SUP hacks this time focuses on fins and how small tweaks to your fins – whether hard SUP or iSUP – can change the feel and performance of your stand up paddle board.
Move your SUP fin forward.
Most middle SUP fins can be moved either forwards or back. By doing this you change what’s going on with the board beneath your feet. SUP surfers often tweak their fin position according to wave conditions. But these changes can also affect things on flat water.
It should be relatively straight forward to shove your fin towards the front of its box. We don’t recommend you over egg the pudding here. Just a couple of subtle cms should do the trick. By moving the fin forwards you’ll instantly experience a more maneuverable stand up paddle board, relative to its overall size. This additional turnability can play its part with moves like pivot turns. Freeing up your SUP for a more spinningly fun experience. The faster you can pivot the more efficient the turn will be. Especially with adverse SUP conditions like choppy water in the mix. As a rider, you just have to keep up!
Move your SUP fin back.
By doing the opposite of the above, and moving your SUP fin back in its box you’re effectively hardening up the ride and reducing the board’s agility. Knocking on to better tracking you’re better equipped to navigate through rougher waters without deviating too much off course.
Your board’s yaw will also be reduced meaning fewer corrective paddle strokes will be needed to keep your SUP arrow straight. This can in turn can mean a less tiring experience and be better for any paddler covering distance. It’s also a good move for any rider carrying gear aboard their SUP – especially if these essentials are stashed upfront.
Increase your stand up paddle board fin’s size.
By increasing your SUP fin’s size we’re actually talking about adding length and more upright to the fin you slot in. It could be you go the whole hog and remove the all round dolphin fin for something racier. Longer race fins – or longer fins in general – add stability to your SUP by keeping it planted. Be aware a super upright fin with minimal rake, however, will be harder and more technical to turn.
For additional composure utilising the above method of slotting the fin further back in its box, in tandem with the style of fin being used, will see a much more well behaved stand up paddle board. This could be a great move for advancing paddlers looking to build their confidence or stand up riders wanting more straight line performance.
There are plenty of other ways to tweak your SUP’s ride and feel via fins. Why not have a play and see what your tweaks translate to on the water? Remember: small incremental adjustments mean big differences once afloat.