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Best Longboard Fins: Review and Buying Guide [Aug 2021]

Longboard fins are so important to longboard design and surfing. Like the rudder of a boat, fins help stabilize and steer the board and prevent you from spinning in circles when you ride a wave. They also help you glide in a controlled path.

But how do you find the best longboard fins from so many choices. We made the seacrhing process easier for you reviewing today’s most popular fins. Go through our hands-on user expereicne carefully and see which one suits your longboard and riding style!

Top Rated Longboard Fins: Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
1stSBS 10″ Surf & SUP FinSBS 10″ Surf & SUP FinCheck Price
2ndOCEANBROAD 8” 9” 10” Surf SUP FinOCEANBROAD 8” 9” 10” Surf SUP FinCheck Price
3rdBPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard FinsBPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard FinsCheck Price
4thSanta Barbara Surfing SBS – 9″ Longboard and SUP Single FinSanta Barbara Surfing SBS – 9″ Longboard and SUP Single FinCheck Price
5thHo Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin + Free No-Tool ScrewHo Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin + Free No-Tool ScrewCheck Price

Top 5 Best Longboard Fins Review

SBS 10″ Surf & SUP Fin

SBS 10" Surf & SUP Fin

Why It Stands Out to Us

For any surfer with classic taste, it’s tough not to love a fin-like SBS 10″ Surf and SUP Fin. This high-quality fin comes with the perfect depth that you’d need to have to surf in the ocean.

Installing it is so easy that you won’t need expert advice to pull that off. Besides, it’s hard to question the compatibility part as it covers lots of major surfboard models.

Our Experience with the SBS 10″ Surf and SUP Fin

  • It’s got the classic foil. For all types of water conditions, foils like this do great in holding along, giving you a better drive. It also helps with bigger turns once you get a hold of it.
  • We’ve noticed no major issues with the compatibility. The list of compatible boards we have on its list is pleasantly impressive.

Besides, if your board’s fin box is anything like 10.5″ or 8.5″, then you can be sure that it’ll fit perfectly to it.

But we’d say you shouldn’t expect the same if you own any inflatable SUPs, Bali Solstice, or AquaMarine SPK2.

  • It’s made of glass-filled nylon. So, you can’t expect it to be the sturdiest fin out there. But if you’ve tried the one made of fiberglass, then we bet you’re going to find this one firmer.
  • The installation process of this fin is simply impossible to hate, and that’s because of the ease it brings in. You don’t need a screwdriver or any other tools to add it to your board.
  • We know you’re not so focused on the packaging, but this one is a bit of an exception. That’s because it’s got a fin protector.

If you ever feel like you don’t want it to get scratched when the board is sitting idle, just put the cover on, and that’ll protect it as long as you want.

  • In case you’re not in the mood to use them on your longboard anymore, you can try them with a paddleboard as well if you like. They’re made to work perfectly there too.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The fin is a bit heavy and rigid.

Who Is It Great for

  • Surfers who focus on having a better hold in the water can give it a shot as one of the best longboard fins.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Making it a bit more flexible might help the surfers in utilizing its potentiality more effortlessly.

Our Recommendations

If your board is in the compatibility list and it’s still not fitting, then shave it off a bit, which won’t affect the performance.

Specifications

  • Material: Glass Filled Nylon
  • Base: 6.5″
  • Depth: 10″
  • Rake: 28°
  • Fin Box Range: 8.5″ – 10.5″

Pros

  • Wider compatibility
  • Versatile
  • Tool-free installation
  • Firm construction
  • Perfect depth
  • Wider base
  • Nice design

Cons

  • Heavy and rigid

OCEANBROAD 8” 9” 10” Surf SUP Fin

OCEANBROAD 8'' 9'' 10'' Surf SUP Fin

Why It Stands Out to Us

OCEANBROAD 8” 9” 10” Surf SUP Fin is made to pull off the smoothest surfing experience. It’s super convenient to install where any extra tools are simply unnecessary. On both speed and turns, its performance is worth praising. Along with that, the construction gives proof of quality with every surfing.

