Soft tops tend to get a bad rap in many lineups. They often come with the connotation of the clueless novice and the mass-produced mega-storms.
However, soft top surfboards can be extremely rippable under the right feet, and they can be versatile and fun in the worst of conditions.
That said, the stock fin setups on soft top surfboards leave much to be desired.
Soft-Top Surfboard Fins
Many soft top surfboard fin systems have soft plastic fins that are affixed to the board through the deck with plastic, threaded screws – either through the base of the fin or a fin box.
A lot of the time, it seems like the fins that come on these boards are only there because that’s what a surfboard is “supposed” to look like.
Luckily, you’ve got some options when it comes to fin upgrades for your soft top!
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What is that pink single fin on all those Wavestorms?
|perfect storm 9" Single Fin Kit for Wavestorm, Gerry Lopez & Other Soft Top Surfboard Fins (for Wavestorm Single Fin)||Go ☛|
|Perfect Storm Deuce 1/2 Twin Fin Kit||$29.95||Go ☛|
|perfect storm Bonzer-Bites Soft Top Kit Surfboard Fins||$19.95||Go ☛|
Those little black, flexible thruster fins that come standard on most soft-top surfboards are not doing you any favors.
Thursters excel when you’re able to pump them and power out of turns.
How often do you do that on your WaveStorm?
And the soft, bendable plastic that most of them are made of really couldn’t perform to give you the “thrust” they’re designed for even if you tried.
The Perfect Storm fins for soft-top surfboards give you some options to make your foamie faster, more maneuverable, and more fun to ride.
Soft-Top Fin Set Ups
If you have a soft top surfboard, much of your fin experimentation will likely have to be done through home modifications that mess with the shape and size of your fins.
Catch Surf offers a few different fin designs for their soft tops, which fit into their fin boxes or are screwed through the deck.
You’ve also got some single fin options for your soft top, which are attached to the board either through the existing fin screw holes or by creating new ones.
Fins for soft tops are going to function the way fins do in general.
If you’re looking for more stability, drive, and the ability to dig into carves and turns, try adding some more fin to your board. This could be attained by installing a larger single fin on your soft top.
If you’re looking for a balance, you can try different combinations of larger and smaller fins. This can be achieved through kits or by modifying the fins yourself. You can try trimming down your board’s rail or center fins to get a totally different feel for your board.
If you’re looking for more release and the ability to slide around, the less fin the better. You can try surfing your soft top finless, removing some of the fins, or cutting down some of your fins.
The soft plastic fins on soft top surfboards lend themselves to really easy modification if you’re so inclined. They even get a different feel after they’ve been sitting in the sun a bent or softened up for a while.
Perfect Storm Fin Setups
The stiffer material of the Perfect Storm fins is a worthy upgrade by itself.
The greater stiffness will actually make the fins effective through turns, whereas a softer fin is going to feel slow and bumbly.
Your options for different fin set ups with the Perfect Storm fins are great too, depending on which kits you pick up, you’ll be able to set up your foamie as a:
- Single fin.
- 2 + 1.
- Twin fin.
- Twin + trailer.
- Side bites only for a more “finless” soft-top feel.
Thruster set ups naturally create drag with the center fin. They shine in good waves when you’re able to pump and turn. On a Wavestorm and most funboard foamie shapes, they’re only really creating drag, slowing you down, and limiting your control.
The set up for your soft top that’s best for you is going to depend on your personal style and the waves you surf. But, experimenting will be fun and will ultimately improve your surfing.
Perfect Storm Single Fin
The pink single fin from Perfect Storm is an aftermarket upgrade to your soft-top surfboard’s fin set up.
Perfect Storm Single Fin Specs:
- 9″ depth.
- Stiffer material than the standard fins.
- 3-hole base for a solid connection.
Turning your WaveStorm into a single fin will make it really fun to ride, and will give you a little more versatility to the waves you can surf with it.
You’ll find you have more drive down the line, better control in faster, steeper sections, and greater control over your board.
Perfect Storm Deuce 1/2 Twin Fin Kit
The Deuce 1/2 Fin kit allows you to surf your Wavestorm as a twin fin, as a twin with a small trailer fin, or as a more proper thruster by retaining the stock center fin.
The side fins are 5.25″ deep with a 5.25″ base and the trailer is 3.25″ deep with a 3.25″ base.
Lots of versatility in this fin kit – loosen things up with just the twins, add some stability with the trailer, or improve control with a thruster set up.
Perfect Storm Bonzer-Bites
The Bonzer bites are designed as smaller side fins for your soft top.
These can be paired with your pink single fin for a little more stability and control (especially in steeper waves) or can be used by themselves for a “finless” feel to allow you to do spins and tricky stuff on your soft top.
How to Install Your Perfect Storm Fin Kit
Installation of Perfect Storm fins is really simply. The 3 hole single fins require you to make a new hole, while the 2-hole side bites, twins, and trailer fin mount right into the existing holes.
To install your Perfect Storm fins:
- Unscrew and remove the stock fins using a large flat head screwdriver or a coin.
- For the single fin, place 2 screws in the paper template and place them in the existing center holes.
- Using the paper template as a guide, use a screw driver to ream a new hole completely through the board.
- Remove the screws and the template and press the single fin firmly into the 3 holes until it sits flush with the bottom.
- Install the screws and the leash mount to the top of the board and tighten.
- For the side fins (or plug screws), simply place them in the existing holes and tighten.
If you want to change up your set up at anytime, just reverse the process and use the standalone screws and plugs to plug up any holes that are not in use. You can switch back to the stock set up at any time.
If you’re worried about any gaps or leakage, some silicon sealant or Flex seal should prevent any water from getting in.
Perfect Storm Fin Soft-Top Compatibility
The Perfect Storm soft-top surfboard fins will work on any soft-top surfboard with a standard ~4″ fin hole spread with the standard plastic threaded screws.
Perfect Storm fins work with:
- Costco Wavestorm.
- Boardworks Froth surfboards.
- Odysea foamies.
- Liquid shredder soft tops.
- Wave Bandit soft tops.
The variety of fin setups for your Wavestorm or other standard soft-top surfboard are really going to open you up to some new experiences and fun.
If you’re just learning and feel you’ve plateaued on your stock foamie, but aren’t quite ready for a new board, changing up the fins might just be the thing you need.
Easy to install and a vast improvement over stock soft top fins. Definitely a worthy upgrade.