Surfboard Fins 101

Surf fins.. who would have known that there are so many different placements, styles, and materials used to make them. This blog will hopefully educate all of you on fins so that you can properly adjust yours to the style of surfing you do or want to do. The fins are a critical part of your surfboard setup. Choosing ones that will work best for you and your surfboard depends on your surfboard’s fin box, your weight, and your preferred riding style. Surfboards either have glassed-in fins or ones that you can remove. Our recommendation is to go with removable fins so that you can adjust your style as your skill level progresses. Let’s start with a fin box… I would like to explain what a fin box is because I’ve never used this terminology. I refer to a fin box as “the little slits on the bottom of the board in the back”. But that is exactly what they are, so excuse the lack of professionalism. Now lets go into the two types of fin boxes. We’ve got single tab and dual tab. With the dual tab, the fins have two plugs that are secured to the board with screws. With the single tab, the fins connect to your board using a Truss Base along the entire length of the fin box. There are no plugs and it gives for a stronger connection. Screws are also used in the single tab to hold everything together.

Next lets go over the set up. Each board will have a different number of fin boxes. Most surf boards range from 1 to 5.

Single fin – This setup is most commonly used on long boards. It is a very traditional style that creates a fast and stable ride. With the single fin, many riders suggest you have more control than long boards with more fins.

Twin fin- Also known as a dual fin, this set up will make your surfboard maneuverable and fun to ride. Twin fin set up is most common on short boards when there is a need to increase speed. These are not ideal for bigger waves. The dual fin set up provides the surfer with the ability for longer, more drawn out turns.

Tri Fin- 3 fins is the most common setup and can be found on a variety of surfboard shapes and sizes. This set is used in order to increase water tracking and speed and stability. Tri-fins perform well because they add stability, control, and maneuverability that all surf levels can excel on.

Quad Fin – This set up offers speed on smaller waves by channeling the water to the end of the surfboard and out the tail for acceleration. Two fins near the rails of your surfboard will also add stability.

Five Fin- A five fin set up is  not meant to be surfed with all five fins. Five fin boxes allow you to mix and match fins depending on your preference and the surf conditions. Therefore you can buy one board and adjust the fins based on your preference and style.

Next is fin size… Choose your fin size based on your approximate weight. Here is a chart to guide you:


Weight (lbs)

Grom <100
XS <120
S 105-155
M 145-195
L 165+
XL 190+

Now that you know about the configurations of fin boxes and the approximate size you should have for your board we recommend shopping around a bit. There are many different colors, designs, feels that you can choose from. Hope you  all found this blog helpful! Surf’s up!

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