best fin system 2004

wondering what is the best fin box system in USA?

redex big time!!! stiff, versatile, and they can make you custom fin.

they will also let you buy plugs,

i have problem buying plug from FCS because they think i will make my own fins…

FCS …i don’t know if they are the best but I like to use them a lot…


Prolly depends on what you wanna do with it.


Market share - FCS is first, Futures second.

Strongest/stiffest: Red-X first, Lokbox second, both WAY better than FCS (which is the worst). Futures is WAY better than FCS here, too.

Most failures in practice: FCS - busted plugs.

Adjustable: LoxBox and Red-X offer some adjustability, Edge fin system has a LOT of adjustability.

Best foils??? I dunno, my personal take. Futures advertises the huge amounts they’ve spent on foils, Red-X and others use classic foils or have top shapers and surfers make them or guide design, but in my mind the differences between foils is a small variable in performance compared to fin toe-in and cant, and fore-aft position, position wrt rail, and stiffness.

Singles: almost everyone uses Bahne boxes. I think O-Fishl has an alternate box rarely used.

I have a leetle pet project linked to below which is also a fin box, and it is the only one that lets the whole fin rotate to optimize angle of attack. I think it is the worlds best singlefin finbox (I’m a little biased :slight_smile: ).

I’m kind of partial to Red X

Hey Cheyne,

Being a custom fin maker I’ve had a chance to look at several of the systems. My pick is Future. I’ve never had any trouble with the system and almost all the major shapers here in Santa Cruz use it in their boards. There are other systems that are very strong and reliable. But I find the process of making fins for the Future system very straight forward and from what the surfers say that I’ve made fins for the resulting performance speaks for itself. Future fin boxes are pretty much part of the board if they’re put in professionally. Once a board gets over about 7’0" I think it’s a good idea to put a Bayne box in the center and Futures on the rails because this give you greater options in tuning a given board to the conditions. Being able to move the center fin fore and aft is a big plus IMHO.

If I was gonna pick second it would either be

Lock Box or Red X they’re both have an an excellent track record for durability and Red X has a nice fin selection.

Some surfers don’t like the fact that the Red X fin boxes go all the way through the board but if that doesn’t bother you and you like the fins they have to offer the machining tolerences on the fin roots are the best in the industry.

There are several other systems out there. I’ve tried to get a good look at the others but I haven’t been successful yet.

Everyone will have a little different take on things but like Jeff Clark says, The last thing I want to think about when I crankin’ off the bottom of a 40 footer is ~~ Will my fin box hold?

The three systems I’ve mentioned are used with great success in big surf so they have to be the top choices or at least for me anyway.

Mahalo, Rich

has any one here heard that fcs bought out futures?

speeed or soar glass ons

Fin Solutions… strong plugs and is possible insert fcs fins too

if there was a good one i would use it…

if my choice was based on foil characteristics for perfrormance,it would be red x …

my choice of box for quality of finishing and strength ,futures…(off the fins,camber to far back)

if i wasnt woried about quality ,strength and performance and i wanted something i could slap out quickly for the sake of profit ,then id use fcs…

if i was still learning all about fins ie,cant,toe in,position, and size, then the 4 way would be ideal as a learning aid for a shaper ,(to complicated for the average joe)…

another one comparable to fcs but with a performance twist,if your into feeling out of control and like a delayed response time , a little drift and some wobble then choose speed fins…

lokbox i cant say ,have no experience with em…or soar…

this may sound petty ,but the lokbox doesnt suit my ideal of symetry…

swivel,well there fins are looking better but if you dont like the red x box you wont like the swivel set up either…

for me its comes back to foil your own …that way you can fine tune for each individual…isnt that right rich???

nothing like custom fins to harmonise with your custom shape…



sorry if ive missed any fin companies…we dont get exposed to much way down here in the bottom corner of oz ,except swell maybe…

I have a few boards w/ RedX’s system. I think they are great, strong, and versatile. I’ve been thinking of what Kokua has stated before in regards to repairs from blowouts w/ rocks, reefs, or board collisions. RedX might be stronger but what happens when the plug is altered by blunt force trauma? F.C.S., it seems, is a quick fix. What do we do w/ the RedX system? It seems like it is more of a rebuild. So, that being said, it might be somewhat of an asset to have a plug that fails easier. What’s your take on this?

would everyone agree that FCS installs the easiest?

