In this wakeboard how to, The Boarding School’s Shaun Murray shows you how to find the right amount of fin for your style of riding.
Picture yourself standing on top of a moving car while holding your board over your head (yeah, really safe). If you want the board to go to the left, you wouldn’t turn the board to the left, you would tilt it with the left edge down. Now the board wants to go left, but it also wants to go toward the back of the car, against the direction of travel. This is where a lot of pop, or what I call “power,” can be had on the water, especially going up the wake.
The harder you cut, the more angle you create, which equals more power. So, if you ride with a lot of fin, you can cut toward the wake without a proper edge. That means you rely on your speed at the wake to get air. You have a lot of angle cutting at the wake, but no edge, which means you aren’t getting much power. That’s where bad habits start to form.
If you ride perfectly, you don’t really need a fin. But no one rides perfectly all the time, so you want just the right amount of fin, but not too much.
At Hyperlite, we found that by making the fin longer and shallower, you can still have good tracking without having a fin so big it can catch when sliding the wake. In general, a fin should track when you want it to and release when you want it to.
What’s the Right Amount for You?
If your board has one center fin on each end, I think 1.3 inches or smaller — ideally, 1 inch or less.
If your board has two outside fins, 1 inch is big, so ideally 0.8 inches.
If your board has two outside molded-in fins, 1 inch or less in the center, if it has the option of a center fin.
I ride with two outside removable fins that are 0.8 inches.