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Fintastic Fin Tactics

Fins make the difference to your surfing. The differences in a fin setup can do fintastic things. Get to know everything about fin shapes, styles, setups and systems here. Work on your fintactics and shred the dogs out. 

Fin Systems

Let's first talk about fin systems. You've probably seen many of them and find it hard to keep track of which one is the best for you.

Different finsystems available:

Fcs I & II
Fin Plug System

Below, the most popular fin systems explained.


A lot of the latest surfboards are made with this system, simply because this system is believed to be more durable and easy in use. The simplicity of the FUTURES design wins in all logical ways.
That is why Softdog surfboards are integrated with these handy fin systems. 

2. FCS I

The fins are inserted by two tabs that must be screwed on both or opposite sides of the fins. Traditional and often older boards have the FCS I Fin system.


The newest development of FCS is the FCS II Fin System. Fins can be inserted by clicking them in, without needing any screws. This makes it very easy and fast to switch and swap your fins to the right conditions. Although this development has been going viral in the surf innovation industry, manysurfers complain about losing fins, or breaking more easily whilst surfing tricky shorebreaks.

Watch Kelly Slater's campaign of his new Endorfins.

4. Softtop surfboard fins

Soft top surfboards traditionally require special fins with fin plugs visible on the top. These fins provide flexibility and therewith more safety for the new pups learning how to surf. The Skool Dogs like to play with them!

*Please note that all finholes on the Skooldogs are vacuum sealed off, making sure your surfboard core stays waterproof and no water can enter the construction. A lot of cheaper alternatives of soft top surfboards have these plugs penetrated through the core of the board, causing the board to absorb water on the inside.

Fin Set-ups

Now we know the fin systems, learn how fin set-ups make even a greater difference to your surf. But how the fuck do you choose which set-up is fitting yours surf(conditions)? Get your paws ready and read on! 

* Share this Fin Tactics Cheat Sheet with your surf buddies*

Fin Set-up Cheat Sheet

1. Single Fin

Surfboards with one large single fin is the traditional fin setup for many old skool dogs. A single fin gives you control and lets you flow in the waves. Ride the Single Fin Softdog 7'0 in easy rolling waves and have the most fun by taking drawn out turns and cheeky noserides. It gives you a laid-back smooth ride, with less drag and more speed. These fins don't bark for fast and sharp turns, these dogs let you be in control.

√ Small to medium, mellow and fat waves.
X Fast, steep and big waves

2. Twinnie

Twin fins are for the old Skool dog shredders. Two large fins are placed widely in the back, feeding the dogs with insane maneuverability, drive and speed. Thanks to the great volume and wide shapes, surfing shorter twinnies make your feel, fast and flexible. 

Con: Twinnies feel loose and skatier, they want to flow, turn and be in control. Riding twinfins is an artform and best performed when thrusters are no biggie anymore. Riding twin fins is a specific kinda story itself.

2.1 Twin Fin

Twin fins are the standard fins used for these types of surfboards. With a deeper and narrow base, you get more grip and stability on your twinnie. The Twin Fins of the Doberman 5'4 are placed more towards the back for more drive.
This twindog is FUN to play with and have you flying down the lines.

2.2 Keel Fin

Softdog's Keel Fins are provided with more surface and a longer base. Experiment with these for more drive and stability. 

3. Thruster fins

The thruster fin set-up is the most popular and widely seen in the line-up. From beginners to experts, surfers like the three equal sized fins placed on the bottom. The center fin in the very back, provides you with more stability and maneuverability, making the Softdogs move radical! Beginner soft top surfboards, performance shaped surfboards and funboards bark for this set-up. 

Con: The center fin stops the water flowing through the middle, dragging the dogs in the water. The more fins, the more drag. A third fin keeps the Softdog in place.

Thruster fin Tactics:
-   √ Thruster fin setup: Mid to big sized, steep hollow, mushy and choppy waves.
-   X Thruster fin setup: Small-size / mellow waves - The dogs want more speed!

4. Quad fins

The quad fin configuration has four fins placed close to the rails and the back, letting water flow through the middle. This creates more speed as there is nocenter fin dragging your dog. Often, surfers use 2 smaller rear fins in the back and two normal sized fins close to the rails more to the front for greater grip. 

Softdogs that like to go faaast go WOOF for this Set-up. Ride hard, go soft, the quad set-up under the Alpha's or Greyhound 5'8, make YOU in control of the turns, even in weaker and smaller conditions. 

Con: Loyal thruster riders might need to adapt a little as quad dogs are more loose and dominant. 

Quad Fin Tactics:

√ Clean, powerful, good size, hollow and steep waves? Quad it up!
X Choppy small waves? Dogs like a more stable bite. 

5. 5 Fin

The newest popular surfboard innovation is designed with 5 fin boxes to mix and match. Adapt to every condition, learn different styles and experiment. Softdogsurf's 5 Futures fin turns you into a great flexible surfer. Try them out on the Alpha's.

√ Advanced surfers on small shitty waves
X Learning dogs / good size waves

Trailer Fins

The surfing industry is constantly evolving, we WOOF it. By swapping a trailer fin in the center of your thruster, you experience more grip in your bottom turns and a more twin fin feeling when creating speed. This is a really effective alternative in weaker conditions. 

By placing a trailer fin in the center of your quad set-up, increases your drive and control, without causing you to lose speed, flow, or the traditional quad freedom. Ideal for the advanced connoisseur. Watch how Kelly Slater puts it to the test.  

Fintastic Fin Tactics

  • Switch and swap your fin configurations.
  • Experiment and notice the differences by feeling the water flowing, rail to rail turns and moving your weight towards the front and back.
  • Thruster set-up: Replace center fin with trailer fin for flat/fat waves. This engages really smoothly to still do your turns.
  • Quad set-up: Experiment with trailer fins up-front, a larger size fins in the back, equal sized fins or skip the rear fins. With Softdog 5 Fins, you have the equipment you need in every condition.
  • Single fin set-up: create more stability with trailer fins on the side.
  • Notice the difference by adding a trailer fin in the same quad surf session.
  • Softdog's Futures fins are swapped as quickly as these dogs like to go!

Softdog Futures Fins

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