Another Toe-In Question..

OK Gang, I'm a noobie. First post (!). Anyway, just scratching the surface on comprehending design, but I'm lovin how much I'm learning here on Sways. I've got a question about how much toe-in is too much. I've searched the archives and found little bits here and there but hoping for more specifics as it relates to the board I'm dealing with.

Here's my sitch: Ordered a shortboard from a respected local shaper. Volumey, hippy, shorter/wider, 5 future boxes, for waist-chest surf. After getting to know it a bit and going back and forth between a couple other similar boards, plus experimenting with quad/thruster setups, the conclusion I cannot escape is that it feels like I'm dragging a weight behind me.

So I start looking at fin placement, Everything seems normal wrt location and what I've read here, except for the toe-in of the forward rail fins. Measured from the stringer out to the leading edge, and then stringer out to the trailing edge, the difference is 1/2". Ran a line off the inside edges of each forward fin to the nose and they crossed 12" before the nose. (Trailers look to be toed-in 1/8")

Isnt this too much? Lines run off the fins of all my other boards, including another one he shaped me, seem to cross somewhere out in space in front of the nose. I've read a 1/4 on fronts and 1/8 on trailers. Wondering if this is a mistake (aren't fin boxes set during glassing? I think he sends boards out to be glassed, so maybe someone else did it) or if more toe-in was purposely set for the other characteristics of the board (bottom contours? Its single to light vee at tail). But it just feels like they're creating too much drag.

Finally, if it is a mistake, what's the best way to approach it with the shaper?  

Thanks All

A quick response.

In the 70s and later,  a popular and totally appropriate method of placing fins was to run a line from the side fins to the nose.

If their crossing 12" before the nose, something is strangely amiss.

Look for the fin marks on the board and figure if you can attribute this to the glassers mistake or shaper.

If its the glassers fault  for not following the shapers marks, you have ammunition to have it set the way it should be for free.


If its the shapers fault, then …well there is alot to say here.

I cant see any reason to have the fins cross a full 12" behind the nose.

But perhaps it was related to some of the feedback you were giving him and the intensity of it.

Perhaps what you say to the shaper needs to be examined as well as other things.

Alternatively, maybe your shaper does is a pothead, alcoholic or just screws things up too frequently.

Perhaps you need a different shaper.


 ...the conclusion I cannot escape is that it feels like I'm dragging a weight behind me.


Grasshopper, you have snatched the pebble on your first try!

"if it is a mistake, what’s the best way to approach it with the shaper? "

This could be the START of a good shaper surfer relationship. You have played with all the fin options. Surfed it in the waves it was made for, hopefully, and just can not get it to work. Time to contact the shaper. Tell him what you have experienced with the board. I have even gone to the beach and watched a surfer with a board that was not working. It may be as simple as wrong fins or something else, rocker, thickness distribution etc etc that for you are not working. If you and your shaper can figure out what is “wrong” and fix it together you are on your way to getting some really dialed in boards for you.

If the fins are toed 1/2'' per fin, that's a mistake (or a really strange design). I'd suggest you take it in and politely ask him go over the fin measurements. Like ace says, this could be the beginning of a good relationship. Or it can turn into a mess. That's up to you and the shaper.

I've made mistakes before. I eat mine.

Hey lurch

They should probably be 1/4" toe for those front fins… pretty standard.

You can save the board by installing ProBoxes in place of the Futures - toed in correctly of course.

Here’s a pic of a shallow router pass for a Futures to Probox conversion



Sounds a bit like Kelly's 'Deep Six' Pipe Masters thruster - look closely at the fin toe-in on this board.  The fourth photo is actually a sequence of seven shots of the board as it spins rotisserie style - the seventh is a straight-on bottom view, and the fin toe-in is just unreal.  It looks like way too much.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. From the names I see I can tell I'm getting solid info, much appreciated.

I took the board back to him today and he was super cool about it. Right away he could see what I was talking about and I didn't even have to finish what I was saying. He acknowleged that it was a mistake, owned it, and said he would take care of it for me. Can't really ask for more than that.

I guess there's the issue of how'd this happen in the first place... but to me, sometimes mistakes happen and it's more important how you respond to it.

He said that what gets done is the fin box is removed, replaced with foam, and then new boxes set in at a better angle. Might look ugly, but shouldn't add too much weight. Looking forward to seeing if this board will go after all!

well Done! I agree with Ace's comments too....

that's excellent news , from both parts... you contacted your shaper and he responded accordingly...

more of this type of positive attitude will benefit our industry...

i salute you for taking the time to explore the problem and try and resolve it with your shaper!

hope u have the start of a good working relationship with him, and happy surfing!