How to Choose a Surfboard : Tips for How Surfboard Fins & Tails Work


BRIAN FIELDS: Hey how’s it going, I’m Brian
Fields here at the Aussie Island in Wilmington North Carolina. We’re here on behalf of Expert
Village. I’m here to talk to you about picking out a surfboard and what you can do to help
take care of it in the meantime. Okay now we’re talking about tails of boards and also
the fins. This is what we call a swallowtail. A lot of times you’ll see them on a fish such
as this one. You also see them though on a longboard, fun boards or shortboards as well.
Usually a board with a swallow, they’ll range–this is a very pretty good size swallowtail. They
can be smaller as well, usually allow a board a little looser. If I turn this board around
here, this is what we’re going to call a quad fin. Quad because of four fins as you see.
And the fins in many boards can come right out. This is what you call future system where
unscrew this and the fin can pull right out. Boards also can be glassed with glass tin
fins that way to give them little more support not as much flexibility. Right here you have
another swallowtail but when I turn this board around you’ll see it only has–well it has
a slot for four fins as well. Some people might choose to only put two in and that’s
what you’d call a twin fin. So anytime you hear somebody talking about a twin fin, you’ll
only going to have two fins rather than four, three or one. Two fins, what it’s going to
do is it’s going to be a little looser than say a board with three fins, allow you to
skate around a little bit easier. Okay then here is a standard shortboard, when I flip
it over–okay this what we refer to as a thruster–a majority of shortboards are thrusters meaning
three fins. You can see this one’s a future setup also, it hasn’t been put in yet but
pop your fins in and you’re ready to go. The tail right here, this is what you’re going
to call a rounded pintail, it’s just a regular pintail would come to a more of a point. You
might find that on more of a gun whereas a rounded pin, it’s going to let you–give you
a little more hold in the wave as you’re getting down that line. So good tail for around here
and pretty much anywhere you’re going to go and travel on a shortboard. Another shortboard
right here, thruster as well, three fins. When I flip it over, you can see the tail
rounded edges but a little more squared off, that’s what we call squash tail, that’s kinda
stereotypical tail. You’ll see that on I’d say probably the majority of surfboards especially
shortboards you see that is, like I say squash tail, good tail. A lot of the tails are just
going to come down to the preference of the surfer, what you like, how “skatey” you like
your board to feel or how tight you want it to hold. All I can say is preference of the
surfer right there.

22 thoughts on “How to Choose a Surfboard : Tips for How Surfboard Fins & Tails Work”

  1. dude i bought my booties and gloves from them

    its a pretty nice shop so good people there too, the owner was giving away free hot dogs

  2. The guy says a lot of words, but there is really no content to what he is saying. Who is this video for? I don't think a beginner could sleuth-out a thing from his blither.

  3. …sorry fella,
    Im not trying to be disrespectful, but you dont have a clue what your talking about

    Im a custom board builder (not only a shaper) from 22 years in a row
    and you talk but dont say nothing about the design interaction between fins and board
    also you have a bunch of machined boards right there
    go ahead and support a real shaper (not a guy who only finish machined shapes)
    if you dont have a real shaper on your area
    try to find out one

  4. …continue

    there s really good shapers, designers crew and boardbuilders around the globe
    may be you re a good surfer and a nice person
    but you guys prejudice real surfing and surfboards

  5. …my response was to what the guy in the video say about tails and fins–nuthin
    …Rusty and the others big names dont shape surfboards from years
    also they dont surf; most barely stand up in a board. Yes, you can obtain a shape similar to K S but that shape doesnt works for most
    this industry is not so big and better to keep it cottage (for the surfers) like others industries.

  6. I prefer to order a board from a guy who developt an specific type of shape (+ fins)for over 30 or 40 years and not rely on the mags propaganda. There s more than 3 fins, 4, 5, etc. what type of fins, flexibility, set up, position, shape, etc + the interaction between the tail rocker, tail area, tail outline and volume distro, etc. If you get one of those KS clones, you cant tweak those variables. If you work with a shaper who understand about design and can surf, youll have good boards

  7. …a pro guy have a bunch of boards (yes, from the "great" machine)but most doesnt work; When the guy find one that works he pick up it and left the others so lots of boards (machined and handshaped)are leave alone in the dark to grab only a few. whats great with that and the machine? its all marketing fella for ex. you named KS, well all know with what board he won several titles the other year (a S Anderson shape but without logos..)

  8. …check these real shapers/boardbuilders if you like: for FISH: S Lis, R Pavel, S Brom, S Pendarvis (Frye doesnt count cause he shapes for friends, now). large waves: C Christenson, S Coletta, M Junod. Shortboards: G Griffin, S Anderson, Mckee(for quads), M Daniels(Coil) M Cole: LongBoards: J Phillips, G Cooper. Hulls: G Liddle and a long etc
    25 years of surfing and 22 building boards with industry Knowledge from several countries round the globe here

  9. …hello, read all the other comments that I did to figuring out what I m talking about

    also, English is not my first language

  10. Yeah, ive been testing both ways and gotta say Ive got a lot more stability with the 2+1.
    Moved my middle fin forward more in line with the thrusters and changed the whole feel. Suppose its the type of waves too

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