Our Experience with the OCEANBROAD 8” 9” 10” Surf SUP Fin

  • We didn’t see anything to complain about its fiberglass-reinforced nylon construction. It seems to be strong enough to sustain the waves quite smoothly. Depending on the size, it gives more drive and better control.
  • As a flex fin, it does what it’s made to do perfectly; especially on the turns, its performance is amazing. The same goes for its excellence in adding speed to the board, even when turning.
  • The installation was a breeze. As no tools are needed to put on a longboard, it doesn’t eat up a pile of time. But make sure you’re having a glance at the instruction or tutorial first to get a clear idea about the installation.
  • Rather than sticking to a single size, the makers have kept three variations which we think was a good move.

After all, that’s what has made it a perfect choice for a board, even if the board size is not huge. But the 10″ variant can be installed on the hardboard only.

  • We were surprised to see the weight of the fin. As a surfer, you probably already know that additional weight can influence the board’s performance negatively.

Thankfully, there was nothing like that here, as the weight of the fin was extremely low.

  • The fin itself looks great on almost any longboard. From the moment it’s added to the board, the shiny look adds more visual appeal.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s installable to SUP only when it has a US fin box.

Who Is It Great for

  • This is one of the best longboard fins for those looking for a durable fin for regular surfing.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Improving the quality of the locking plate can make it a better option for surfers.

Our Recommendations

  • Avoid direct contact with rocks to keep the fin safe.

Specifications

  • Materials: Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon, Stainless steel
  • Depth: 8″, 9″ and 10″
  • Base width: 5.7″
  • Weight: 280g. (With hardware)
  • Installation Type: Tool-free

Pros

  • Convenient installation
  • Durable construction
  • Size variations
  • Lightweight
  • Better compatibility range
  • Lucrative design
  • Modifiable

Cons

  • Improvable locking plate

BPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard Fins

BPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard Fins

Why It Stands Out to Us

If you’re getting bored of your single fins, then the BPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard Fins surely can bring some change to that.

They come in a set of three. Each of the fins is made to provide improved stability and control of the board. Even on maneuverability, these fins work great.

They come in two different colors and have the required tools for installation, which eliminates the need for buying any additional tools.

Our Experience with the BPS Fiberglass Reinforced Surfboard Fins

  • This set is an amazing choice if you want a bit more playfulness in your surfing. No matter wherever you’re jumping in with your board, whether it’s beach breaks, point breaks, or reef, it’ll bring in maximum balance to you.
  • The level of sturdiness is high on this set. These fins come with Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon construction, and we didn’t know that this material can deliver such top-notch durability.
  • This set comes with a nice pouch that has a snap-close system. That has not only made the packaging impressive but also helped to carry them anywhere.
  • We weren’t expecting anything additional with the package except for the screwdriver, but the wax comb it comes with was full of surprises. It can be used as a hex key and bottle opener at the same time.
  • The installation wasn’t any quickie, but that doesn’t mean it was a hard nut to crack. After all, there are three fins to install. So, taking a bit of time is quite excusable.
  • With two color variations, picking up the more suitable one is not going to be a problem. The logo has made the fins look better than we expected.

What We Didn’t Like

  • They are not as good as flex fins on the turns.

Who Is It Great for

  • These fins are the best longboard fins for beginner surfers who mostly struggle with balancing.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Too much flexibility irritates certain surfing situations. That’s why it’ll be better to bring in some more rigidity to the construction.

Our Recommendations

  • Buy these fins fit only when the board is FCS setup compatible. Pick them up when your one has FCS setup as well.

Specifications

  • Materials: Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon
  • Depth: 4.55″
  • Base width: 4.37″
  • Rake: 33°
  • Colors: Charcoal Black and White

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Versatile additional tool
  • Ensure proper balance
  • High flexibility
  • Durable
  • Smooth maneuverability
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Time-consuming installation

Santa Barbara Surfing SBS – 9″ Longboard and SUP Single Fin

Santa Barbara Surfing SBS - 9" Longboard and SUP Single Fin

Why it Stands Out to Us

Santa Barbara Surfing – 9″ Longboard and SUP Single Fin is the kind of fin that can push the performance curve of a board higher instantly.

It’s good at performing turns without sacrificing speed. Besides, it makes the board more stable. Like the previous model, team SBS has made it easy to install as well.

Our Experience with the Santa Barbara Surfing – 9″ Longboard and SUP Single Fin

  • The level of stability in this fin was way better than we expected. For both rookies and experts, this one advantage can be a game-changer under certain circumstances.

