longboard fin size

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longboard fin size

Postby rask » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:53 pm

I am a beginner with 9"1' board, which has a 7 inch single fin. I know this is too small so am buying a new one, and need advice. I am just at the stage of standing up on the board and just want a basic fin that will help me catch waves, not really after performance, more like stability and control. Any recommendations on single fin size and placement (forward or back)? is 9" a safe bet? what about rake and base width?
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby onefinleary » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:02 pm

Well my advice would be to step away from the 9'1" and get a board right for learning on. Get a 7'6"-8'6" mini mall that has three fins and rails that are forgiving for learners turning ability.

It's all well and good wanting to understand the principals of surfing but whilst you're learning just forget about the science of rake and fin size et al.

Driving instructors teach people to learn to drive in Ford Fiestas and Renault Clios for a reason. If they rocked up in an F1 car and then you were wondering if the reason you didn't do your 3-point-turn was because there wasn't enough down force...

Right tools for the right job and all that stuff... :roll:
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby rask » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:05 pm

Thanks for the reply, most of the other advice i have had up to now suggests that a 9'1" with single fin is a good setup for learning on . Big board= easier to catch waves on, single fin= control, rather than speed and drive from 3 fins? It would be great to be able to have a go on different board sizes to compare but i'm not really in the position to do that. Given that i've got a 9'1 for the moment, what would you recommend about fin size and shape..?
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby onefinleary » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:07 pm

Well who ever told you that learning on a single fin is the way to go is not probably the best people to take any future advice from. :roll:

Yes, the bigger board the more volume and glide into the wave but longboards are usually highly refined boards that need a good set of skills to go with them. Yes, you will catch a wave sooner but you won't be able to turn it to the same level as a minimal 3-fin set-up [especially on the backside turns]. You will also find it much more difficult to paddle it out through the white-water onto the green faces.

If you really want to stick with it get yourself quite an upright fin that's about 8.5 - 9" deep.

Seriously would recommend you trade it in for a mini-mal though. The minimal will last you two+ years whilst you get your basic skills honed then you can decide to move to a shorter board or take up longboarding.
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby rask » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:29 pm

Ok thanks for the advice, maybe i'll start looking around for something a bit shorter...
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby rask » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:50 pm

or what about fitting it with sidefins...?
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby onefinleary » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:06 pm

rask wrote:Ok thanks for the advice, maybe i'll start looking around for something a bit shorter...


Remember it's not about going shorter. It's about it being a little 'de-tuned' so that everything is that little bit more comfortable to learn and progress on.


rask wrote:or what about fitting it with sidefins...?


If it is a 2+1 setup [one big fin in the middle and two smaller side-biters] then pop the two fins back in and stick with the size fin you already half. That would make life a little easier for you and you could probably stick with the board you have.
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby Jory » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:21 pm

i wouldn't bother buying a mini mal, you should learn fine on a 9'1. i did a lot of learning from the stand up & go along the wave point onwards on a single fin 9'1! 7 inch is fine if you put the small side fins in, 9 inch, any shape would be fine as a single. I don't think it matters whether it's single or 3 fin, it took me a few years of surfing to be able to feel the difference between the two set ups on the same board.

a very basic rule of thumb is, the more height & area of fin you have, the more stable the board will be in a straight line but the harder it will be to turn. the further back the fin is in the box the more stable the board is but will turn slower.

Incidentally i'd say mini mals are sometimes harder to paddle out back as you probably aren't at the stage of duckdiving yet & you have way more paddle speed with the longboard.

Course ask 10 surfers a question & you'll get 10 different answers

Any pics of your board
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby rask » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:28 am

Jory wrote:Incidentally i'd say mini mals are sometimes harder to paddle out back as you probably aren't at the stage of duckdiving yet & you have way more paddle speed with the longboard.


Definitely not duckdiving, but my turtle roll is coming along nicely
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby skimmer2 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:28 pm

9 1 is fine size to learn on.....unless you are really light and small - will be a bugger to carry around and sometimes a pain in the ass to mess around in the water when you are learning...cumbersome. But they are stable and easy to learn pop ups on - especially if you are heavier built. That's what I found anyway.
As for fins....I found 2+1 easier and more stable but a single fin more fun and a bit looser...so not as stable at first.

However, saying all that, after some more thinking and quite a few surfs which left me fed up, I'm getting a slightly progressive custom 8ft minimal made for me just now. My longboard is a plastic jobby and weighs a ton and I don't really like it much.....did the job when I started though so I won't knock it too much.
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby errantsurf » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:33 pm

rask wrote:I am a beginner with 9"1' board, which has a 7 inch single fin. I know this is too small so am buying a new one, and need advice. I am just at the stage of standing up on the board and just want a basic fin that will help me catch waves, not really after performance, more like stability and control. Any recommendations on single fin size and placement (forward or back)? is 9" a safe bet? what about rake and base width?


Hey,

Ok, board size is fine, esp if you want to continue longboarding. The fin is a little small, you will only notice its a little small when you start to turn on slightly bigger waves and the fin will not have enough surface area and your slide out a lot (great for helicopters!!!!).

A fin is not going to help or hinder catching a wave, thats down to your paddling, trim and board volume. I don't think you're at the stage where it will make a massive difference to size of fin, and where its placed. So probably a good idea to go 9" fin placed in the middle of the box. As you get better you can slide the fin forward (makes the board loser, but harder to stay in trim while nose riding), or backwards which will stifen the board (great for nose riding, but will "bite" more when turning).

Hope that helps :-)
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby flacky » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:24 pm

General rule of thumb is an inch of fin per foot of board.

I personally find that cos I'm a little heavy, I need a bigger fin.

I push quite hard on my turns and smaller fins tend to slide out for me. My 9'4 is a pretty heavy board and it came with a massive 11.5" fin pivot style on it! I had a 10" squirrel but I never bothered with it as the one time I tried it I was convinced I'd overload it on a bottom turn and snap the thing! Different boards suit different fins.

I've also got a 9'2" pintail which came with a 7" cutaway and sidebites, but found I didn't get much drive out of the cutaway so went for a 9" dolphin fin, pretty upright and it is great for me with the sidebites, I've also just bought a 10" nineplus flexidrive to use as a single on it.

I agree that a 9ft plus single fin isn't ideal to learn on, as they are not easy to surf, your movements have to be smooth and precise, and it's also a hefty board to be messing about in the water with. But I wouldn't worry about swapping it just yet, especially with summer coming up!

I'm a firm believer that if it doesn't looks right, it probably isn't, A photo of the board or a description might help too.
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby surfer70 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:55 pm

it sounds like you have looked into this quite a bit regarding fins. too large a fin will cause drag, but also the quality of the fin can have an effect on the board too, too small will make you lose the stability you want. a good quality 9-10" fin would be fin for trimming along the wave. It would also pay to know what the waves are like in your area, small and mush or fast breaking point waves as this will obviously have a bearing on what you want as far as the board goes. A 9'1" board is a good size for trimming, but again there is a huge variety of boards in this size. if you are struggling with you surfing think about what it is about the board that is holding you back, is it too loose, does it feel too heavy or too light, etc. then talk to someone local who has a good knowledge of boards such as local shaper or a good surf shop and get their opinion.
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Re: longboard fin size

Postby Malibulongboards » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:29 pm

Normally, single fins should match the board size. So 9 foot matches with 9 inch fin.
Good luck!
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