Do you want to improve on the surfboard? Are you an intermediate or advanced level surfer and don’t know how to level up? The answer to all these questions is the  fins . Those little fins that go under the board will become your best ally if you want to advance your career as a surfer.

This kind of  shark fin may seem small when compared to the  surfboard itself , but don’t be fooled, it totally changes the use and performance of a surfboard, especially once you get past the beginner level.

The fins are important because they are the device that gives your surfboard stability , control and direction . They help you maintain speed and “cut” through the water in a way that would be impossible on a board without these fins.

How to choose surfboard fins

When choosing the fins for your surfboard, you should start by choosing a size, and this depends on the weight. Once you have chosen the size, you can now move on to the issue of fin configuration . In the following table you can see the keel size that would correspond to you according to your weight:

SizeWeight (kg)
XSless than 55
Lover 75
XLover 85

As you can see, there are some sizes that overlap, but that is because not everyone surfs the same. There are more advanced surfers who do not need large fins to move fluidly, since they exert more force on the board.

Fin configuration

Once you have decided on the size of the fins, you need to know which  fin configuration  you are going to use. To do this, keep an eye on the base of your surfboard in the tail area.

The number of holes you see is probably the fin configuration you are going to use (usually it is between 1 and 5 fins). The most typical keel configurations  are:

  • Single (one keel): gives greater stability, control and movement prediction.
  • Twin (double keel): higher speed, longer turns.
  • Thruster (three fins, two in front and one in back): greater stability, control and maneuverability. It is the most typical configuration.
  • Quad  (four fins): more speed in small waves, give more stability in big waves.

Some boards are equipped with five holes so you can mix and match fins, but more and more boards are coming equipped with a single hole for a longboard fin and two side holes for smaller fins, a configuration known as a 2+1 .

What type of fin is best for you?

The best way to know which fin will work best for you is to try different sets. Start by knowing what type of waves you are going to ride and the style of surfing you practice.

If you’re a beginner and aren’t sure which setup to use yet, the Thruster  might be a good choice to start with. If you can change it, try other settings to see which one best suits your style.