The Best Paddle Board Fins: The Ultimate Guide
There’s a lot of information about the best paddle board fins on the interwebs. There’s detailed charts and graphics with crazy numbers and other nonsense. That’s all fine and dandy.
But at Paddler’s Way, we’re going to break things down in the simplest way possible right here. If you’re a beginner paddler or looking to get into racing, surfing, etc. - well, you’re in the perfect place.
Because we’re talking about the best paddle board fins using layman’s terms, ladies and gentlemen. This guide is detailed and everything you’d every need to know before buying some fins for your paddle board can be found right here. We just kept things simple for y’all.
Santa Barbara Surfing
10" Surf & SUP Fin
Santa Barbara Surfing
8” SUP Single Fin
The Best Paddle Board Fins
Alright, enough with the fluff, folks. Let’s dive in. Well, not literally. We’re trying to stay above water, so we can glide across it one a smooth sailing SUP with some of the best paddle board fins.
For that and more, here’s our top fin recommendations:
1. Santa Barbara Surfing 10" Surf & SUP Fin - No Tool Fin Screw
- Premier SUP fins company
- Incredible well-built and sturdy
- Great value for a high-quality product
- Overall, the best paddle board fins we tested under $100
The Santa Barbara Surfing 10" Surf & SUP Fin - No Tool Fin Screw is certainly one of the best paddle board fins around. With sturdy construction and solid customer service, this is our go-to fin recommendation for paddlers from all around. With incredible versatility, this fin also comes with a super simple installation process - that doesn’t even require any tools!
2. Future Fins JB Runner SUP Stand Up Paddleboard Keel Carbon Fiber
- Professional paddle board fins for serious SUP fanatics
- Absolutely ideal in heavy chop
- Carbon fiber construction is more than sturdy
- Offers more strokes per side than anything else we tested
If you’re looking to go pro from a paddle board fins perspective, then the Future Fins JB Runner SUP Stand Up Paddle board Keel Carbon Fiber. Trust me when I say, this is professional-level fin sure to make moving around on the water easier than ever before. With a carbon fiber design, this product makes cutting through heavy chop a breeze and offers more strokes per side than most other fin setups.
3. Aimshine Core Carbon Surfboard Fins G5 Medium Size Hiwave
- Great value carbon SUP fin
- Insane durability
- Lightweight for maximum flexibility and speed
- Stunning design
Aimshine Core Carbon Surfboard Fins G5 Medium Size Hiwave are some of the best paddle board fins made out of carbon fiber we’ve found. And they’re cheap! If you’re looking for pro-level fins at rock bottom prices, then we recommend starting here. Plus, these things have a stylish design that looks great while transporting your board.
How to Find the Perfect Paddle Board Fins
SUP fins placement can be as complex or as basic as you make it. We stand by our recommendations above, but still wanted to break things down even further for those looking to excel on the water.
The main thing to understand about paddle boards fins is the ride. Fins influence how you ride on the board. The type of fin, what it’s made of, how heavy it is, and the placement will all determine how your SUP glides along the water.
Certain paddle board fins are better at certain things, while other perform different in certain conditions.
For example, if you pull the fin all the way forward in the slot, you’ll find the board maneuvering a lot quicker. This is ideal for surfing and even some types of paddle board racing.
However, if you pull the fin all the way back, then the SUP becomes incredibly easy to keep on a straight track in the water. Most find this preferable for long paddle trips and touring. Well, I know I do.
So, here are a few of the common alignments and what they’re used for:
- Single Fin - This is pretty common in the SUP world. A single fin setup offers a lot of versatility and you don’t need to buy much equipment. If you want to keep the board steady, pull the single fin as far back as possible. If you want to turn quick, pull the fin as far forward as possible. The difference can be dramatic.
- 2 + 1 Fin Setup - You still use the middle fin here, but you also have two smaller fins on each side of the main fin. Most people refer to these side fins as thruster fins. For the most part, thruster fins are only really beneficial when surfing on your paddle board. Other times these fins are pretty unnecessary.
- 4 +1 Setup - We won’t go into too much detail on the 4 + 1 setup, aka the quad. It’s just not that common in today’s SUP world, but some beginner surfers do enjoy it.
- Middle Slot Setup - For 90% of paddlers who aren’t competing or surfing, keeping the middle fin in a middle placement tends to be the premier setup. This offers solid tracking, while still being able to maneuverer fairly quickly. If you’re new to paddling, we suggest sticking with this fin setup to start.
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Paddle Board Fins
That’s about it, folks. Everything you must know about the best paddle board fins and how to use them on your board. We discussed our favorite replacement fins, best alignments and so much more.
Now there’s only one thing to do…
Start paddling away!
Here’s to cheers and open waters dying to be explored.