HOW TO: Adjust the Aluminum SUP Paddle

HOW TO: Adjust the Aluminum SUP Paddle

April 16, 2021

Adjusting the Aluminum SUP Paddle

An instructional guide on tightening the shaft clamp and adjusting the Aluminum SUP Paddle.

 

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

WHAT FIN SETUP SHOULD YOU BE USING?

What fin setup should you be using on your paddleboard

Most people understand that fins help you go in a straight line but not everyone knows which configuration they should be using and why. By understanding how the setup of your fins can affect your paddling, you can change your setup to suit your style and performance needs.

Here we look at the various fin setups most commonly found on stand up paddle boards and we will run you through which setup is best for what type of paddling.

Why do we use fins?

 

If you have ever tried to paddle a SUP without a fin you will have noticed that the board is hugely uncontrollable and it is difficult to keep the board tracking in a straight line. I know this scenario well after losing a fin to a rock on a whitewater river and spending the remainder of the day spinning in circles not being able to achieve any forwards propulsion. Without fins your board slides across the surface of the water freely, making paddling in a straight and forwards direction hard work. Fins add stability and control to your paddleboard and can help you maintain speed through your strokes.

FIN SETUPS

Single fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for tracking

SINGLE FIN

Single fins are perfect for speed, stability, and control. The fins used are generally longer (8-10") than those used in other setups, and are often used on longer board models. They offer great straight-line tracking with minimum drag on the one fin. The only downside to the single fin is that it makes quick and snappy turns more difficult.

 

In the surf, a single fin will provide the perfect power for long, drawn-out turns (think of a long surfboard style) in small to medium-sized waves.

 

A Single fin is your go-to setup for touring and longer paddles.

Twin fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for surfing

TWIN FINS

Twin fins give you less control, but a more playful feel. The twin setup can be fun to try in the surf for a loose and lively feel or to use in whitewater when a long center fin will hit rocks. The twin fin originated from the fishtail surfboard and is not commonly seen on a SUP. However, the twin setup can provide good maneuverability and is generally quite stable. In the absence of a middle fin, you are likely to see less drag than a thruster configuration and will be able to throw in some quick direction changes.

Thruster fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for big surf

THRUSTER

The three fin setup also known as the thruster set up is a more maneuverable configuration than the single fin but the side-bites help keep the stability and control. The purpose of the side bites on either side of the middle fin is to channel water through the fins, increasing the speed of the water giving you more power when you are on a wave. The thruster setup is the surfer's choice, and especially for larger waves. In flatwater having the three fins will cause more drag, reducing your speed, but they will offer high maneuverability and a lot of stability.

The thruster is your go-to setup for surfing and cruising.

Quad fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for small and steep surf

QUAD

The four-fin quad setup is great for acceleration through small surf and allows you to make more explosive turns like the twin fin setup but with greater control. When surfing with a quad setup you can expect extra speed without having a center fin but with a better hold to the wave. On flatwater, this setup can give you more control over the twin fin but will have more drag due to the number of fins being used.

 

The quad configuration is your go-to setup for smaller or steep waves.

Positioning of the fins

how to position your stnd up paddle board fins

WHERE SHOULD YOUR FIN BE POSITIONED?

 

Not only does the configuration of the fins affect the way the board reacts but also the positioning of each fin. The fin boxes will be larger than the fins so they can slide forwards and backward allowing you to set your preferred position.

Position the fin towards the front of the paddle board for greater maneuverability

FORWARDS

Sliding the fin all the way to the front of the fin box will give you more maneuverability which is ideal if you are surfing and making quick turns. You will lose a bit of stability with the fins towards the front.

Position the finin the center of the paddle board fin box for everyday paddling

CENTER

Placing the fin in the center of the fin box is the best position for cruising and recreational paddling. This position offers the best all-around performance of stability, tracking, and maneuverability. It is the most versatile option out of the three.

Position the fin towards the back of the paddle board for better tracking

BACK

Putting the fin at the back of the fin box towards the tail of the board will make the board harder to turn, so it makes it the ideal placement for long paddles and touring where you need to cover long distances.

 

Have a play around with the placement of the fins in the fin boxes and the configuration of your fins to find your optimal setup. You can also try different sized fins and see how these feel for the activity your doing. Generally speaking the larger the surface area on the fin the more stability, hold and drive you'll have, while smaller fins will allow more maneuverability.

