Caring for Your Surf Fins & Getting the Right Fit

Wave Arcade handcrafted surfboard fins are built with durability in mind, but a little care will go a long way in ensuring they last for a long time and perform to the best of their ability. These tips will help with any surf fins.

Use these simple tips to keep your surfboard fins in tip-top shape:

  • Avoid over-tightening screws when installing your fins. You want them snug, but you don’t want to drill into the fin or strip your screws. If your fins has a bit of side-to-side wobble, some sort of shim can be used to help keep it snug. Matchboxes, business cards, etc. can work.
  • Try to rinse your fins with freshwater after each surf and inspect them for any damage. Every once in a while, remove your fins from the box and remove any salt crystals that may have formed.
  • Just like any other surfboard fin, running aground on the sand, rocks, or reef will cause damage and may possibly break your fin. In general, impact to your boards and fins won’t be good. Don’t do that.
  • Dings, scratches, cracks, etc. can be fixed with some light sanding. In the event that repair sanding exposes any of the wood core, use a sealant and allow it to dry completely before surfing again. Our fins are made with bio-based epoxy resin, but you can seal them with anything you have on hand – polyester resin, epoxy, super glue, clear coat, paint, etc.

Proper Fit for Your Wave Arcade Wood Fins

I’ll be the first to admit – making wooden fins to fit into removable fin bases (FCS, Futures, Bahne/Fins Unlimited) is a pain in the ass!

Out of everything – it is making the bases that gives me the most frustration.

We do our best to ensure and QA that our fins will fit into their respective bases at multiple times during and after the production process. Unfortunately, not all fin boxes – even of the same type – are created equal. Variances during the installation of a fin box, aftermarket/third-party boxes, and existing damage to a fin box can cause alterations to a proper fit.

All that said – our fins are handcrafted products, and things are not always 100% perfect.

If you feel your Wave Arcade fins are too loose in your fin box, you can shim them with anything from scrap wood, cardboard, an old guitar pick, etc.

For FCS fins, align the grub screws with the Carbon Fiber in the fin base when tightening down.

For single fins, make them snug, but do not over-tighten. When in doubt, add a shim before muscling the screw.

If your fin will not fit in the base – some light sanding in the tight area should do the trick. If any wood is exposed during the sanding, seal it up with a resin, polyurethane, varnish, paint, or even super glue and allow to dry.

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