“This is a canoe! And it’s impossible to turn, it doesn’t even have a fin.”
“Yes it does. There’s your fin. Your inside foot. You drag it in the water.”
“(:-O)”Rick Kane & Chandler, North Shore (1987)
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your surfboard fins and then some. As your surfing progresses, you can begin experimenting with your fins to really get the most out of your boards. The slightest changes can sometimes have the biggest effects. Welcome to the wonderful world of surf fins.
Find our recommendations for the best surf fins and other surf equipment in our product reviews section!
Surf Fin Design
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know and things you didn’t know you didn’t know about surfboard fin design.
Learn how the modern removable surf fin systems came to be. Imagine a time before the fin.
Learn about the different types of materials fins are made out of and how they’re made. Different materials and construction methods can have a noticeable effect on how the fin performs.
Understand how the size of your fins may affect your surfing. Find out which size fins are best suited for you and your board.
Learn about what your fins are actually doing under water while you’re surfing. With a little understanding of your fins, you’ll be able to notice and attribute things in your surfing that you didn’t before.
Find out how the placements of your surfboard’s fins will affect its performance.
Learn about the different types of surfboard fin systems.
Check out some of these alternative fin designs and niche fin companies and expand your surf fin horizons.
Track the evolution of the surf fin from repurposed boat keel to hydrodynamic space-age science thingy here.
Fin Set Ups & Positioning
Learn how to position your single fin in its fin box to change how your board performs.
Learn about and compare the different types of fin setups you can find on different surfboards.
Find out which fins and fin setups are best suited for which types of conditions and surfing styles.
Learn all about the different types of longboard fins.
Compare the performance characteristics of single fins, thrusters, and quads.
Find out the difference between twin fins and keels.
Why are there 5 fin boxes on the bottom of your board, you ask? Learn about how to get the most out of your 5-fin setup.
The two largest fin companies go head to head in an epic comparison of FCS vs. Futures. Which system do you prefer?
Looking for a new fin for your longboard or single fin surfboard? Check out our recommendations for some of the best all-around single fins and best single fins for noseriding.
Surfboard Fin FAQs
Unfortunately, surfboard fins are not universal. When buying fins, you’ll need to make sure the fin base matches the fin box system in your board. Learn more about fin systems.
If you’ve got surfboard with FCS or Futures fins, you can use the same size hex key to tighten and remove the grub screws on either one. Learn more about fin screws and hardware.
There are a few different ways to make fins. Some popular ones include resin transfer, hand layup and foiling, and CNC. Learn how to make your own fins.
Surfboard fins are made from a variety of materials. Some common materials for fins include fiberglass, plastic, foam core, wood, and bamboo. Learn more about fin materials and product methods.
Fins provide you with control. They create lift and influence drive. Read more about how fins work.
Your fins are humming because they don’t know the tune, sort of. Humming fins are a result of turbulence from imperfections on the fin, and just need to be tuned – a little sanding can usually fix it. Learn how to fix a humming fin.
What fins you should surf depend on a variety of factors including the system you have, the setup you have, the width of your board’s tail, your weight, and the type of waves you’ll be riding and the surfing you’ll be doing. Learn more about the best fins for you.