Futures Fin School - Main Image
The most important variable to look at is area. Match the area of the fin to your weight using our fin selector or catalog. Then consider that larger base fins give you more drive during bottom turns, while fins that have less rake are pivoty and good for tight pocket surfing.
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The more area, the more hold the fin will have

The size of the fin is critical based on the weight of the surfer. The area is the most important number to look at to determine the size of the fin. We laid out our catalog with area increasing from left to right. This way the fins to the left in the weight category are looser and the fins to the right have more hold.
One element of Area. Taller surfers might find that deeper fins fit them better.

The length of the surfboard used to be considered an important indicator for surfers when picking a surfboard, but now surfers are finding that they can ride shorter and shorter boards because volume is much more important than length. Just like surfboards, fins have benefited from recent advancements in technology, and now height is just a component of area. The deeper the fin is the more leverage the fin will have when rolling onto the rail. This helps with stability and overall hold, just like increasing the area. Taller surfers might benefit from deeper fins, and shorter surfers might like less fin height.
The larger the base the more drive the fin will have in bottom turns

Base is an important aspect of area. Increasing the base will make a dramatic difference in the drive you feel out of your bottom turns. If the board feels stiff or hard to turn, putting in a fin with a smaller base, less rake, or more flex might free it up a bit.
The more rake a fin has the longer and more drawn out turns become. The more upright a fin is, the more pivoty the fin feels.

The further the tip overhangs the base the more rake a fin will have. Fins with a large overhang are considered to be lower aspect ratio and they will be more stable because the fin tip in the back corrects and holds the board straight. This is good when the conditions are heavy or you want to wrap sweeping cutbacks. Fins that are more straight up, higher aspect ratio, will allow you to change directions quickly and can be excellent for tight pocket surfing.