THE SURFER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST REMOVABLE FIN SYSTEMS TODAY written by: John Daniel
While the origins of surfing are largely unknown, historians can confirm that it was a highly sacred sport in Polynesian islands, so much so that priests were designated to pray for good surf conditions before avid surfers could go out and catch the perfect wave. Not only was surfing a popular sport, it was a way to keep chiefs in top physical condition and also served as a way to resolve conflicts among tribes through competitions that designated a clear winner. Although it did experience a slight decline in the 19th century, surfing was popularized on the beaches of Australia and the USA by several veterans and has since become one of the best loved sports in the world.
Checkout this video on the history of fin systems.
Surfboard technology has been becoming increasingly sophisticated over the years ever since the introduction of the first modern mass produced surfboard. The decades have seen the introduction of the hollow, hot curl, balsa, fiberglass, commercial, sausage and finally, the one we use today, the shortboard. Fin technology was introduced around this time, to increase the stability of the surfboard. Prior to the introduction of fin technology, surfers had to control the stability of the board by dragging one foot in the water which was no easy task. However, surfing’s increasing popularity led to the development of first, glass on fins and ultimately, the highly efficient removable fins that we have today.
Removable Fin Systems
Removable fins existed as far back as the early 1930s but were very basic in design and surfers did not have much variety to choose from. A surfboard fin is simply a hydrofoil that is attached to the tail of a surfboard to help surfers direct the board in their desired direction and also to improve stability while surfing. Fins come in many different shapes and sizes and may be attached singly or in multiples to the tail of a board. The most common types of fins uses today are the removable fin systems, which can be unscrewed from the tail of a surfboard and rearranged in a different configuration or replaced with other types of fins in order to increase maneuverability. Today’s removable fin systems are high tech, user friendly and aesthetically pleasing and were brought to us thanks to the innovations of the two most important companies in the removable fin market i.e. Fin Control System (FCS) and Futures Fins.
FCS – Fin Control Systems – History
The FCS removable fin system was developed and patented in the early 1990s by Australian Brian Whitty and quickly became one of the most popular surf products globally. It is a favorite with surf world title winners and has been used in countless surf contests around the world. The premise of the FCS removable fin system is simple; easy maneuverability through the use of multiple fins. The fin system can be used in a tri, quad or five fin setup in order to improve and change the direction and stability of a board. Depending on a surfer’s preference, there are options to change the fore and aft positioning of the fin for better control. FCS has several fin system ranges including the FCS origin, FCS X-2, FCS Longboard, FCS fusion and most recently, FCS II. All these ranges are designed to cater to the needs of all surfers, regardless of whether they are just starting out, are experienced veteran or are award winning professionals. FCS fins sale are available for sale at many physical surf shops as well as online surfing stores.
Futures Fins – Copy Cat Competitor
Futures Fins is a California based company known for its innovative approach to removable surf fin technology. Since the company is based right next to the water on Huntingdon beach, all new inventions are tested to the maximum to ensure surfers get the best performance out of futures fins systems. Futures Fins offerings to surfers includes Fin boxes, which are removable fin systems that allow for 60% more attachment than regular plug-ins, and several high performance foils including the V2, V, Tow, and Flat foils. Fins come with two different flex styles i.e. BLackstix and Techflex which influence the directional movement of the surfboard. With over 700 products to offer customers, Futures Fins is one of the premier removable fin systems suppliers globally.
Advantages of using Removable Fin Systems
Removable fin systems have several advantages to offer surfer generally and in comparison to glassed on fin systems. These include:
Glass on fin systems are notorious for their ability to damage the entire surfboard if you encounter a barrier or crash into another surfer in the ocean. This means that once your fin breaks, you can pretty much say goodbye to your board because you will likely never be able to use it again. On the other hand, if you experience the same accident with removable fins, only the fins are likely to be affected as they are designed to come off in such an eventuality which makes for a much more durable board.
With many removable fin systems coming with up to six adjustable fins, surfers have never had an easier type maneuvering their boards in the ocean. In addition to providing multiple fin options, some systems even allow surfers to vary the direction of their fins for greater stability in the water. This particular feature may explain why all the world surfing contests except one have been won with a removable fin surfboard since the late 1990s.
Before the advent of removable fin systems, surfers often had to have more than one board on hand to serve as a backup in case the other one broke and also to allow them to explore more speed, rotation and stability options. With the introduction of multi fin removable systems, surfers now have the option to test for all these variables just by changing the number or direction of fins without having to spend any more money to buy and maintain multiple boards.
To say that removable fin systems have revolutionalised surfing is an understatement. Ever since the introduction of these systems, surfers have experienced safer surfing, greater speed and control, financial savings and myriad other benefits. With the hundreds of options available today, each surfer has the opportunity to pick the right fin system for maximum enjoyment in the water.