fin setup for 8'0" funboard- please advise

Hey Everyone-

I am looking to set up a 8’-0" funboard shape with some fins. What are people liking/using? I have boxes for FCS and longboard style fins. Any tips on format, placement, etc. would be appreciated.

-thruster again (as were the other two boards we made)

-2+1 long box towards tail

-2+1 long box more forward

Other details-bigger guy, beginning surfer, smallish breaks.

Thanks, J

Edit :  Looking at some other 8-footers online, looks like the center boxes are starting more like 7 plus inches up and the sides are either placed starting mid-box  approx 13" some from tail to approx 19" or starting front of box…so I am thoroughly confused as I compare these to Greenlight’s Chart:

Do a 4/1 set up. a Long fin box will allow you to try diffrent fins from long board to tiny little fins. As to the 4 fin set up Others here can enlighten you on proper placments. 

As to the Board do not shape a fun board! Fun Boards. shape a mid length</8" Board. Put some thought into it. Look at Boards like The CI M13 or Rusty desert Island. and Take a good hard look at Egg shapes. A Mini Longboard nose rider is better then a Fun shape.

Thanks Artz. Could you please explain what you mean by a mid length? Maybe we are already on the same page and I am lost in terminology. I was thinking longboard nose/tail without the longboard length through the wide point.

I just ran the McKee M5 longboard numbers on this. Here is what I got with a 15" wide tail @12" from end of stringer.

Trailing end box: 6"

Trailing end rears: 8", set at 6 7/8" apart, toe in 1/8" , cant 2.5 degrees

Trailing end fronts: 14 3/4’, set 1 5/16" off rail, toe in  7/32", cant 6 degrees

Thanks and Happy New Year’s Day, J

Mid length
in General would be a board between about 6’10" to 9" For a "short Longboard nose rider for that matter any worthy board foil and planning surface are going to be key. Since a wide concave nose is actually a stalling device. it will make getting into a wave mediocre due to the shortness of the board. keep the concave swallow and put some upward curve in the nose rail area to release water. If nose riding is not a priority think having a channel in the nose running in mid section concave into a double out the tail a buried rail edge and Mckee looks like a good set up to try. Keep in mind that I have always favored Boards that are not your normal board. Another thing you should do is good to a shop and really look at the Boards in the racks. What do you like about them? run your hands over the board feel the rails feel the bottom concave, V how and where do they begin and end. How deep? how do they all flow together. Imagine how you would shape them into your board. Making a mediocre board is easy making something worthwhile takes a lot of thought and effort.

Thanks for all of the ideas Artz. I hear you on making “mediocre” boards. I am still trying to recover from my last one, this build is most likely going to be a strip and reshape of said mediocrity. I like your advice about studying boards at shops. Too bad I am 200 miles from surf so there are not many shops close by. The result of no shops is that there are a few builders/shapers 40-50 miles away, who have been good to us (might get to visit one this weekend). Whenever I can I am looking at boards and grabbing the rails, etc. In retrospect I probably should have gotten (still should get?) a decent board for use/reference. The building started with a school project with my son a couple years ago. Now that I am all tooled up (why do I have two planers?!?) I want to make and improve and find myself on the interweb looking for ideas, inspiration, advice.

Thanks, J

Trailing edge of rear box 5" and trailing edge of sides at 14 5/8. I use a 7.5" box fin.

Try considering a quad + 1 fin set up.  I’ve been doing this on all my fun and long boards for the past 2 years with good results.

My $.02 worth.


Thanks Dcasey and Uncled!

It looks like the numbers people are proposing would be doable with a McKee 4+1. For setting the long box, is the dimension to the rear of the slot?

Here’s a pic of the proposed ‘reduction reconstruction’ printed on white paper : 7’-11" 8’ if I add a tail block.  Nose 18.75@12, wide point 23@41 from nose,  tail 15@12. Rocker is already about 5N 2T and it is still going to be thick 3.5".  I know one could argue to start over but I think I’d rather have the do-over on this one than to put it in the dumpster and have to buy/make another blank. Current glass is bonded ‘softly’ (low-VOC resin) and rails are too chunky for their own good so I think there will be enough EPS for the rework. If it gets towards glassing and it’s still a hot mess I can ditch it then too.