Interesting…the other day I watched Kelly Slater surfing the 2003 J-Bay contest.

The most amazing/radical contest surfing I’ve ever seen…he made everyone else look like trialists. He’s always riding FCS fins. Yes I know what youre thinking…its part of the money/sponsor deal but I dont think he’d be riding an inferior product that would hinder his surfing no matter how much he’s being paid. Most of the other fin products are great…I just think that the FCS bashing is based on subjective criteria. In all the years Ive used FCS its never failed me. For travel, removables are absolutely a must. Tweaking board performance or adjusting for wave conditions using different fins is great. However, FCS is too expensive.

well theres the inconvenience if your system fails easier…just cliping a rock or a loaded bottom turn , not ideal for the feral surfer in isolation…

i will adjust my opinion to performance when it comes to fcs, your right ,they do have a large range of foils , and i was checking some new ones recently that quite impressed me …

but they definatly are the weakest which wouldnt bother kelly with his high board turnover…

and ease of installation , theve got it for sure,i think thats a major reason there still so popular , the builders love em …

also in the development years some of the team riders were using custom foils in there competition boards,dont quote me here but i think now kelly has his own refined fin model ,he would probably use it…



No. Futures install is done by the shaper, not the glasser, and takes much less time than FCS.

This is ONE of the reasons they are gaining market share around here (Bay Area) - the Futures reps are WAY cooler than the FCS reps and the install takes less time (which is money). The shapers are actually pushing Futures to the customers who are asking for FCS!

The shapers will happily point out that of all the finbox repairs they do, 9 out of 10 are busted FCS plugs. This persuades the customer that the Futures are better for them, too.

It is hard to rationalize how FCS is “strong enough” in practice when you see so many busted plugs in practice. Either the install is munged or the system is weak, either way the customer blames FCS and the shaper.

In no way am I slighting Red-X or Loxbox - both are fairly rare up here compared to Futures/FCS and I lack experience wrt their install ease.

I might say that I have many boards w/ FCS, and Futures(Yaters) . The glass shop I use switch too redX. The repairs on FCS and Futures are a simple in and out. Although it might take more force to break the REDX plug, I’ve seen REDX blow outs, and they ain’t pretty. More of the tail is taken with the plug. I think both systems have great merits.

I’ve gone back to FCS after using Red-X, Future, and speedfins. Red-x was nice but like easternpacific said blow outs were nasty and I didn’t really care for the holes on the deck side either/ cut the side of my foot real good. I am happy with FCS fins or glass on’s

I agree with you meecrafty…

I’ve repaired FCS (easy…really easy) and found out that all the boards that had broken or loose FCS plugs was because they were bad installed… in a good FCS installation the resin must bond with the deck glass… not everybody does this… I’ve seen lots of boards with FCS plugs installed incorrectly…

I’ve been using FCS on my personal boards for several years now (8 plus) and never had a single problem with them… and I surf really hard!

Well that’s just my opinion… many may disagree with me…



…the other day I watched Kelly Slater surfing the 2003 J-Bay contest. …He’s always riding FCS fins.

wouldn’t say he always rides FCS, seen some different plugs in his boards before.

I just finished my third backyard board, (to be added to the resources section, as soon as I take some pics) and I put lokboxes in… pretty simple install, I hand-routed into the foam with a dremel before lamming, and used microballoon paste. The board is a postmodern fish, and I got a set of beautiful fiberglass fins from rainbow, two large side and one small center, and the tuneability of the board is really neat. Fins up front=really loose and squirty, fins back=more drivey, easier to stick late drop. Like having two boards. fins are held in place by stainless screw and tab, any slot head screwdriver will work. (try finding an FCS key or correct allen wrench while in remote locale)


has any one here heard that fcs bought out futures?

Heard the Rumor but its far from true.