SUP fins may be small but they have a significant influence on board performance and handling. This directly affects race results and fun at all levels in standup paddling. The following excerpt is from Black Project rider Connor Baxter
“I come from a windsurfing background where fins always played a huge role. I’d literally take a double-bag of fins everywhere I traveled, it was that important to have options to fit any condition.”- Connor Baxter
I remember coming into standup when people were saying – A fin is a fin, it doesn’t make a difference. That just isn’t true. With all the situations that paddlers get into, the fin actually makes a massive difference. Whether you’re going downwind, in the flats, doing a lot of surfing or sprinting—whatever—the fin has a big influence not only on speed but tracking, comfort, turning and other areas that add to your capability.
The ability to adapt and fine tune the performance of your board is really important. Rather than buying two or even three boards for different conditions you can use different fins. Different sizes and styles of fins will achieve a similar result. It’s really important to have more than one type of fin in your quiver.
You want to be able to switch up your SUP fin because what works in the flats—maybe a long, thick foiled, stable fin—isn’t going to give you the release and surfing ability that comes from the more raked, longboard-style fin that you want in the open ocean. In the sea the destination doesn’t matter—you’re going left, right and back left, surfing and utilizing bumps—so you want a fin that gives you the stability and tracking ability but also surfs and maneuvers well.