Even in flat condition, the performance it has given on track was terrific, and redirection wasn’t needed as much as we expected there.

  • Like always, this brand has kept the installation part easy as pie. Thanks to its hand-tightening screw for which it was super convenient; simply a tool-free job that doesn’t ask you to carry any extra screwdriver.
  • The construction seemed to be decently strong, but we felt like there’s a scope for strengthening it more. If you’re not surfing in shallow water, we don’t think you’ll have to worry too much about getting it damaged.
  • In the beginning, we thought it’s going to be good enough for longboards and SUP only. But proving us wrong, it was working perfectly on the stand-up paddle as well.
  • The rake in it wasn’t anything less or excessive, and this one feature has given it the ability to turn smoothly and take longer turns.
  • Zero issues were noticed while checking out its compatibility. It fitted in most of the boards without investing any major effort, and the list of compatible boards is also quite long.

In some, it asked for a bit of modification, but that’s nothing hard to do with a little hacksaw.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The fin is a little heavier than we expected.

Who Is It Great for

  • It can be one of the best longboard fins for surfers who love taking longer turns.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The addition of a variant of 10″ would’ve been better as it might feel like a little short for a longer board.

Our Recommendations

  • Avoid surfing in shallow water with it as there’s a chance of snapping.

Specifications

  • Material: Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Rake: 30°
  • Base: 5-3/4″
  • Depth: 9.25″
  • Color: Black
  • Installation Type: Tool Free

Pros

  • Tool-free installation
  • Dynamic design
  • Ease on turns
  • Good on stability
  • Easy to modify
  • Stiff construction
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • A little heavy

Ho Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin + Free No-Tool Screw

Ho Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin + Free No-Tool Screw

Why it Stands Out to Us

Ho Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin is a perfect mixture of durability, performance, and versatility.

With the simple tool-free setup, it can work on longboards with superb efficiency. Besides, the Universal/US fin box compatibility has reduced the chances of any mismatch to the longboards out there.

And yes, on variation, the makers have included different sizes and different colors at the same time.

Our Experience with Ho Stevie! Longboard/SUP Center Fin

  • The fin works perfectly in maintaining pivot balance, and we also didn’t see any problem with the hold. At first, we thought the narrower base would negatively influence the performance, but surprisingly, it didn’t.
  • It’s hard not to love a fin that offers tool-free installation. As this one is of that genre, the installation was nothing but a piece of cake. You don’t need to shed some extra dollars to get a screwdriver to put it on your board.
  • The fin comes in three different colors. So, if you’re looking for a fin that matches the color of your board or goes with the color contrast, the multiple color option will ease that up to a certain extent.
  • When it comes to variation, color is not the only aspect that you can put on that list as it comes in four different sizes. It doesn’t matter what the size of your longboard is; this fin has options for almost any of them.
  • We had to take no headache about the compatibility as the fin worked on Universal/US fin boxes. This one feature has made it available for a ton of longboards out there.
  • If you’ve tried any molded plastic fin before, then we bet you’re going to count this one far better based on durability. As the construction is of Fiberglass-Reinforced Polymer, we weren’t expecting anything less there.
  • This fin might be able to handle rough water at times, but still, it needed some protection when it’s out of the water. Thankfully, this one got the neoprene protective sleeve to keep it protected.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The nut is too small, which makes it easy to lose.

Who Is It Great for

  • It is one of the best longboard fins for novice surfers who mostly focus on pivot balance.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Improving the nut size can lower the chances of losing it.

Our Recommendations

  • Try to avoid noseriding as this fin is not the best one for that.

Specifications

  • Material: Fiberglass-Reinforced Polymer
  • Depth: 6.5″, 8″, 9″, and 10″
  • Color: Black, white, and blue
  • Installation Type: Tool Free
  • Compatible with: Universal/Us fin box

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Universal fit
  • Perfect fin foil
  • Protective sleeve
  • Variation in colors

Cons

  • Small nut

Types of Longboard Fins

Flex Fin

If you’re asking for the most popular and influential fins out there, then it’d be the Flex fin. This fin is a perfect combination of narrow tips, wide base, and large sweep.

It’s perfect for speed and pulling off powerful turns. Besides, you’re not going to have any problem with the drive as it has a wide base.

