Okay, okay – if you know anything about the Wave Arcade project, you know we’re not going to tell you there’s a single best thruster set or a best surfboard.
When it comes to surf equipment like boards and fins – we believe that experimentation, experience, and enjoyment is key.
What’s best for you may be totally different than what’s best for someone else.
It all depends on the waves you’re surfing and your own style and abilities.
You’ve got to experiment and experience all sorts of thrusters to find what works for you in different conditions on different boards.
That said, below are some of our recommendations of some of the “best” thruster fin sets to try out for yourself.
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How many fins does a thruster have?
A thruster surfboard or fin set up has 3 fins.
Thruster fin set ups typically feature fins of roughly equal size, with the center, trailing fin being a bit smaller.
The center fin is typically foiled 50/50 or equal on each side.
The side fins usually have a flat foil, but you can find them in a variety of foil shapes.
The side fins will also typically be toed-in at bigger angle towards the center than you’d see on a quad or a twin.
Futures Fins Thruster Sets
If your board has Futures fin boxes (single tab), some great choices for the best Futures thrusters to try include:
John John Techflex Thruster Fins
This is a balanced thruster fin template designed to give you maximum control.
Futures techflex construction combines the lightness of honeycomb with the stiffness of fiberglass for a little more versatility and control.
Side fins: 4.56″ depth, 4.45″ base, 14.98″ area, flat foil.
Center fin: 4.56″ depth, 4.45″ base, 14.98″ area, 50/50 foil.
AM1 Blackstix Thrusters
The AM1 Blackstix are a speed generating fin designed for big turns and carves.
The carbon fiber layers combined with the inside foil makes for a fin that will feel smooth and fast.
Side fins: 4.5″ depth, 4.5″ base, 14.84″ area, V2 foil.
Center fin: 4.29″ depth, 4.31″ base, 13.35″ area, 50/50 foil.
AM2 Honeycomb Tri-Fin Set
Honeycomb construction makes for a flexier fin that provides a good all-around ride in weaker surf.
The smaller center fin makes for a set up that you’ll be able to move exactly as you want it.
Side fins: 4.73″ depth, 4.64″ base, 15.98″ area, flat foil.
Center fin: 4.49″ depth, 4.63″ base, 15.32″ area, 50/50 foil.
Captain Fin Co. Thruster Fin Sets
Captain Fin Co. offers some excellent choices of thruster sets for both Futures boxes and FCS boxes.
Some great Captain Fin thruster sets to try out include:
Dion Agius Flowers Thruster Fins
Side Fins: 4.55″ depth, 4.5″ base, 15.48″ area, flat foil.
Center Fin: 4.35″ height, 4.3″ base, 13.82″ area, 50/50 foil.
This a good solid fiberglass all-around thruster template.
It’ll have a stiffer flex that you’ll take notice of during your turns and snaps in better conditions.
But will go good in a variety of waves.
Futures or FCS available.
Dylan GRAVEZILLA Thruster Fins
Side Fins: 4.5″ depth, 4.4″ base, 14.84″ area, flat foil.
Center Fin: 4.34″ depth, 4.32″ base, 13.63″ area, 50/50 foil.
This funky looking solid fiberglass thruster set will give you a stiffer flex and solid drive that will allow you to power through your turns.
Futures or FCS avilable.
Tanner G Groove Thrusters
Side Fins: 4.56″ depth, 4.45″ base, 15.12″ area, flat foil.
Center Fin: 4.56″ depth, 4.45″ base, 15.12″ area, 50/50 foil.
These honeycomb and carbon fiber thruster fins is a good all-around fin with moderate flex.
Futures or FCS available.
FCS Thruster Fins
If your board has FSC II boxes, some good choices for the best FCS thrusters include:
FCS II Performer PC Carbon Thrusters
Designed to be a balanced, all-around thruster set.
Made out of FCS performance core carbon for a stiffer flex than a honeycomb core fin.
FCS II Accelerator Tri Fins
This is a fuller fin template all the way through the tip.
These should offer good drive and flow through turns, and would be a good choice in faster waves.
FCS II H4 Thruster Fins
Here’s something different.
These Swiss-engineered fins offer a lot of speed and drive that will feel super solid through turns.
The “flat” tips and the upright center fin will give you the ability to quickly pivot as well.
Try them in a variety of conditions.
When to run thruster fins?
Remember, you’ve really got to experiment.
Thrusters are a fin set up that will typically give you some more control over your surfboard.
They excel in vertical surf and high performance maneuvers.
They’re naturally a bit slower in a straight line, and require you to pump up the wave from rail to rail to generate speed into and out of your maneuvers.
Thrusters have a smaller turning radius than other setups and can be great for quick, snappy and off the lip turns.
It’s a great set up when you’ve got some fast, vertical sections to work with.
If you’re a larger surfer or surfing a board with a bigger tail or surfing in bigger waves, you may want to try to bigger fin.
If you’re a smaller surfer, surfing a board with a narrow tail, or want a looser feel, try some smaller fins.
So go ahead, go… thrust.
Do you have experiences with any of the thruster fin sets described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!