Adding SUP Fins to Your Experience

The Stand Up Paddle Boarding Touring Fin

In November of last year, I posted an article titled “The Best Buy In Stand Up Paddle Boards” and the claim remains as solid now as it did then. The Stand On Liquid Kanaloa 12’ Touring SUP will give you a well-refined paddle board, capable of doing everything you expect it to do.

But suppose you want it to do more? Suppose you are a strong paddler? Will you need a different paddle board? The answer to these questions is on the other side of your board. The answer for a better SUP experience is the touring fin.

Think of it this way: When you buy a car that is affordable, you will drive off the lot with a mechanically sound machine less the bells and whistles a much more expensive model might have. And one of the ways these dealers cut corners is on the tires. They’ll be safe and serviceable but they will wear out much sooner than a better grade tire might – on a more expensive car.

When you buy a stand up paddle board, the same concept applies. They often spend a great deal on the appearance of the board, how it tracks, how much stability it might have and in order to keep the price of the board affordable, the corners they might cut would be in the paddle and the fin. For the average paddler, this will be just fine.

As we discussed last week, most fins are really good, giving you a better than average experience. Fins are not that expensive and make a surprising difference in how well your board performs, in the case of the flexible fin, how long it might last. So what makes a great touring fin? Let’s discuss the merits of the FCS 9” Touring Fin.

FCS 9" Touring Fin for SUP

The FCS 9″ Touring Fin for SUP is an inexpensive upgrade that makes all the difference in performance.

Because most SUP touring is done on relatively flat water, the chance of running into underwater foliage is much greater. So what you are looking in this instance is a fin that has a smooth leading edge. This will not only reduce hangups those weeds might cause but will also give you a much smoother, drag-free ride. Another good feature you might consider is a hybrid of the flexible fin and the rigid type that came with your board: a glass flex design.

Additionally, touring often turns to racing which leads me to another consideration. It has to track, a term that suggests the ability of the board to go where you want it with as little effort as possible or getting the most strokes per side. And, it has to be able to turn, sometimes quickly. The fin has to be long enough, at least nine inches, and ironically, not too long. Smaller fins can mean more speed while larger fins can slow the same sized rider down.

All of this is for naught if the fin doesn’t fit tight. Make sure that you fin box is in good repair, not too far forward and the fin fits nice and tight.

Next up: The Racing fin.

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