As the whole crew here at Yakwax are keen surfers we like to experiment with our equipment on a regular basis which leads us to messing around with our fin setups quite a lot.
We feel that the surfboard fin is still such an undervalued surfing product and not many people realised how a good or different set of surfboard fins can turn a surfboard from a sluggish piece of junk into a fast buttery high performance machine.
There are 2 main types of fin system out there at the moment which are dominating the market of removable surfboard fin systems they are FCS Fins and Future Fins, we are going to take a look at the pair of them right now and check out their features. Remember you must have the right fin system installed on your board to use their fins so if you have FCS plugs on your board then you can use FCS Fins but NOT Future fins and vice versa, if you have Future fin boxes on your board you can only use future fins.
FCS is the pioneer and without a doubt the leading fin system in the surfboard industry right now. The way their system is constructed is by having 2 tabs coming out the bottom of each fin which slot into the fin system holes on your surfboard. They are then tightened and secured to your board using an Allen key which is also known as an FCS fin key and grub screws which go into the fin and securing it in place.
FCS have a monster range of fins for every type of board you can imagine, thrusters, twin fins, quad fins, single fins, longboard fins, bonza fins... They cover every type of fin there is.
They have a number of pro models out there including 11 time world champion Kelly Slater who has significant input and design when it comes to his own signature model fins which currently are the K2.1 and K3.
They also have some of the best shapers on the planet with their own fin designs so you will always find the right fin for you.
They come in various constructions and surfer weight models, which affect the flex pattern of the fin allowing it to perform differently in various conditions for each individual surfer.
The different constructions are as follows, UL (ultra light), CC (Composite Core), PC (Performance Core), PG (Performance Glass) and GF (Glass Flex). Each of these material constructions act in a unique and different way no matter whether its a shortboard fin or the longboard fins range.
Future fins, compared to FCS are the new kids on the block but have hit the ground running with their innovative and high performance designs.
Not only do Futures provide some insanely amazing fins but they add the fun factor back into surfboard fins with things like coloured fin boxes and funky fin designs and sprays.
One look at their team riders list and you will know they are to be taken extremely seriously with the likes of Jordy Smith, Rob Machado, John John Florence, Clay Marzo, Dave Rastavich (Rasta), Michel Bourez, Brett Simpson, Ry Craike, Shane Dorian, Alejo Muniz, Craig Anderson and Alan Blanchard.
The way in which future fins work is different to FCS with how the attach to your board. Instead of fitting two tabs into the board the entire base of the fin sits within the surfboard allowing it full flex like a glass in fin would have.
The back of the fin goes in first and sits under a latch, then it is all the way in you push down on the front part of the fin and then secure it with a single grub screw using an Allen key or Future fin key.