Fins Today and Yesterday
Today’s surfers suffer no limitation in the choice of surfboards with any type of fins or setups, from classical shapes to rather innovative designs.
Until the present, surfboard shapers all over the world were ready to comply with any surfer’s views on flipper placement systems on the surfboard.
Of course, that entailed glued-in fins. Though having an aesthetically better appearance, these systems have almost disappeared due to the introduction of removable fins.
That’s because no one could deny their disadvantages compared to removable surfboard stabilizers.
First, you cannot adopt them to any type of wave. Secondly, they are hard to repair.
Moreover, their breakage can cause damage to the whole surfboard. At last, they aren’t convenient to move during surf hiking.
Leaders among Removable Fins
All these disadvantages of glued-in fins on surfboards have become advantages of removable systems. And it’s not surprising that surfboard removable fins are the most common type today.
There are some leaders in surfboard production that are well-known in surfers’ circles. First of all, these are Futures, Rainbow, and FCS.
Futures produce flipper systems for surfboards including an embedded box that allows fin fixture according to different schemes, with a surfboard stabilizer adjusted with a single screw.
Rainbow is an analog of Futures with a smaller box for adjustment. That allows decreasing the weight of the whole surfboard and this matters much…
FCS is a surfboard alternative to Futures and Rainbow. The fixture is carried out without screws.
Fins are adjusted into the box with two jags.
From Classic to Innovations
The three fin systems have become a classic. But today, you can find more innovative fin solutions on the surfboard market.
ProBox, LokBox, and 4 Way Fin System are among them.
It is a patented system of adjustment allowing moving fins forward and backward as well as changing the cant.
Alongside with the ability to vary the style of riding, such an adjustment gives extra flex to the flipper. The adjustment is carried out much easier than in the case with Futures and FCS.
The whole surfboard system is presented by (1) a V-shaped fin base for a maximum compression that can fit if desired, (2) the cant inserts with colored marks on them for easier modification of the angle, (3) stainless steel screws to fix the flipper base, (4) an Allen key to tighten the screws, and (5) an installation jig to lock the whole surfboard system.
ProBox offers fins of its own due to the special shape of a surfboard base. So, if you have fins left after your previous experience of Futures or FCS, you may just throw them out.
Taking into account this displeasing matter, most surfers don’t consider the easier adjustment such an advantage. It hasn’t gained much popularity as the next system described below.
The key peculiarity of this system is the ability to move the fin forward and backward. There are several spare inches for doing this.
For what? It works perfectly in a surfboard setup, especially, a thruster.
Yes, the company has provided systems for different combinations.
Well, if you want to loosen the tail, you may close up the flippers, and on the contrary, if you want to tighten it, just spread them out. It gives more flex to the stabilizer and allows you to loosen or tighten the tail to adopt your surfboard to different styles of riding.
If you need to tighten the surfboard, you can change the cant that may also contribute to high performance riding at different waves quality. So you needn’t buy several different surfboards and lug them with you from spot to spot.
The box of the system is glassed in to make the whole system stronger without extra weight. Moreover, if you drag the fin onto the reef, for example, the box will be safe.
And though the company offers fins of their own shape and configuration, you can also adopt those of Futures or FCS to LokBoxes.
That lets you experiment even more with different types and systems of flippers. So, it saves your money as well.
4 Way Fin System
It is the latest innovation in the field of removable fin systems.
Many surfers have already appreciated their advantages and they have reasonably awarded them with the reputation of being more advanced on today’s market of removable stabilizers.
This system has found its greater application in setups. And the system has four variants of adjustment modifications.
Like ProBox and LokBox, the flippers are also movable but not only forward and backward but also sideways. They also allow making changes to the cant and even to the toe.
You may toe-in to increase the maneuverability of your surfboard and toe-out to gain extra speed.
The whole system of adjustment resembles that used on snowboards. The system determines not only the flipper placement but also its stable position in all three dimensions.
Since the early introduction of fins on surfboards (first glued-in systems), surfers have known that they shouldn’t cause problems since they’ve been created to solve or at least minimize them.
So, if you feel excellent on your surfboard and think well of its flippers, you don’t need to shift to another system. And still, if your stabilizer behavior disturbs you, try another experience choosing, maybe, one suggested in this article.
If not satisfied with the result, you may always go back to your Futures or FCS.