longboard Clinic About Fins

Longboard Clinic: About Fins

Fins are a joyous and tricky thing, never make the mistake of just thinking to throw any old fin into a board and hoping it’ll work. It just doesn’t work that way. Even the slightest fin adjustment of 5mm’s or so in the box will make huge differences to your boards’ character. Me I like to play around with fins and experiment, I even go to the extremes of designing and foiling my own. A good fin is joyous thing and can bring an average feeling board to life. But it also works in reverse a poorly designed or badly foiled fin can make a great board feel like an absolute pooch.

Before you enter into the world of playing with your fins there’s a few things to keep in mind, not all fins work in all boards. The person that shaped your board has the best understanding of what fin or fins to use and where they should be set. After that it’s a matter of taste, and an understanding of what you wish to achieve.

Crucial Tip: Before you play around with your fins, if you already are reasonably happy with the way your board goes. Then take a marking pen and mark on the fin box where your current setup sits. If you’re planning to sand and re-foil your fin then take a template of it first. Then if you stuff it up you can always have another one made.

Opinion: In my opinion hand foiled fins will outperform any moulded fins every time. A moulded fin maybe more perfect. But that’s not the point. Handmade fins are made from laying up layers of glass, not injection moulding. These layers are then sanded back providing different flex from base, through the leading edge to the tip. Moulded fins flex according to thickness. Handmade fins flex according to the way the glass is foiled. They just seem to feel livelier.

Now I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about fins, but I know enough to design my own fins and I reckon that’s enough to write about what I ride and why. In this section of Longboard Clinic, I will only write about the different styles of fins that I ride or have ridden at some time in the past. I make no claim to know what will work for you. That’s for you to find out.

This section of Longboard Clinic is yet to written please check back again soon.