I appreciate the input so far, feel free to add more. Thanks, J


I am in the process of rebuilding a board right now. It is about 7’ and was a little over 3 inches thick and the last time I rode it it felt like a dog. I started thinking I would just change the outline and rails, but ended up stripping the top after spending quite a bit of time grinding away. I’m going to have to do a little sanding on the bottom to be able to have a smooth transition where the top overlaps, but it shouldn’t be that bad.

I suggest doing the same and not deal with grinding the rails and making all the itchy mess… My board was a bit chunky and the rails were thick. I got it down to a nice sized rail and profiled the deck from a flatter thick deck to one that still has thickness, but meets a nicer rail. I was able to leave my 2 + 1 fin setup but the sides will be a bit close to the rail. Worse case is I route them out and add new boxes a little further in.

I like that outline and I ride them as singles with a 9" fin. Unless you plan on riding overhead plus, a single should be enough. I only add sidebites when the waves are solid overhead to 2xOH. I usually start with the single long box with the end about 3.5 to 4 inches from the tail. Then add sidebites as needed to spice things up. For an 8 footer for me being only 5-6 but 165-170 lbs, a single is enough. If you are taller and heaver or just taller you might need the sidebites. The McKee setup with a long center box is good for the 1, 2+1, 3, 4 or 5 fin setup. Just make sure you put the center box in according to the specs from his web site. Look here.

Thanks Sharkcountry.

I see a little problem with the center box. There is an old FCS compatible 3" center box at 4.5" from the tail on the stringer. To make the McKee longboard numbers I would need the new box to be at 6 “. So that would leave me a space on the stringer from the old rout to the new box. Is it better to set the new long box back against the old stringer rout and deal with it or to make the new box match the numbers and patch in the stringer? If I do a 1” tail block the difference is only 1/2" between the two options. Is there a point where the fin being adjustable makes that not matter?

Thanks, J



Some people believe they can feel a fin adjustment as small as 1/8th inch.     Me, it’s about a 1/2 inch.     So YES, there is a point where the 1/2 inch variance you describe is meaningless.     If you have the ability to adjust the fin at least one inch fore and aft, you can tune the board just fine.    The ability to adjust fin size and fin position, can make the difference between an absolute turd of a board, and a truely magical surfboard that seems to read your mind.     Other opinions may vary, but that has been my experience.

In the old days when it was all singles in a longer box, we’d put the fin up closer to the nose to loosen up the board, and closer to the tail to make the board stiffer. Then if we had some money we’d get a different fin and you could mess with those variables. This was when most of us only had one board. I don’t have a specific measurement for where a fin should be. I just look at what I want to use and how it looks in the board. I usually get it pretty close to where I want it. Once it’s right I mark the board. For the 9" singles on a 8’ board I guess the back edge of the fin is about 6" - 7" or so from the tail. Maybe more depending on how much rake the fin has and how long it is.

If I were only planning on using a big single, the box would be a little further up. But if you would like lots of options, you’d want to have the ability to run a thruster setup and that places the back fin about 3.5" - 4" from the tail. If you already have the FCS box in there in the right spot, maybe you can work around that, and put the single fin box in front. Just look at the McKee setup and see where it all lines up.

Not sure what your plans are for stripping the board are. If you strip the bottom, you probably need to get rid of the boxes. Just fill in the holes with some foam chunks.

I re-glassed the board I’m working on this weekend (only the deck and rails). It’s a bit more work and hassle to get the wrap nice, but then I am using really crappy heavier glass and old epoxy. I also have a very hard edge along the last 12 to 18 inches of the tail. I think the end result will be a better shape than what I had earlier and I was able to keep three boxes in the board. For me that’s a win. This is also a test and if things work out I’ll be doing another board I have that has chunky rails. That one will be easier because I’ll only reshape the deck and top part of the rails, keeping the outline and bottom half of the rails intact. That board is OK, but I think I can make it better with thinner rails. I also have at least one more board that could use a reshaped outline.

Good luck on your project.

Hello Sharkcountry, Howzit? I’m sure you know this but, have you considered easing the hard edge to get the cloth to wrap better and then doing an edge with the resin? I’ve found this to be the way to go for me. It’s a good process for carbon fiber rails or heavy glass. I normally use “s” glass.

Aloha, All the Best.

