Have you ever wondered why fish have an easy time cruising through water? Well, it is because they have a set of fins that direct water to the back of their body while propelling the rest of their body forward. This is the same concept that has been applied by your surfboard manufacturers to enable surfboards to propel you smoothly over the surface of the water. When buying surfboard fins for the first time, here are some details that you must know to get it right:
Glassed In Versus Swappable
Just as the name suggests, glassed-fins are permanently fixed onto the surfboards. They are smooth and safer considering that there is less likelihood of them being pushed out of position by the force of the waves hitting against the surfboard. However, they will not offer you the versatility that comes with swappable or removable fins. Swappable fins comes with a key and a box that allows you to screw the fins on the surfboard. An important thing to keep in mind when fixing the fin onto the board is to ensure that the screw is not too tight. This will prevent small cracks from developing on your surfboard. Notably, swappable fins are advantageous over the glassed-in alternative because they are easy to repair and versatile, helping you meet varying surfing needs.
Fin configuration on your surfboard basically refers to the number of fins that you can use on your surfboard. The configurations range from the single, twin, thruster, quad and the five-fin. For you to determine how many fins your surfboard requires, examine the base of the board for the number of box spaces left for attaching the fins (for swappable fins). If you are just starting out, a five-fin swappable configuration is ideal for you because it still allows you to use the other available options as you advance and gain expertise. The high number of fins ensures maximum stability, especially when you are navigating bends at high speed.
The rake is another important consideration that you must take into account. It is the extent to which the front pointed edge of the fin extends backward. This translates to how much of the fin will be buried into the water as you surf, determining your overall stability. A large rake angle or extension will dig deep and maximise your stability, which is essential for your confidence as a learner.
Look into a company like Find Sports to check out surfboard options you might like.