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How Paddler Skill Level Affects SUP Fin Selection
WHETHER YOU ARE AN INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED OR PROFESSIONAL THE RIGHT FIN WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
HOW DOES A PADDLER'S EXPERIENCE INFLUENCE SUP FIN CHOICE?
It is important to get the right fin for your needs and not just follow the professional athletes – that goes for all equipment. It is very easy to go too small and while we encourage you to experiment with smaller fins it is always a good idea to have a bigger fin ready for those choppy days on the water especially on race day. The big thing to remember is that you are not fast if you are falling off. This section aims to help paddlers identify what they really need from a fin upgrade.
Those who have paddled a fair amount, but are progressing onto racing and touring style boards that are narrower and more challenging to paddle than beginner round nose boards. If you can paddle a good distance, but tracking and stability are skills you want to work on, then you’re probably in this category of paddler.
A SUP fin which offers more tracking and stability will be crucial. Pure speed is less important than ease of use and staying dry is faster than falling off. A bigger fin with a thicker foil will be ideal.
Best bet: RAY for all around or MALIKO for downwind.
These paddlers have completed a lot of paddling miles and are the biggest group in terms of classification. Advanced paddlers will be using narrower race boards, but occasionally still need help with stability or tracking, especially in windy or choppy conditions.
As paddling experience and fitness levels increase, paddlers will want to experiment with smaller fins to achieve faster average speeds. This is especially true with boards they are comfortable on and in calmer conditions. However, keeping a bigger fin on-hand is always smart for paddling on those choppy days.
Best bet: Consider trying the TIGER for all around and MALIKO for downwind (or in surf) but keep a RAY for rough days.
These paddlers are extremely experienced in a range of conditions. They will be comfortable on narrow race boards in any weather conditions. The focus for these paddlers will likely be increased speed for racing.
In the hunt for race-winning speed, elite paddlers use narrower boards and smaller fins in all conditions. These athletes will be paddling at a very high cadence with frequent paddle swaps. Being at one with their equipment, these paddlers do not need to worry about stability.
Best bet: TIGER, SONIC or CONDOR depending on conditions, board and paddling preferences.
HOW DO OUR FINS SUIT DIFFERENT PADDLERS?
FINS FOR FLAT-WATER TOURING & RACING
These fins are designed for flat-water touring and racing, ranging from cruising your local lake to hammering out a 200-meter sprint. Finding the right combination of tracking, stability, speed and maneuverability will optimize your performance on the water.
FINS FOR DOWNWIND & OCEAN RACING
In conditions where the fastest line depends on wind, waves and current, these fins enhance the surfing characteristics of your race board so you can maintain better flow and speed while successfully catching and riding swells.