If you’re interested in fin experimentation, the 5-fin set up is for you.
The 5-fin set up is all about versatility and options, and it’s one of the most common setups you’ll find if you look at new stock boards on the rack at your local surf shop.
Five fin set ups feature two rail fin boxes and one center fin box – depending on the board, you might fin all Futures or all FCS boxes or Futures/FCS on the side with a single fin box in the middle.
For most boards, the five-fin setup allows you to swap between a thruster and and quad set up. However, other 5-fin boards allow you to experiment with the full range of fin setups – singles, twins, thrusters, quads, and even a quad plus a nubster.
It all depends on the design of the board.
With the exception of the guitar pick/nubby center stabilizer fin option on quad set ups, the 5-fin boards are not designed to be surfed with all 5 fin boxes occupied. Sticking 5 full sized fins in each box is going to create some unnecessary weight and drag.
5-fin sets ups are a great option for hybrid surfboards where you’ll be surfing it in a variety of waves and conditions. The ability to swap out fin setups makes the board that much more versatile.