Rake Fin

A rake fin has more rake in the outline but has a broad base that ends up in a narrow tip. This kind of fin is not only lighter but also quite flexible. This kind of fin is good at enhancing maneuverability and projection.

Pivot Fin

Compared to rake fins, this one got a more vertical and straighter outline. Lots of surfers love this fin with a wider profile.

The surfer needs to use it as a pivot point right after moving the tail forward for making a turn. This fin is going to be an amazing option if you’re planning to focus on noseriding and cross-stepping.

D-Fin

If you’re a fan of old-school, the D Fin is your thing. Its appearance is more like a big, fat D letter, and it was a favorite to lots of surfers from earlier periods.

You might not get superb performance out of it like modern fins, but they surely can amaze you in small and peeling waves.

The major drawbacks of this fin are it’s low on versatility and a bit hard to turn. Even on stability, it’s not the best. But you can’t help loving how they get the surfer maximum trim.

Best Longboard Fins: Buying guide

Longboard fins Buying guide

1. Shapes and Sizes

longboard fins Shapes and Sizes

The performance of a fin depends on a lot of facts, including the size and shape. If you’re asking for speeding down the line along with getting more drive, then a longer base length will be ideal for that. But for quicker turns, it’s better to have a shorter base length.

Choosing the right shape and size also depends on the surfing style you’re thinking about pulling off. For example, for noseride, trim, and cross-step, you better go with a bigger and upright fin, such as D-fin.

But when you’re more into bigger turns, pick something with more rake but smaller area like flex fin.

2. Flex

Flexer fins make the board more skier, especially when you’re addicted to playful waves. But if you’re into hollow waves, we’d suggest stiff fins as they can serve you better there.

The best things about stiffer fins are, they’re not only forgiving but also predictable and stable. On the other hand, softer or flexible fins do great at making the board faster and help with sharp turns.

If it’s a high-end fin, then it can be of both stiff and soft flex pattern. There have been lots of fins lately, ensuring better stability and tracking with a stiffer base where the softer tip eases up, breaking the board loose at the time of turning.

3. Positioning

Having better control over the board relies on the position of the fin too. The closer you’ll place it to the tail, the more control you’ll have on the board. So, pick a fin that won’t show any downgrading in performance if you bring some changes in the position.

4. Optimal Depth Range

A fin has to do a lot with providing hold in the water. But we don’t see that happening smoothly without the optimal depth range. Compared to the shallower fins, deeper ones are good at providing more hold.

But how much depth will be enough for that? Well, we’d say you shouldn’t go for anything below 9″ to 10″ if your longboard has a size of 9′ to 10′.

5. Fin Rake

The fin’s front edge arcs backward, and the ratio of it is named rake. It’s also called the sweep angle. You’ll be seeing two options there, the longer one and the smaller one.

For pulling off playful turns, the longer ones are the ideal option. But go for the smaller one if you’re looking for stability, speed, and control.

6. Fin Foil

The outside and inside face shapes of the fin are called the foil. It can alter water flow over fin surfaces which directly influences the performance of the fin and board.

So far, we’ve seen three types of foil – flat, concave, and 50/50. The flat ones are good at establishing solid control over the balance and speed.

On the other hand, the concave one knows how to maximize lift without sacrificing minimal drag. It’s also perfect for generating speed and fluidity. But 50/50 is good for stability and even distribution.

FAQs

1. Are longboard fins universal?

Ans. No, they are not. That’s why while grabbing your fins, you’ll have to ensure that their base is matching your board’s fin box system.

2. Is it possible to use longboards without fins?

Ans. It’s nothing impossible, but we won’t suggest doing so as that can be a bit dangerous. This way, you’ll have less control over the board.

3. What kind of fin is good for a traditional shortboard?

Ans. It’s better to go with a 3-thruster fin set for a traditional shortboard as this type of set can deliver better balance and maneuverability to boards like these.

About the author

Colin Kint

Colin is in his mid twenties and a professional skateboarder whom you may already know. He participated in most of the skateboarding competitions in San Francisco. His innate passion for the sport drove him to pursue his career as a professional skateboarder. Another reason why he’s so good at it could be his relentless practice sessions with his friends. Apart from that, Todd also volunteers in various community awareness programs. He’s an environmental activist with an undergraduate law degree and an expert photographer as well. He does most of the photography of our site.

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