Whether you just picked up your new board, or want to spice up an old reliable one, the right fin makes all the difference!
With so many styles of fins, it can feel overwhelming when tasked with finding the right one for you.
We asked our friends over at Captain Fin Co. to lend their expertise to help demystify the topic and they shared with us three steps to choosing the right surf fin (for longboards and mid lengths. at least!).
Start here: How do you want to surf?
When choosing a fin, start by considering the type of surfing you want to do. Noseriding generally calls for a taller and more upright “Pivot” fin like the Seea 9.5 Pivot.
These types of fins are designed to give you stability and speed down the line. They are generally favorable in classic pintails or boards with wide square tails. The stability you get from a large Pivot fin is great for noseriding, because it gives you that "locked-in” predictable feel.
If a more squirrely, sparky, feel is what you’re after, you’ll want a more raked design like the Seea 8.5 Raked fin.
The “rake” refers to how far the front edge of the fin arcs backwards. More rake means the fin is designed for more drawn out turns. These fins work great in more maneuverable longboards and midlengths. They are also great for when the waves are larger or more powerful and you need to harness speed instead of generate it.
It’s good to keep in mind that much like boards, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fin choice. A lot of great surfers often swap out fin sizes and styles depending on the waves and how they want to surf.
What size fin is right for you?
The number of feet in length your board is should at least roughly correspond with the inches of length the fin is.
For example, a 9’6” log with a wide tail would likely benefit from a 9.5” Pivot fin, especially if you’re looking for a balanced, predictable feel down the line and stability when walking to the nose. That larger fin, upright and very wide, helps to control such a big board. If you were riding a 8’2” single fin however, something in the 8.25” flex fin category would be a better fit as the board will already track in the water naturally. This smaller, more raked fin choice, would add a degree of looseness while bottom turning and doing cutbacks.
Where should you position your fin?
Now you have your fin selected, but where do you want to position it in that long single fin slot?
While it’s hard to beat actually trying different set ups and seeing what feels best for you, the general rule of thumb is that placing a fin more forward in the fin slot results in a looser feel. Further back is generally a bit stiffer feeling and offers more hold in steeper faced waves.
Overall, these are just guidelines and it’s hard to know what the perfect fin for your board is until you’ve tried it, so don’t be afraid to experiment and learn firsthand what you like in different conditions!
Love our collab fins? Enter a giveaway to win both fins, the Seea x Captain Fin Co. collab leash, and a Sydney Yulex wetsuit! Contest closes December 18, 2022.