Surf fins are becoming critical in surfboard performance. Futures and FCS are battling for market share, but is there an optimum fin system for your quiver and experience?
Two brands are driving our surfboards crazy.
Futures and FCS have consolidated their position in the surf fins market with completely different core concepts and models. Is there a real winner?
FCS has been dominating the fin setup choices for a decade but has never gotten to the monopoly frontier, in which all fin boxes get the FCS mark in the shaping room.
FCS has developed a wide range of materials to improve drive, hold, and turning on the wave face: ultra-light epoxy, composite core, performance core, performance glass, and glass flex are names given to different flex patterns.
FCS fins have also been designed for multiple weight modes and surfboard fin setups.
Surfers usually point out that the downsides of using FCS fins are the quality of the fin boxes and the fin plugs that usually damage the deck of the boards.
The new Fusion plugs were introduced to avoid board carnage.
Fins by Futures have been building a steady hardcore fan base. While FCS was almost the only choice at the beginning of the century, Futures has grown and improved its alternative fin concept.
Surf fin enthusiasts feel that Futures Fins are stronger, and when they break, it's usually in the base. All you need to do is replace the fin instead of repairing the surfboard.
Futures fin boxes are considered to be user-friendly. You can easily remove and change them for a new setup.
Today, it's still easier to find surfboard shapers working with FCS. It's almost the standard fin system in the world, and that is a downside for Futures.
The battle is underway.
The overall installed weight of the fin systems, hydrodynamics, price, and width of the product mix will determine who will claim the battle of surf fins.