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Twin Fin vs. Single Fin

Twin Fin vs. Single Fin

The TWIN FIN vs SINGLE FIN debate has filled surf parking lots for the last few generations. While there are advantages to both, much of surfboard design comes down to matching your board (and fin setup) for the conditions of the day—and your preferred surf approach.

First, let’s dive into the advantages of each:

TWIN FIN

Twin fins, because the fins are positioned way out near the rails, create more lift, allowing the board to skate across flat sections quite easily.



Because of the placement of the twin fins, the rider is encouraged to get the board on rail as much as possible—whether using the inside rail to climb the face or the outside rail to initiate a turn.

This loose rail-to-rail approach is part of what makes twin fin surfing so pleasant; and enjoyable to watch.

We have a few new designs being worked on in the Almond Surfboards twin fin testing lab, so keep an eye out! In the meantime, enjoy our Sandia Fish, Sea Kitten or a more unique custom option – the Pleasant Pheasant ordered as a twin.

SINGLE FIN

If smooth stability is what you are looking for, a single fin is the setup for you.



While most would describe single fins as purely “cruisey”, the reality is that a well-executed bottom turn can side-load that fin, releasing with a slingshot of speed and energy.

Because the single fin brings all of the fin area to the center of the board, the board will generally do more sweeping, arcing turns. (Think: less sudden changes of direction than other fin setups). The single fin is synonymous with elegance and grace compared to its more fast and aggressive twin fin relative.

Most of the single fins you will see in the lineup are in the mid length to long board category because in conjunction with the fin you are also using your rail line to hold the board on its’ desired trajectory.

HOW DO THEY COMPARE?

Preference between twin fins and single fins is going to come down to two things:

  • Your preferred surf approach
  • The types of waves you are surfing

While single fins have more stability, they lack the get-up-and-go speed generation of a well-tuned twin. The speed of a single fin comes more from the line that you draw on the wave than it does from pumping up and down the face.

Single fins are suited for long, typically slower and softer point breaks; think 1st Point in Malibu or SanO in San Clemente. These longer, rolling waves cater to the type of slower and elegant wave riding that single fins exude.

Twin fins also like a point break where the face can be carved up and down. But these boards also work in faster beach break. The lift from twin fins allow the surfer to get the board surfing quickly down the line.

Conclusion

Choosing between a twin fin or a single fin largely depends on your preferred surfing approach and the types of waves you are surfing. Single fins commonly have more stability where speed comes from glide on the line that you draw. Twin fins are known to be fast and loose, where speed generation is through pumping and lift from the fins.

If you are curious about feeling the difference between the types of surfing approaches from the single fin or twin fin, come to our Early and Often Surf Club held monthly in Newport Beach where we have an array of boards (single and twin fins) to experiment with. We are working on adding San Diego and Los Angeles Chapters as well!

Our knowledgeable staff is always eager to discuss board theory at our show room in Costa Mesa or over the phone.

In the meantime, don’t forget that with the right equipment and the right attitude, even two foot waves can be firing! We will see you in the lineup!

What's Next?