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A Guide to FCS Fins

by Chris Durlacher | Mar 01, 2013

Finding The Right Size Fin

FCS thruster and quad sets are categorised by size. Each size category has an optimum weight range that can be used as a guide when choosing a fin:

 fcs fins extra small Optimum Weight Range under 120lbs / under 55kg 
 fcs fins small Optimum Weight Range 120-155lbs / 55-70kg
 fcs fins medium Optimum Weight Range 140-175lbs / 65-80kg
 fcs fins large Optimum Weight Range 165-200lbs / 75-90kg
 fcs fins extra large Optimum Weight Range over 190lbs / over 85kg 
 fcs fins special For specific surfboard designs or as specialised fins

 

How Fin Materials Can Improve your Surfing

So you’ve decided on the fin template that’s right for you… But what about the fin construction? This video explains the 6 constructions currently used in the FCS fin range so you can make an educated decision going into your next fin purchase.


 
Performance Core Carbon (PCC)
Performance Core construction with hand laid carbon fiber designed to deliver controlled flex and enhanced base stiffness.
  Performance Core (PC)
Performance Core material and construction is designed to deliver the feeling of a traditional fibreglass fin with the added performance of reduced weight. The RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) process produces a lightweight fin with remarkable flex, a smooth feel and an impressive aesthetic.
  Performance Glass (PG)
Performance Glass material characteristics and flex pattern are identical to traditional fibreglass fins offering a stiff base with subtle responsive tip flex, amazing aesthetics and proven durability. PG fins are the perfect transition fin for surfers moving from fixed fins to the convenience, accuracy and performance of FCS.
  Neo Glass
Lightweight, moulded fiberglass construction delivering pro standard performance. The high fiberglass content makes these fins stiff and responsive, and the engineered foils provide a consistent feel in a range of different conditions.
  Glass Flex (GF)
Glass Flex has been formulated to replicate the flex and memory properties of hand layed fibreglass. It's advantages over other composite fin materials include stiffness, a more positive flex pattern (nice tip flex, little base flex) and remarkable flex memory. The precision of the injection moulding process ensures the highest accuracy in geometry in each fin produced. 
 

Understanding FCS Fin Characteristics

All FCS fins are classified by the following characteristics; Base, Depth, Area, Sweep and Foil.

Understanding how these fin characteristics can change the performance of your surfboard is an important consideration when working out which FCS fins are best for you. Each of the following fin characteristics are clearly listed on each each fin page, allowing you to evaluate the impact that a fin design would have on your surfing.

FCS fin characteristics base 

BASE

Base is the length between the leading and trailing edge where the fin meets the board. Base is primarily linked to drive. Fins with a longer base will offer substantially more drive and acceleration.

FCS fin characteristics depth 

DEPTH

Depth is the distance the fin penetrates into the water. Depth directly relates to hold. The greater the depth the more hold, the shorter the depth the more a board will slide and release.
FCS fin characteristics area  

AREA

Area is the total surface area of the fin.
FCS fin characteristics sweep 

SWEEP


Sweep is the angle measuring how far the outline of the fin is curved backwards; also referred to as rake. Sweep has a direct influence on pivot. Fins with more sweep produce a longer turning arc, less sweep offers a tighter turning arc.
 FCS foils overview top

FOIL

Foil refers to the shape and geometry of the inside and outside faces of the fin. Foils directly affect the flow of water over the surface of the fin. Different foils create variations in water flow and have a direct link to the overall performance of the fin and the board.
FCS foils overview base 

FLAT FOIL: A flat inside face combined with a convex outside face. The traditional flat sided foil offers an even combination of drive, pivot and hold and provides a very consistent, reliable feel over a wide variety of conditions.

INSIDE FOIL: A sophisticated hydrodynamic foil consisting of a convex outside face, a rounded leading edge and a concaved inside face. Inside foil increases the efficiency of water flow over the surface of the fin adding lift and reducing drag. The result is a fin with more options through increased hold and speed.

50/50 FOIL: A symmetrical foil used on all centre fins where both sides are convex. Even water flow on both sides creates stability and control.

70/30 or 80/20 FOIL: Combines the performance of a centre and side fin offering increased speed, smooth rail-to-rail transitions and a consistent feel in a variety of conditions. (Ideal for all board types and rear fin placements)

 

It's really all up to experimentation and seeing what works best for your surfing style. Try a few different combinations, see how your board behaves differently during each surf, and most importantly ....have fun!

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    Julian Wilson

    Julian Wilson

    Name: Julian Wilson
    Date of Birth: November 8, 1988
    Born: Coolum Beach, QLD Australia
    Lives: Coolum Beach, QLD Australia
    Sponsors: Nike footwear and clothing, Red Bull energy drinks, Oakley eyewear, Sol Republic headphones and FCS fins