6 foot barrels or grovelling in 1-2 foot mush? It’s common practice to change the type of board you ride for different conditions and it should be the same with your fins.
For big, hollow waves look for larger stiffer fins that will hold the line and give you more drive. Try a carbon base fin, they tend to be stiffer and will give you more overall control.
For smaller conditions look for fins with a little more flex. A smaller model fin will help you generate speed and will make the board so much looser. Try a glass composite fin which has more flex.
The fin configuration also has an effect on the board's performance. It could be a thruster (3 fins), twin fin (2 fins), quad fin (4 fins) or single fin (1 fin). Generally speaking, for bigger waves a faster quad fin setup works well generating plenty of down the line speed, but for all-round surfing a traditional thruster is always a good safe choice.
You're bored and need a challenge
You can have a lot of fun changing up your fins. It will change the way your board performs and bring forth new challenges.
These days a lot of boards come with a 5 fin configuration, which is great because it gives you the flexibility to change the fin configuration as you please.
Stuck in a rut? If you usually ride a thruster why not change it up to a quad for your next surf. A quad fin configuration will give a looser, skatier feel, responsive, with more hold for epic rail-to-rail turns.
A board with a single fin surfs completely different to any other and is more challenging. It’s all about the style. Think smooth turns and speed down the line. Unlike a thruster that will respond to abruptness, the single fin requires a smooth approach and you’ll need to flow with the wave to get the results.
Your surfing ability has increased
As a beginner you may not be as 'in-tune' with your board as an intermediate surfer. Beginners tend to perform better with fins with less flex, they provide greater stability and control. However, as your ability increases you might find that you want fins with more flex to give you greater speed and manoeuvrability and allow you to get more active with your top to bottom turns.
As you progress you'll probably find your fins get smaller and more radical, compared to the larger, standard type fins you started off with.
Overall, just like buying a new board, buying fins is a personal decision, what works for one person might not work for another. Just keep experimenting, you’ll eventually find a combination that works for you.