The different fins fixation systems

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If nowadays all surfboards are manufactured with removable fins, there are several different fastening systems for surfboard fins. We will explain in this article the different systems that are in the market, with their advantages and disadvantages, so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs when you go to order your next surfboard.

1. Dual-Tab system

Dual-Tab is the generic name that is usually given to the FCS original fins, with two tabs. They are mounted on two round plugs, each plug includes a screw, which allows to maintain the fin. FCS invented this system in the 90s, it was a revolution. Since this time, we can remove our fins during the trips, avoiding breaking the fins. From then, different shapes of fins were developed, and we could change the design of the fins depending on the surfboard and on the waves. The original FCS system is called FCS X2, but there are almost identical plugs from other brands, such as the Eurofin plug, as the patent for this great innovation lapses. The system is light, easy to assemble for the workshops, and economical because you do not have to go to the original FCS brand, there are cheaper alternatives.

The installation of the fins is very simple, we loosen the screws of each plug, introduce each tab of the fin in the corresponding plug, and tighten the screws. No need to tighten the screws with much force. To remove them, loosen the screws, and pull the fin up. It is very important not to lean backwards, otherwise you will damage the surfboard.

Another variant is the FCS Fusion system. It consists of a single plug per fin, and this plug is mounted before lamination, which mean below the fiberglass. Although it was designed for epoxy surfboards with EPS core, it is also mounted on polyester surfboards with PU core. It is more robust, being mounted below the fiberglass, but also more expensive and more complicated to change in case of breakage.

Dual-Tab systems, whether FCS X2, Eurofin or FCS Fusion give you access to the widest range of surf fins on the market, as all brands of surf fins offers Dual-Tab fins.

2. Single-Tab fins type Futures Fins

Fins are composed of a single tab that runs the entire length of the base of the fin, and a single single screw maintain the base of the fin inside of the plug. This system was invented by Futures Fins, but the patent has already expired, and all the fins brands offer their fins in the Single-Tab version.

To install the fins, introduce the rear part of the tab first, then the front, and tighten the screws to keep the base of the fin inside the plug.

This system is very strong, the fin is caught by the entire base, and the plugs are mounted below the fiberglass. This robustness can also be considered as an inconvenience, since in case of shock we do not lose or break the fin, but we damage the plug and the surfboard, which mean a more expensive and complicated repair.

3. The tool free FCSII system

The FCSII fin system, the latest in the market, has the great advantage of allowing the installation and disassembly of the fins without tools. It consists of a plug per fin, we introduce the front part of the fin first, and press hard the rear part of the fin. An ingenious spring system keeps the fin in place.

It is very useful to travel, whether by plane or car if you have to transport several surfboards, or simply to change your fins without complications, almost instantaneously. The fins do not jump by themselves, although it is true that you have to be careful not to hit a rock in reverse, because in this case you are likely to lose the fin.

This system is patented by FCS, so you can only buy FCS or Gorilla fins. There is a wide range of fins, but they are more expensive than other brands.

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