Installing Surfboard Fins

Any surfboard you get made by Solana Surfboards will have either Futures surfboard fins or FCS surfboard fins.  All of our single fin or longboard surfboards use a standard center fin box that is compatible with any style longboard fin !  Installing the fins on your new surfboard only takes a few minutes and it is very easy to do, even if you have not installed surfboard fins before.  Follow this brief step by step explanation on how to install your surfboard fins by Futures or FCS. If you have any questions, give us a call and one of our team members will walk you through the process on how to install your surfboard fins over the phone !

Step 1:  Set Screws

Using the surfboard fin key provided, loosen all the screws in the fin boxes or plugs.  Do not remove the screws all the way,  just enough so that the screws no longer stick into the fin slot.

Step 2:  Fin Orientation

Figure out what fin goes where !!  EVERY side fin will have a slight angle pointed out when installed on the board. The writing/logo on the base of the fin also always faces out !

Tri Fins - the center fin will be the only fin rounded on each edge and it is the same size as the side fins.  

Quad Fins - the large side fins go in the front and your smaller side/trailer fins go in the back.  

2+1 Fins -  the side fins are the small ones, usually referred to as side byte fins, while your center fin will be large and fiberglass.

Step 3:  Installing the Fins

Now that you have located where your surfboard fins go, lets get them attached to your new board !! 

Futures - the back of each futures box has a latch and the front of each box has a set screw that you have already loosened.  The back of each futures fin has a groove.  Drop the back part of the fin into the box and push back as you lower the fin, hooking the latch on the box into the groove of the fin.  Press the rest of the fin down and forward, so the whole base of the fin sits flat in the box.  Once you have a nice fit, tighten the set screw down until secure, but don't over tighten!  Gently wiggle each fin up and down and if it doesn't move you are ready to surf !

FCS - these fins are very easy to install.  Each plug has two slots and two screws.  Every FCS fin has two heads.  You have already loosened the screws in the plugs, so just drop the heads of each fin straight into the plug.  Once each fin is sitting flat in the plug, tighten your set screws.  Never over tighten your screws!! Gently wiggle each fin up and down and if it doesn't move you are ready to surf !

2+1 or Single Fin - the center fin box on your single fin or 2+1 fin system is a standard box that will fit any longboard style fin.  Your side bite fins will be one of the fin systems discussed above.  Unscrew the screw from the fin plate and put the screw aside with the fin plate in the forward position.  The box has a long fin slot with a small notch in the middle and you will notice the fin has a small metal nob. Drop the metal nob on the fin into the notch in the fin box.  The nob of the fin will slide into a groove that is built into the length of the fin box.  Slide your fin to the middle of the box and lower the rest of the fin into the box.  Slide the fin plate so the whole in the fin plate lines up with the hole in the base of the fin.  Screw the fin screw into the plate and tighten.  It is normal for the fin to be a tight fit and the fin base can sometimes stick up out of the box a little.

Trouble Shooting:

From time to time customers have trouble installing their fins, so here are a few tips if you come across a problem.

1. On any fin that is not fitting into the box or plug, examine the fin and box to make sure there is no excess debris.  Making surfboards can be a messy process and sometimes a small bit of resin or plastic drops into the fin box and hardens.  We do our best to make sure all fin boxes are cleaned out before shipping our surfboards, but sometimes this gets missed.  If you see this is the reason your fin did not fit, it is very easy to remove the debris with a small screw driver and it should easily resolve the problem.  Customers are more than welcome to bring your board into our showroom and we will make sure your fin boxes are clean and your fins fit properly !

2. Sometimes customers will find that their fin wobbles a bit even though the set screw is as tight as it can go.  Fins fit perfectly 90% of the time, but since they are a crafted item they can sometimes be sanded a touch too thin.  If your fin doesn't have a tight fit, an easy fix is add a small piece of tape on top of the base of the fin.  This will slightly thicken the base of the fin allow the it to fit tightly and secure in the box.  Thick packing tape, duct tape, or electrical tape work well and will last a long time.  You may also contact us for a replacement fin if your board has not been used yet.

3.  Set screws can easily strip if they are tightened with an old fin key, or if they are tightened too hard and too frequently.  To prevent this, don't remove your fins more than necessary.  Unless you are traveling, it is good practice to leave your fins on your surfboard !  If you do have a set screw that is starting to strip, replacements for any box or plug can be purchased at any most surf shops or online.  To remove a slightly stripped screw, try using a brand new fin key.  If the screw is stripped to the point where you can not remove it, we recommend bringing it to your local surfboard repair shop or our showroom for further examination.

If you have any questions about your surfboard fins, give us a call and we can personally assist you over the phone !