How to Stick on Trailer Fins for Surfing

by Kyra Sheahan

Surfboards come in different lengths and have different fin setups. The fins on a surfboard, whether you use a short-board or a long-board, work to stabilize the board and assist with special maneuvers and turning. Trailer fins are specifically used for loosening up the board so that surfers can carve the waves with ease and grace. Before installing the trailer fin, you must identify what type of fins, FCS or Futures, are compatible with your board, as FCS and Futures fins have different methods of installation.

Items you will need

  • Fin key

FCS Fins

Step 1

Locate the fin plugs on the underside of your surfboard. Identify where the side fins go and where the trailer fin should go.

Step 2

Unscrew the screws to your fin plugs with a fin key. A fin key is a special tool that is meant specifically for surfboards.

Step 3

Position the trailer fin over the fin plug. Determine the correct angle. The point of the trailer fin should face back or behind the end of the board.

Step 4

Put the trailer fin in level. Putting the fin in at an angle can puncture your board. Slide the fin into place and secure it with the screws.

Step 5

Tighten the screws with your fin key by hand. Do not overly tighten the screws or else you can rip them.

Futures Fins

Step 1

Locate the single box where the trailer fin goes underneath the surfboard. The box looks like a long slit in the surfboard, whereas the FCS plugs look like two holes.

Step 2

Look inside the fin box for the tab at the end of the box. Identify the knot on the trailer fin. The knot on the trailer fin fits into the tab within the fin box. These two items must make a connection to ensure that the trailer fin is securely installed.

Step 3

Slide the trailer fin into the box, tail-end first. You will position the fin down as you set it into the box. Once it is in place, press the front of the fin down. Feel the trailer fin latch into position.

Step 4

Use your fin key to tighten the screw into the fin box. Fin keys are universal, so you can use an FCS or Futures fin key for your fin screws. Fin boxes on Futures fins only have one screw to tighten, whereas FCS fins have two screws that need tightening.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check to make sure your fins are in place by wiggling the fins around gently. They should feel tight and locked in.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images