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SUP board fins : shapes

SUP board fins come in a variety of shapes, each with its own unique design and purpose. Here are some of the most common fin shapes for paddle boards:

keel fin

Flat/keel fin:
This is a flat fin that provides excellent straight-line tracking and stability. Keel fins are typically used on paddle boards designed for touring and recreational paddling in calm water.

teardrop fin

Rounded/teardrop fin:
This is a rounded or teardrop-shaped fin that provides a good balance of stability and maneuverability. Rounded fins are commonly used on all-around paddle boards that can be used for a variety of paddling activities.

teardrop fin

Triangular fin:
This is a triangular-shaped fin that provides excellent maneuverability and is commonly used for surfing. Triangular fins come in a variety of sizes, with larger fins providing more stability and smaller fins providing more maneuverability.

touring fin

Touring SUP fin helps keep board track straight. Also gives stability. Mainly designed for straight paddling.


Swept-back fin:
This is a fin with a curved leading edge that provides excellent maneuverability and control. Swept-back fins are commonly used for SUP racing and surfing, as they allow for quick turns and responsive handling.

cutaway board fin

Cutaway fin: 
This is a fin with a curved leading edge that provides excellent maneuverability and stability. Cutaway fins are commonly used on race boards, as they allow for faster speeds and better control.

banana fin

Banana fin:
This is a fin with a curved shape that provides excellent maneuverability and speed. Banana fins are commonly used on race boards and are designed to provide the maximum amount of control and speed.

Overall, the shape of the fin you choose will depend on your paddling style, skill level, and the conditions you are paddling in. Some fins are designed for speed and control, while others are designed for stability and maneuverability, so it's important to choose a fin that matches your paddling needs and preferences.

SUP board fins - setups

SUP board fins are an important part of the board's design, and they play a significant role in the board's performance and stability on the water. Here are some of the most common types of paddle board fins and their purposes:

  • Single fin:
    This is the most common type of fin, consisting of a single fin mounted at the center of the board's tail. Single fins provide good stability and tracking in calm water, making them ideal for touring and recreational paddling.
  • Three-fin setup (thruster):
    This consists of three fins, with one mounted at the center and two smaller fins on either side. This configuration provides excellent stability, maneuverability, and speed, making it popular for surfing.
  • Four-fin setup (quad):
    This consists of four fins, with two mounted at the center and two smaller fins on either side. This configuration provides excellent stability and speed, and is a popular choice for paddlers who want to maximize their performance in flat water or waves.
  • Removable fins:
    Some paddle boards have removable fins, which can be easily detached and replaced. This allows paddlers to customize their fins to suit their preferences and the conditions they are paddling in.
  • Longboard fin:
    This is a larger, single fin that is commonly used on longboard-style paddle boards. Longboard fins provide excellent stability and control, making them ideal for cruising and carving.

Overall, paddle board fins play a crucial role in the board's performance and stability on the water, and the type of fin you choose will depend on your paddling style, skill level, and the conditions you are paddling in.

purchase your board.


See full review of the affordable Bluefin Sprint here:

Everything you need to know about proper fin placement for your stand up paddleboard as well as fin types, number of fins, and more from Naish Pro Rider Chuck Patterson.


SUP boards that are specifically designed for flat water will have one long fin. This provides board stability and minimal drag, and allows the board to travel straighter during long distance touring, racing and downwinder treks. This fin is great for casual paddling, crossing waters (shore to shore) or paddling with a child or pet. Usually, a single fin will be mounted on a longer, wider board for ultimate stability.


Some boards have a three-fin setup for better manoeuvering in swells and waves, providing dynamic action and easier turning. Some three, four, and five-fin setups are called "thrusters"; they allow the board to move faster through the waves while surfing.

Three-fin setups are NOT favourable for flat water since the two outside fins create drag. Many board designs allow you to remove the two outside fins, which makes for great versatility. Take two fins off and voila!—now you have a flat water board. In some cases you can even remove the centre fin and replace it with a longer, single fin—even better for flat water. This makes for a great all-around board, ideal for beginner and intermediate SUPers who want to try different techniques and water conditions.

By Starboard this video covers the SUP thruster setup VS the Quad setup


Racing fins are just that: SUP fins specifically designed for racing. The shape falls between the flat water fin and wave fins, offering maximum stability and manoeuverability for racing situations.


Many SUPers say a quad fin set-up is faster and more responsive, able to handle waves of all sizes depending on your capability. A quad fin setup provides the most versatility. Some of these boards allow for multiple setups: two, three (thruster), or four fin. This versatility means more choices, especially desirable if you travel to different waters. These quad fin boards will have "cant" for easier and more responsive turns.


These fins are longer and narrower, with less curve from base to tip. They reach further into the water to reduce spin in the currents while manoeuvring downwind on oceans, rivers, or fast moving lakes.

SUP fin terms:

CANT/SWEEP - refers to the angle of the fin in relation to the board, for example: if the SUP board fin is perpendicular to the bottom of the board, there's no cant. If is angled towards the tail, it has more more sweep. More cant or curve means more sweep for easier, quicker turns.

SINGLE - a single fin. This set-up works on flat water SUP and downwinder SUPs.

TWIN - usually paired to a board with a fish tail or swallow tail design to enhance speed in smaller waves and reduce drag, since there is no third middle fin.

2+1 - an all-round SUP fin combination. Can be used in swells and waves with three fins or can be used for flat water touring using only the centre fin, removing the two outside fins.

THRUSTER – this three-fin set-up provides some thrust to move faster through the waves.

QUAD – four-fin set-up allows you to ride with a variety of combinations to optimize your board’s behaviour depending on conditions.


DESCRIPTION: understanding SUP board fins


Installing SUP board fins.

Futures Board fins.

2014 Fin-S Fin System Installation 

How to install Fin-S screwless, toolless fin system into your board in minutes.

Review for 2014 Fin-S Fin System Installation

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