Switch Your Fins and Change Your Ride
If you are unsure about the performance of a particular surfboard, then you should consider trying some new surfboard fins. This is by far the easiest way to change the performance of a surfboard under your feet. The longer you surf in life, the greater chance that your style will change and evolve. You may start surfing different breaks, gain weight, lose weight, or start to feel your equipment losing life. Whichever the case, alternating fin templates is one of the more cost efficient options you have to experience a new ride. Surfscience offers a few ideas to encourage you.
Test Drive Center
Both FCS and Futures have installed “test drive centers” at various dealers around the country to encourage fin experimentation. For a small deposit you can take any set on the display stand out in the water to explore their capabilities. Will it match your style? Do they perform well in typical local conditions? Do they work well with your favorite surfboard? Do the work well with your back-up surfboard? Both FCS and Futures websites show you where to find dealers with test centers.
Rent a set
The Surfboard Warehouse has the perfect solution for anyone concerned over the cost of new fins. Rent them for as long as you like! The folks there created a Netflix inspired program that allows surfers to select three different fins sets they wish to try. You receive one set at a time, surf it all you want for as long as you want and then return it in the pre-paid envelope provided for you. There is no limit to the number of fins you can try and you can change your list of three fin sets at any time. The service cost recently dropped to $9.99 per month, making this a truly revolutionary program.
Expand your own collection in a smart way
When it comes to finding the right fins to fit your style, forward thinking shaper Tim Bessell of Bessell Surfboards in La Jolla, California suggests building your collection in a strategic manner.
“Surfers need to pick a fin system and buy a small set, a medium set, and a large set and just start playing around with them,” explains Bessell. “Just three sets, that’s what they need to do. Obviously on a bigger wave, you’ll need a bigger fin. And you want more of a pivot fin in the back and more of a driving fin in your front because you’re driving off the front. So you need more rake in the front, less rake in the back in. Those are the general theories.”
It really makes sense to diversify your fin collection at home for different wave conditions and different boards. No two boards ride alike and the same can be said for fins. If you continually mix and match fins with your quiver then you have a countless number of unique rides. SurfScience will continue to arm you with the information needed to make informed decisions about fin design. Whatever method you use to experiment, you will learn more and surf better.