When you click a link and make a purchase, Wave Arcade may earn an affiliate commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue bringing you great content. Thanks for your support!
Be Prepared with Fin Screws, Bolts, Fin Keys, and Tools
These are the reasons to keep back-up fin screws on hand in first place. Rusted screws, seized screws, stripped screws, etc. – All of these are things that most surfers will experience at some point in their surfing experience.
If you’ve got a busted fin screw, chances are you’ll need a replacement – hence the recommendations above.
However, in some situations, you’ll need more than just a replacement screw. You’ll need a way to get the broken screw out or fix the stripped threads.
It’s not always easy, but there are a few methods you can try when dealing with stuck/rusted fin screws or stripped fin box threads.
To remove a stuck fin screw:
Soak it in penetrating oil or WD-40.
Try to back it out.
If it doesn’t work, glue a sacrificial fin key or allen wrench to the screw, allow it to dry, and remove it.
If the threads in your fin box are stripped, you can either:
Fill the screw hole with a quick set epoxy (plug the bottom first).
Allow the epoxy to set.
Use a #21 drill bit or bit smaller than your grub screw to drill through the center of the epoxy.
Use a new grub screw and tighten it through the hole to retap the threads.
Use a slightly larger size tap and grub screw and retap the stripped threads.
Preventing Problems with your Fin Screws
You can prevent all of the above with a little preventative maintenance.
Be sure to rinse the salt water off your fin screws and fin boxes after a surf.
Avoid over-tightening your screws.
If you feel a bad (loose) seat between the fin key and the fin screw, don’t try to tighten or untighten it. Instead, find an allen key with a better fit, remove the screw, and replace it with a new one.
Best Surfboard Fin Tools
Having the right tools for the job makes your life a whole lot easier.
Bonus Tip: All of these could make excellent gifts for a surfer.
Below you’ll find some handy fin tools to deal with problem fin screws and everyday installation and removal of your surfboard fins.
Some great choices for the best surf tools include: