In the sport of stand up paddle surfing, not all equipment is created equal. It’s important to choose the right SUP paddle, board, and accessories depending on the type of SUP surfing you will be doing and where you will be doing your fiber paddles.
While there are plenty of articles and paddle reviews on paddle board paddles describing and critiquing the latest carbon fiber paddles, racing paddles, and fiberglass paddles for sale – and there is even more information available about the board itself – there is very little information around about how to choose the right fin or fins for your board. Fins are essential to the sport of paddleboard surfing both to help the surfer keep his balance and to cut through the layers of kelp and other thick marine plant life that tends to lie just beneath the surface.
paddleboard surfing fins must suit the environment in which you plan to surf and the style you plan to use. If you love old school nose riding or shortboard surfing, you will need a different set of fins than if you are planning a channel crossing or a coastal exploration expedition. Some of the most popular paddleboard surfing fins are single fins, quad fins, thruster fins, and racing fins. Each has its own specific purpose with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Single fins are the most simplistic fin set up, both easy to install and, generally, cheap. Single fins are great for nose riding, as they help to keep the rear end of the board steady and stable while you play on the tip. Single fins can be used in practically any entry-level style of paddleboard surfing including channel crossing, exploring, and surfing itself. They serve the primary purposes of fins well, and don’t delve too deeply into any niches, which can get expensive.
If channel crossing is your thing, you’ll want to use a fin that is as deep as possible to minimize balance issues and maximize the stability of your board. Because channel crossing is focused on distance, you need to expend as much of your energy as possible on getting to your destination and as little as possible on staying on your feet. In channel crossing, waves, currents, and velocity are usually not that much of an issue.
For surfing, you need a shorter fin that is just long enough to add balance to your board but not long enough to inhibit your maneuverability in any way. When paddleboard surfing large waves and peaks, a deep fin will only get in the way and prevent you from fulfilling your fullest potential.
Racing fins have a slightly more specialized design than most regular fins and can be quite expensive. These are designed to keep the board as straight as possible so that the racer can focus on his paddling.
Try out different fins on your board and see what best suits your style and method. If you find you are a better paddle boarder with quad fins or thruster fins, by all means use them.
Chris Gutzeit is the co-founder of Carbonerro Inc., a Stand up paddle surfing company offering a range paddles for sale for the SUP surfing enthusiast. If you found this article about SUP paddle surfing helpful you might like to visit http://www.Carbonerro.com where you’ll find more great information about SUP paddling.