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What’s The Purpose Of Twin Fins On A Surfboard?

What’s The Purpose Of Twin Fins On A Surfboard? - Beachin Surf

Peter Harris |

Have you ever wondered why different surfboards have different fin setups and configurations? Some surfboards come with just one fin at the back end of the board, while others have two, three or even four fins. 

This can be quite puzzling to ordinary people and beginner surfers. However, once you understand the reasons why surfboards are designed with different numbers of fins, you will appreciate the differences and what they mean. 

In this post, we will specifically look at the twin or 2-fin setup or configuration on a surfboard and its purpose. Please keep reading below to learn more!

Background Of Twin Fins

The twin or 2-fin system dates back to the late 70s and early 80s when a famous surfer by the name Mark Richards used a twin-fin surfboard to win 4 consecutive World Championships. 

Mark Richards is known to be the forerunner of the twin fin setups of surfboards. He basically showed everyone that a surfboard does not have to be built or configured in a certain way in order to surf. 

Using his twin fin surfboards, Mark Richards went ahead to claim a position on the Australian Surfers Hall of Fame.

Why 2 Fins? What is The Purpose of Twin Fins on a Surfboard?

Twin fin surfboards offer increased speed and flexibility to move around waves, while still being able to maintain a great deal of stability. This fin configuration also makes a surfboard looser when compared to other configurations (thrusters) that may limit a surfer’s maneuverability. 

Mark Richards was once asked why he preferred twin fin surfboards as opposed to single fin boards and he said that the twin fin setup produced a quicker, freer and more responsive performance that allowed him to really attack waves. 

Many years later, twin fin surfboards have gained widespread popularity in many parts of the world. Twin fins are the craze nowadays. Everyone, from beginners to experienced professionals, claim to love the flexibility and speed offered by twin fins.


The twin fin configuration comes in a number of variations. The most common variation is where the 2 fins are positioned close to the rails and about 1 foot from the board’s tail. The fins will have a moderate cant and toe-in. 

There are other variations, however, that you may come across on your frequent surfing trips. In past years, surfboard makers have experimented with twin fin setups in a bid to come up with more effective or dynamic surfing solutions. 

Some have tried playing around with the distance between the fins by either reducing or increasing the width, while others have even tried positioning the fins straight vertically with no width in between.

The shape of the fins on a twin fin configuration can range from wide and short to thin and tall. On a traditional board, you may find 2 very wide fins with huge surface areas.

Twin fins are commonly found on surfboards with swallow tail shapes. You can also find twin fins on wider round tail or round pin designs.


Although there are many different fin setups, the twin fin is famed for its flexibility and manoeuvrability. You can make sharp turns in water more easily using a twin fin board. This is possible because one fin acts as a pivot for the other while the board is spinning. The end result is that your board goes wherever you point.

Also, we cannot forget to mention the twin fin’s unbeatable speed. This extra speed is attributed to lack of a centre fin that often produces drag and friction. The twin fin is suitable for all kinds of surfing conditions and most types of waves.

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.