SUP Fins – it’s what you don’t see that matters
SUP fins are like many things in life, it’s the things you can’t see that matter most. While everyone can see you carvin’ it up in the surf or chillin’ your way around a bay, the fin beneath your board is, to some degree, affecting your overall experience.
If you want to keep it simple with a single, long board fin for you’re all rounder, no problem at all – SUP on! However, upgrading your fins and changing their configuration is the simplest way to completely transform the performance of your stand up paddleboard. A quick fin switch can change your board from the ideal surf-performance board to the perfect platform for a long slow tour or a high-speed downwind ride.
Most well-made SUP boards are fitted with several fin boxes allowing for different configurations. Come do your fin shop with us and we’ll help you choose the most effective configuration for your ultimate ride.
SUP surf fins
Surfing SUP boards usually have a 2+1 configuration that lets you set up the board with three larger fins of equal size (a thruster); with one larger long board fin in the middle and two smaller side bites; or with just one single fin (long board style).
Fin choice is perhaps most important to SUP surfers looking to improve speed down the line, improve the feel and feedback through your turning arc, manage rail-to-rail transitions, maintain stability in turbulence, and even enjoy a little SUP nose riding.
SUP flat water fins
In flat water paddling the most important issues are drag and tracking because you really want stability. In a single SUP fin configuration, the fin acts as a central pivot point. The longer (from front to back) and the deeper the single fin, the more drag, and the more control you have in general. A really wide, deep fin gives stability, but it can inhibit turning so it’s great for flat water paddling, but not ideal for performance, stand up paddle surfing.
The more upright the fin, the tighter the turning radius you will have when SUP surfing. The more raked the fin (the more angled/arched back), the more control you will have at high speeds
Come SUP fin shop with us!
At Stand Up Paddle Gear Australia, we love to talk fins. The use of various configurations to finesse your experience keeps us intrigued for hours.
Let’s start with the basics: first you have to determine what type of fins fit your board. The center fin box on all SUPs is for a standard long board fin. Any long board fin, regardless of the brand, fits the central box. The flanking fin boxes are another story. These will either be Futures SUP Fins boxes or FCS fin boxes – both have unique set ups so your choices are set by the manufacturer. Fins are removable, so you can swap out one style of fin for another, but you’ll need to stick with the correct brand that fits the box.
If you don’t think your SUP fins choice matters, try removing the fins some time and see how miserable that can feel! (Although way back in the day people surfed boards with no fins at all. There are pictures of surfers dragging a toe for steerage – scary stuff!)
We stock a broad range of fins, in store and online, from both major manufacturers, FCS and Future Fins. And both the supplier’s Australia Headquarters are not too far from us, which means we get deliveries weekly so your perfect fin will always be available.