Surfboard Fins 101 - Back to the basics

July 13, 2017

Fins are one of the most underrated surfboard upgrades in surfing. There are so many options now that just a quick fin swap can completely change very nature of your board. 

Many of us have ridden factory stock, improperly sized fins for YEARS not realizing we'd been hurting our surfing the entire time. There were so many aspects to fins that we really hadn’t even figured in, worst of all, the basics.

These days, there are countless fin systems for an endless array of applications. Combine that with the uniqueness of every surfer and every wave out there and we’re talking billions of different fin preferences and combinations. Enjoyable so, the options are endless!

Luckily for you, we provide fins with our more economic constructions. They're there to get a feel for the board and to get you in the water and surfing asap, but… if you want to truly unleash the beast, you’re going to need a set of fins that are designed for your weight and your application. For those of you going custom or stock classic fiberglass construction, we expect you already have your favorite fins and have adjusted our prices accordingly so you're getting the best, top quality value for your buck, without paying for something you don't need.

But for those of us wondering how fins change our board....
Think of it like this: 
You just bought a sports car… the dealership set it up with highway tires... you're about to go test it out at the race track. Would you really leave the rubber stock? Neither would we. 
The key to finding the right fin for you doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s actually very simple. Picking out the proper fin comes down to these 2 simple concepts:

  • Fin/Board setup (type of fin box, how many fins)
  • Rider weight (Small, Medium, or Large rider)

From here, we can get a better foothold into the world of fin upgrades as long as we know what our board needs, and what we need under our feet as a rider.

In the next series of our Surfboard Fins 101 short videos, we're going to go through each of our board models and show you the carefully curated fin selections we've provided, pointing out our shop favorites that stood out as the strongest assets for each of our boards.

There are other factors such as fin cant, toe, flex, material, etc. We'll touch lightly on those features, but most of all, we'll be explaining how the board actually felt to ride, from one fin set to the next. 

Above all, we want to introduce our fin lineup while we continue to expand our options. Our current fin inventory houses Captain Fin, Futures, True Ames, Rainbow Fin Co., glass-ons by Marlin at 101 Fin Co., and our best-value upgrade, Fin Disciples. 


Get out your pen and paper, it's time to take some notes!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Degree 33 Surf Blog

How to Pop Up on a Surfboard
How to Pop Up on a Surfboard

August 22, 2023

Continue Reading

How to Improve Your Surfboard Paddling
How to Improve Your Surfboard Paddling

February 22, 2023

Everyone knows how to paddle their surfboard, right?  Well it is one thing to paddle and it is a whole other thing to paddle effectively. In fact proper paddling technique is one of the quickest ways to become a better surfer. Paddling correctly can help you move faster with less fatigue, catch more waves, surf longer, and be more comfortable in the water. Plus, when you’re catching more waves, that’s more opportunity to improve your surfing!

Continue Reading

Essential Surfboard Accessories
Essential Surfboard Accessories

November 08, 2022

There are literally hundreds of different brands of surf accessories out there but there really is only a short list of items you need to go surfing.  This is one of the most amazing elements of surfing is the simplicity of the lifestyle.  Basically a board and you and you are all set but there are a few things you want to have ready before you paddle out.  

Continue Reading