What are side fins used for? Do I need side fins?
Our Tower paddle boards ship with a SUP center fin and two Futures brand side fins. All of our Tower hardtop SUP's have future fin boxes. We include the side fin boxes to give you flexibility depending on how you want to use your board-- lake, ocean, surf, river, etc. Side fins are used primarily for increasing maneuverability when surfing or increasing traction for heavier riders. When using your stand up paddle board for surfing waves, it's recommended to have two side fins for increased traction and planing speed along the water. These two side fins will make sure that even when you are pivoting on a wave, or turning on a rail, at least one fin remains in the water at all times to prevent your board from slipping out. When surfing with a single fin, your board may slip (lose traction) when turning if your center fin exits the water and you lose traction.
If you find your board is snaking back and forth more than you like in the water (where you're having to switch paddling sides more often than you like), you can correct this to a large degree with the instillation of the two additional side fins. Another easy fix to this problem is to replace the center fin with a big rudder-like fin. On our Tower boards we use a futures fin box. By design, a future fin box is a much better mounting solution for thick SUP boards.