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

WHAT FIN SETUP SHOULD YOU BE USING?

What fin setup should you be using on your paddleboard

Most people understand that fins help you go in a straight line but not everyone knows which configuration they should be using and why. By understanding how the setup of your fins can affect your paddling, you can change your setup to suit your style and performance needs.

Here we look at the various fin setups most commonly found on stand up paddle boards and we will run you through which setup is best for what type of paddling.

Why do we use fins?

 

If you have ever tried to paddle a SUP without a fin you will have noticed that the board is hugely uncontrollable and it is difficult to keep the board tracking in a straight line. I know this scenario well after losing a fin to a rock on a whitewater river and spending the remainder of the day spinning in circles not being able to achieve any forwards propulsion. Without fins your board slides across the surface of the water freely, making paddling in a straight and forwards direction hard work. Fins add stability and control to your paddleboard and can help you maintain speed through your strokes.

FIN SETUPS

Single fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for tracking

SINGLE FIN

Single fins are perfect for speed, stability, and control. The fins used are generally longer (8-10") than those used in other setups, and are often used on longer board models. They offer great straight-line tracking with minimum drag on the one fin. The only downside to the single fin is that it makes quick and snappy turns more difficult.

 

In the surf, a single fin will provide the perfect power for long, drawn-out turns (think of a long surfboard style) in small to medium-sized waves.

 

A Single fin is your go-to setup for touring and longer paddles.

Twin fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for surfing

TWIN FINS

Twin fins give you less control, but a more playful feel. The twin setup can be fun to try in the surf for a loose and lively feel or to use in whitewater when a long center fin will hit rocks. The twin fin originated from the fishtail surfboard and is not commonly seen on a SUP. However, the twin setup can provide good maneuverability and is generally quite stable. In the absence of a middle fin, you are likely to see less drag than a thruster configuration and will be able to throw in some quick direction changes.

Thruster fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for big surf

THRUSTER

The three fin setup also known as the thruster set up is a more maneuverable configuration than the single fin but the side-bites help keep the stability and control. The purpose of the side bites on either side of the middle fin is to channel water through the fins, increasing the speed of the water giving you more power when you are on a wave. The thruster setup is the surfer's choice, and especially for larger waves. In flatwater having the three fins will cause more drag, reducing your speed, but they will offer high maneuverability and a lot of stability.

The thruster is your go-to setup for surfing and cruising.

Quad fin stand up paddleboard setup is good for small and steep surf

QUAD

The four-fin quad setup is great for acceleration through small surf and allows you to make more explosive turns like the twin fin setup but with greater control. When surfing with a quad setup you can expect extra speed without having a center fin but with a better hold to the wave. On flatwater, this setup can give you more control over the twin fin but will have more drag due to the number of fins being used.

 

The quad configuration is your go-to setup for smaller or steep waves.

Positioning of the fins

how to position your stnd up paddle board fins

WHERE SHOULD YOUR FIN BE POSITIONED?

 

Not only does the configuration of the fins affect the way the board reacts but also the positioning of each fin. The fin boxes will be larger than the fins so they can slide forwards and backward allowing you to set your preferred position.

Position the fin towards the front of the paddle board for greater maneuverability

FORWARDS

Sliding the fin all the way to the front of the fin box will give you more maneuverability which is ideal if you are surfing and making quick turns. You will lose a bit of stability with the fins towards the front.

Position the finin the center of the paddle board fin box for everyday paddling

CENTER

Placing the fin in the center of the fin box is the best position for cruising and recreational paddling. This position offers the best all-around performance of stability, tracking, and maneuverability. It is the most versatile option out of the three.

Position the fin towards the back of the paddle board for better tracking

BACK

Putting the fin at the back of the fin box towards the tail of the board will make the board harder to turn, so it makes it the ideal placement for long paddles and touring where you need to cover long distances.

 

Have a play around with the placement of the fins in the fin boxes and the configuration of your fins to find your optimal setup. You can also try different sized fins and see how these feel for the activity your doing. Generally speaking the larger the surface area on the fin the more stability, hold and drive you'll have, while smaller fins will allow more maneuverability.

Written by Jennifer Chrimes

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