How many fins you need for paddleboading is typically 3. The number varies between 0 and 5. Use 0 if you are whitewater SUP, and up to 5 if surfing.
Before we get started with anything else, let us tell you for a fact that you can never have a fixed number of fins for your paddleboard. The chief objective of attaching fins to your paddleboard is furnishing the latter with the scope of tracking.
If you are maneuvering in the water without fins, the water will create a drag on every side of the paddleboard. However, with fins, the drag will be eliminated from all the other sides and dominate only the left and right side thereby, helping you move forward with enhanced stability and balance.
Therefore, depending on the movement that you want to achieve on the left or right side, you can decide the number of fins for the SUP.
In the following segment, we will be delineating the number of fins that you should ideally use for surfing, touring, and cruising for your better understanding.
- Number of fins required for surfing
Commonly, either three or four fins should be used for a SUP that you are utilizing for surfing. Nevertheless, you will sometimes find surfers using five fins for their paddleboards but, this happens in very rare cases. Bear in mind that your target I to achieve enough stability for the SUP along with maneuverability and flexibility.
- Number of fins required for touring
As far as touring in a paddleboard is concerned, you would want to naturally traverse the longer distance with increased speed and malleable movement. To make things smoother, you should have two side fins accompanying the center fin of the SUP. Besides furnishing it with the stability it deserves, they will move through the water by dissolving the impacts of the side drags to a large extent.
- Number of fins required for cruising
The first building block of successful paddleboarding is making yourself comfortable with standing up on the SUP and creating balance. It is advisable that you stick to practicing in small areas and eventually, move on to pivot turns. Paddleboards with just one fin would be suitable to comply with the needs of cruising because they are easier to turn when compared with those that have three, four, or five fin set-ups.
- Number of fins required for whitewater SUP
You will be startled to know that the number of fins necessary for whitewater SUP is none! This is because the fin might come in your way of accomplishing stability and also get stuck in between rocks or just simply at the shallow bottom of streams.
Why are multiple fins preferred over single fin?
Paddleboards that have one fin cut through the water from the center and make way for a small vortex of water which, in turn, inexorably creates drag and makes it difficult to maneuver. Although something very similar happens when you have multiple fins at your disposal as well, the vortex is spread across a larger area and resultantly, the tension is removed from the center.