Fins | The Basic Guide

Choose the right set up for you!

Having the right fins on your surfboard will make a huge difference to the feel, stability, drive and manoeuvrability of your board. A perfect pairing will help you push your surfing.

To work out a good fin configuration for you, examine the base of a surfboard near the tail. The number of fin boxes you see will likely range from one to five. The most common surfboard fin setups are Single, Tawin, Thruster and Quad.

So whatever stage you’re at, here’s a quick and easy guide to help you find the best fin set-up for you.

Please note:
This is just a guide. Always go and seek advice from your local surf store or shaper about what would be best for you!

 Single Fin Surf Board

Single Fin Surf Board

Single Fin (1 x fin)
Normally the set-up of a longboard.
The fin provides stability and control; perfect for long-line rides, but will reduce loose movement like sweeping turns and straight-line charges.


Twin Fin (2 x fins)
Twin-fin boards are harder to control in large waves but offer good manoeuvrability in smaller conditions. They are usually found on shortboards and ‘fish’ because the two-fin set-up encourages speed.


Thruster (3 x fins)
This is the most common set-up and found on all kinds of boards.
Performs well under most conditions and offers a nice stable and manoeuvrable feel.
A thruster set-up is the go-to choice for most shapers.


Quad fin (4 x fins)
A quad set up offers speed in smaller surf. It works by channeling the water to the end of the board and out the tail for acceleration. Two fins near the rails of your board will also help with stability and hold when surfing bigger waves. Quads are also great for generating drive through turns. WOOOPAH!!!


This configuration you might see on a longboards, eggs, funboards and SUPs. This is where you have the single fin box in the middle with two regular thruster side fin boxes on each side. The Middle box is much longer, which allows you to set your middle fin forward or back.

There is A LOT to take in and a heaps more about fins that we can go into; the shape, the sweep, the flex, the foil etc, but this is for our more advanced lessons.

So how do you know what to choose? Just like anything, if you can, try them all! Test drive as many different board types you can and see what you get a feel for!

Got a question? Just drop us a line. We’re here to help!

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