About the Salty Longboard SUP Fin by Futures
The 10.25 Salty longboard SUP fin is a great all around single center
fin. Its reminiscent of the large glassed on center fins used on the
original longboard, nose riding boards. The large surface area and upright shape
of this classic wood grained fin helps hold the tail while SUP nose riding and
allows for long steady turning arcs while surfing. Its not the easiest
fin for turning on a dime and doing shortboard maneuvers, but thats kind
of the point.
In the flat water stand up paddle boarding, the massive depth and width of
this center fin act as a sort of rudder and thus produces great flat water tracking.
Its got more drag than sleeker racing
SUP fins or downwind
SUP fins, but if youre willing to sacrifice a little speed youve
got a great all around SUP fin.
Longboard Fin Configuration
The longboard fin configuration was the original fin configuration
for surfing back in the day. Before this, they actually used boards without
any fins, which had little control at all of course. Youd find people
dragging a toe for steering. Scary! While youll rarely see a single fin
configuration on smaller surfboards today, a good number of longboarders use
a single fin configuration (which is why its termed a longboard fin configuration).
A lot of basic SUPs come with a single fin configuration.
In a single SUP fin configuration, the fin acts as a single, central pivot
point. The longer (from front to back) and the deeper the single fin, the more
drag but also (in general) the more control youll have. If you have a
really wide, deep fin, it can start to inhibit turning, which is great for flat
water paddling but not so ideal for performance standup paddle surfing. The
more upright the fin is the tighter the turning radius you will have when stand
up paddle surfing. The more raked the fin (the more angled/arched back), the
more control you will have at high speeds.
Stand Up Paddle Board Fin Selection
No matter if youre flat water paddling or SUP surfing, or a little
bit of both, it will pay great dividends to give some serious consideration
to what fins youre using. Most low-end SUP boards come with only a single,
generic, cheap plastic long board fin. Upgrading your fins is the easiest way
to really transform the performance of your stand up paddle board, and with
a couple sets of fins you can suit your board for great flat water paddling
one day and SUP surfing another.
Often times lower end SUP boards dont even have more than one fin box
so your options are limited. Most high-end SUP boards, and especially paddle
surfing boards, will have flexible fin configurations such as a 5-fin configuration.
At the very least, most surfing SUPs should have a 2+1 fin box configuration,
which will let you set up your board as a thruster (3 larger, equal size fins),
a 2 + 1 (larger longboard fin in the middle with smaller side bites on the sides),
or just a single longboard fin configuration. For flat water paddling, the most
important concerns are typically drag and tracking. For surfing, there are a
lot more variables and choices to suit the different preferences of SUP surfers.
The first thing you need to determine is what type of fins will fit
in your board. The center fin box on all SUPs is a standard longboard fin box.
Any longboard fin, regardless of the brand will fit in these center boxes. The
flanking fin boxes are another story. These will either be Futures
SUP Fins boxes or FCS fin boxes, and you have to get the same brand fins
as you have boxes so youre choices are set by how your board was manufactured.
Fins are removable, so you can swap out one style of fin for another, so long
as you stick with the correct brand on the side fin boxes.
When it comes to SUP surfing, there are lots of SUP fin options to choose from:
- Longboard single fin set-up
- Classic 2 + 1 SUP fin set-up (also called tri-fin set-up)
- Thruster fin set-up
- Twin fin set-up
- Quad fin set-up
Often times with one small change, you can dramatically affect the performance
of your stand up paddle board.
About Futures Fins
For stand up paddle boards, for the time being, Futures Fins are clearly the
better fin system. While their fin technology is cutting edge, this has less
to do with their actual fins than it has to do with their fin boxes. In contrast
to FCS fin
boxes, which are installed after a board is glassed, Futures Fins are installed
pre-glassing. The Futures Fins boxes have a flange around the box that serves
as an anchor point adhering to the glassing layer (similar to how a kitchen
sink has a flange that sits on and adheres to the counter top). FCS fin boxes,
alternatively, are two little pillars that are inset into the board post-glassing
a hole is cut and the plug is put in. On surfboards, the FCS boxes span
the thickness of the surfboard and attach to the top and bottom of the board.
Unfortunately, on stand up paddle boards (which are far thicker), the FCS anchor
pillars just sort of float in space in the foam. Its not an ideal design,
yet youll find these types of FCS fin boxes on an alarming number of
SUPs because FCS has been around a longer time in overseas manufacturing. On
stand up paddle boards, we insist on using Futures Fins boxes in our manufacturing
and incur extra costs to do so to ensure greater product durability.
Futures Fins also seat into the fin boxes a little differently. The box they
fit into is basically a box with a catch point in the rear. You slide the fin
base into this box around the catch and then rotate the front down into the
box. A front screw secures the fin base. When fully seated, the result looks
similar to a glassed on fin. Alternatively on FCS
fins the fin box is two attachment points. The FCS fin base
is two prongs that fit into these two boxes. A side angled screw secures each
attachment point separately. The result is a fin that sits on top of the board
a bit and isnt always flush, and thus can potentially snag stuff in the
water. While FCS is unquestionably the pioneer in modern day detachable fins,
this isnt a great design.