Hi T, yes I normally do that for a clean blank, but on this board I ended up making the tail a little too close to the side fins and didn’t have any space to mess with the edge. I actually hit the corner of the boxes on both sides so trying to shape the rail there got pretty complicated. I just did what I could and it ended up with a really hard edge, less than 90 degrees. The rest of the board had a slightly hard edge from where the old bottom glass and foam meet along the bottom, but the rail is tucked quite a bit. Tried my best to soften it and faired it in a lot. I think I did a second lam on the bottom on this one because I discovered another layer of glass under a layer of resin, and the board felt a bit heavy for just having bottom glass.

I think the real problem is I’m a cheapskate, and I get stuff that I think is a deal. I have this really crappy cloth I got on eBay. I got a lot and I don’t want to throw it away. I figure I can use it on these borderline projects. It was supposed to be 6 oz, but I think it’s 9 oz with a tight weave, and it doesn’t soak up resin easily like glass from FH. I used some 4 oz I got from FH on my last build and it was night and day compared to this other glass. I can probably use it under wood for compsands without problems. I’m also at the end of a 7 gallon kit of epoxy and it’s been a few years, so it seems to be going off a little differently. The pot time I have seems to be shorter now. I’ve had it smoke on me when I do small batches for dings or if I install a box, and I use a scale to measure it. Luckily it’s the stuff that is still in the cup that goes nuts and not what’s on the board. I probably will be out of this resin once I do the last coats on this board.

Kinda funny, but when I finished the board a couple of years ago, I used it a couple of times and didn’t think it was a real dog. I have so many boards that I didn’t use it more than a handful of times. After having to stay out of the water for 6 months, and starting again, I started with my better boards like my Griffin fish, and when I tried this one I had a new perspective.

Sorry about hijacking the thread.

SharkCountry, Glad you are back in the line-up. Here’s to a long and healthy life.

Ain’t nothing wrong with trying to save a little dough. Also, I’ve had to dump the whole bucket out on the glass before it started popping too. Thank Heaven for the exo-therm dissipates when spread out (or seems to). I know it really doesn’t.


ps. I guess I’m the one to jack the thread. Mea Culpa. Wish I had your warm water…sure do miss it.

No worries about the thread Tblank and Sharkcountry, it’s all good and I learned a little about wrapping rails and remembered my own troubles with exotherming epoxy. And thanks to Mr. Thrailkill for more info on adjustments as well, I appreciate it.

My plan is to cut the rails off first, wondering if I should strip both sides first so I am only cutting foam? Or make a channel for the saw blade and keep the rest of the glass on for now for some stability?  Or jut do it with an electric saber saw and a carbide blade and let it buck glass and all? I think once the old laps/rails are gone stripping the rest will be easy, according to my test panel.

Thanks again, J




J, you might try cutting a couple of lines through the glass from nose to tail and pull small segments off instead of the whole width. I used a circular saw with the blade just barely cutting through the glass to strip an old board. 

I’ve had luck with a random orbit pad sander and hitting the apex of the rails so it just hits the foam. Then with a putty knife and drywall knives worked the glass off  s l o w l y.  Levering with the knives. If it starts to grab the foam, work the knife in to release. Once you get going. a six inch blade does the trick.

Best of luck.

Based on the photos, it looks like a mini-LB.  For EPS, the original has too much volume in both nose and tail for 3-1/2" thick.  The new outline is better in the tail, but still too much in nose for the thickness.   Look at the proportions of professionally shaped sub-8 footers for various thickness ranges.  Thick boards with wide outlines CAN be tuned with various rail and bottom contours, but unless you’re 250 lbs+  there’s no need for all that complexity.  Keep it simple, determine a thickness for your weight and wave conditions then pick your outline and re-adjust the thickness as needed.    For the most flexibility use the 4+1 setup as others recommended so you can go thruster, quad, or single. 

This board brings to mind something I’ve always wondered about 4+1 setps for big boards. Does this configuration really add anything to a long (or mini) longboard’s performance? I have used the quad +1 on a few shortboards and hybrids, and it does provide a better ride for certain conditions, Longboards, though, have so much more volume and rail line to crank, I’m wondering what the extra fins provide performance wise. On my 8’0, for instance, I’ve pretty much scrapped the side bites, and installed a small box fin, and I think it cranks turns just as good as with the 2+1. It also trims much better as a single.