Lets use the 5 things to look for in a fin to compare some fin templates.

Posted by Fin Guru on Jun 16th 2023

Posted by Fin Guru on Jun 16th 2023

Lets use the 5 things to look for in a fin to compare some fin templates.

Now that we covered the 5 Things to look at in a fin in last weeks blog post (which you can find HERE), I thought it would be a good idea to look at certain fin templates and see how these shapers/athletes/designers use the different parts of the fin like the base length, rake, and tip shape to achieve a desired result.

Let's take a look at the Mayhem versus the Pyzel. By looking at these two templates over lapped we can start to break down how they are slightly different, therefore will ride a little differently, and theorize where one fin might work better than the other.

Ok so first the specs that Futures gives us on these two fins.


Mayhem Large: Height = 4.67 - Base = 4.60 - Surface Area = 15.85 - no rake degree

Pyzel Large: Height = 4.64 - Base = 4.65 - Surface Area = 16.00 - no rake degree

So when we look at the two fins overlapped with the Pyzel behind the Mayhem, we can see the longer base in the front of fin that the Pyzel has at 4.65, versus the Mayhem at 4.60. Also the leading edge of the Pyzel is more forward than the Mayhem. Interestingly enough we don't see anything else sticking out from the Pyzel sitting behind the Mayhem.

Now let's overlap them with the Pyzel on top of the Mayhem. The main thing we see is all the missing area on the trailing edge of the Pyzel. Also, look at the area of the tip of the Pyzel, which is a lot narrower than the Mayhem. Note that the tips of both fins end in pretty much the same spot. So similar rake, degree wise.

Based on this comparison, how do you think these fins will ride differently on the same board?

First off, as a generalization, both these templates would be good fit for a medium tail rocker board. Both fins have a pretty good length of base so we're going to get a good amount of drive. They are pretty upright, which means we're going to get some good pivot. So, both of these fins are going to supply some drive but all the while turn in a pretty tight radius. 

So with those differences, where is the scenario of application for these two different templates? I would say if your style is carving, hitting the lip hard, and wanting to feel locked in through your turns then go with the Mayhem. This is because it has a fatter tip and more surface area on the trailing edge which gives it more hold through turns. If you want your board to release at the end of your turn, give way a little easier in the lip, and react a little quicker then I would go with the Pyzel. This is because the Pyzel has more surface area in the leading edge and less surface area in the trailing edge. This distribution of the surface area makes for more area forward, which is looser. The tip of the Pyzel is narrower which releases easier and holds a little less longer which helps it react faster. 

Foregoing rocker, there are some more subtle things between these two templates that you could take into consideration depending on the board itself. As an example, if you are riding a wider squash tail you have lift from the increase in surface area. When you have lift in the tail you might need more control so the tail feels more locked in and doesn't release as easily. So a fin with a fatter tip and more surface area on the trailing edge could hold through the turns better and help remain positive in the lip. Where a round pin has a lot less surface area which means the tail is going to sink into the water more. This, in and of itself, will give the board more hold and control. So you can use the template with a narrow tip because the pin tail will be gripping more and you wont need a fatter tip for the control and hold.

This also plays out similarly when you might be riding a board that is a higher volume relative to your weight. You would probably want the fatter tip template so it holds through the turns and maintains drive. This is because you are sitting higher up in the water and your weight is not sinking the rail effectively for hold, control, and harnessing energy. Conversely, when you are in the closest threshold of your weight to board volume ratio, you are using your body weight to properly sink your rail which gives you hold and control. With this you could get away with the narrower tip because you're getting enough hold from sinking your rail properly.

These are just a few of the variables you can take into consideration when looking at fins. As you can see surfboards and fins are multidimensional and are always in a dance of give and take. It's good to investigate to find the balance and what will work optimally for you and your board.

Fins can, and do, make a difference. There are varying degrees to which you can investigate and make changes to your gear. What I love about changing your fins is that the potential to find some percent of improvement exists! Knowing this I created the BTD Deal at USEDSURF. It is a 30 day Buy, Try, and Decide Program here at Usedsurf so you can now buy a fin set and have up to 30 days to decide if you want to keep it, or return it, for a full refund! You can't lose!!! https://usedsurf.com/buy-try-decide/

You can also hit me up with any questions at https://usedsurf.com/ask-the-fin-guru/

There is so much to unpack when it comes to fins. Hopefully this has you thinking about things fins wise. I will keep going with these blog post and hopefully i can shed some light on this whole other world related to the way your board reacts and performs with different fin templates.

Thank you,

Fin Guru