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How To Choose Surfboard Fins: Setup And Fin Types

How To Choose Surfboard Fins: Setup And Fin Types - Beachin Surf

Peter Harris |

Choosing the right surfboard fins is not as easy as it seems. While one might imagine that it comes down to the number and configuration, this is not necessarily true. You need to look at the material, technical specs and perhaps price before settling on the right surfboard fins. 

Beginners find it hard to differentiate between the numerous options, mainly because they might not understand the different surfing experiences that one can enjoy with the various fins. 

In this piece, we will point out some key things to look at when buying surfboard fins and explain the different options in the market to help you select the best ones for you.

Note that there is no perfect surfboard fin as it all comes down to the kind of board you have, surfing style, and skillset.

Look At The Fins Box

Here, we are referring to the point in your board where you fix the fins. They mostly come in two forms, and you should ensure that the fins you buy are compatible with the holes there. The two options are the Futures system and FCS II. Besides these, you will find other board manufacturers with their unique set of fins box.

Following are the more common type of surfboard fin setups:

Single Fin

This is the original configuration used in surfboards. It is now seen on longboards and is the most basic configuration. It is suitable for a relaxed surfing experience and nothing fancy. It does not allow you to engage in speed surfing and make blistering manoeuvres. This makes it perfect for fast, straight surfing with a lot of control and stability.

Dual Fin

Two parallel fins characterise the twin fin setup. It helps to generate speed and gives you the ability to maneuver while still being more stable than the single fin. It gives more floatation due to the location of the fins and has a more responsive performance. However, this setup is not ideal for big wave surfing.

Tri Fin

This is an upgrade of the dual fin and the most common configuration today. The third additional fin is located behind the two parallel ones to enhance the experience. These fins are suitable for both beginners and experts since they borrow the best of dual and single fins.

The additional fin offers more stability and the ability to manoeuvre. Besides, you can choose to go with a single or double fin configuration by detaching the additional one or the main two ones.

Quad Fin

This four-fin configuration is perfect for giving more bite into the wave face. Since they are also installed closely together, they allow you to make tighter turns. These features make them suitable for small surf, particularly if the rear fins are closer to the rails. 

Five Fin Setup

This is an additional configuration in place to help you play around with the arrangements and find one that suits you. It is perfect for well-rounded experienced surfers who know the best configurations for different conditions and like to play around with their fins to suit the current situation.


Some of the standard surfboard fin configurations have been mentioned above, and it is prudent to choose one that suits your needs. Note that some types, such as the single fin configuration, will limit your options, and you should lean towards the designs that let you play around with the number of fins you use depending on the situation. 

Other things that can influence your decision are the technical characteristics of the fins, weight, and the kind of waves you plan to surf. If you are a beginner, you will understand these more as you get more experienced, so starting with a simple configuration will be the best to avoid any teething problems.

At Beachin Surf, you can find the best fins for your surfboard with our huge range of surfboard accessories. Please feel free to come and visit our shop at 262 Maine Road, Toukley, NSW. We are happy to show you around and assist you in finding the best fins for your surfboard.

Please call us today on (02) 4396 5159 or send us an inquiry.