Fins. There’s lots of info now available regarding these easy to miss/forget, but very important, areas of your stand up paddle board. We’ll save you the spiel of why they should be given due consideration and instead focus on this bundle from Bournemouth based SUP brand Fatstick.
Those observant types will have noticed a steadily improving accessory quality over the last few seasons from all ‘affordable’ UK SUP companies – these 2+1 Futures honeycomb foam core side bites and US box central fin being a case in point from Fatstick. It used to be boards from this area of the market were supplied with fins that didn’t hold any true performance value. Now, with these puppies, you can rest assured that your ride will be all the sweeter, look better (after all aesthetics is part of SUP’s appeal) and work more efficiently.
It’s a toss-up whether you prefer Futures style fin systems or FCS fin fittings. For us there’s not really that much in it. Some suggest Futures boxes are less prone to malfunctioning and are more solid in their box. Fitting these Fatstick versions into a variety of different boards between 9ft-10ft we discovered no issues when attaching – in all cases the two side bites and US box style central fin was snug and didn’t wobble. There are occasions when you swap out fins across your SUP quiver and find your newly purchased product doesn’t sit correctly – or you have to get the belt sander out to squeeze the middle skeg in! Out of the four boards we tried them on there was no issue.
The middle Fatstick foil comes in at 6” (15.24cm) while the side bites are both 5” (12.7cm). Obviously you can mix and match across any board and with any other fin types you might have – discovering different feels is part of the fun and highly recommended.
The 15.24cm central skeg, being US Box, can be shoved either back or forwards. If you’re into nose riding this is very welcome. At the rear of the box your machine will lock into the wave face (rider ability and positioning allowing). ‘Walking the plank’ moves are therefore much more achievable. Give the middle fin a nude forwards and you instantly loosen up your sled for more carving orientated SUP surfing.
As far as limitations go it could be the style of board as much as anything that will stop you from performing critical moves. From the Fatstick fins point of view they’re able to accommodate most types of rider preferences and are therefore a good choice for SUPers looking to increase the versatility of their sled in waves.
Looking top drawer and being well finished Fatstick’s new Futures/US box combo honeycomb foam fins are bling performance skegs that won’t break the bank. Riders wanting to switch up the performance of their all round surf SUP will find they work a treat. The central fin is ideal for toes over action while the 2+1 thruster configuration will appeal to more carving orientated riders. A good choice for anyone experimenting with different fins for the first time or needing a spare set for either tuning or as a backup in case of breakage. And don’t be afraid to mix and match other fins with these to find your optimum. There’s nothing wrong with having an assortment of sizes and types in your toy box.