First Board, shitty pictures at the end

Hi all,

I am about to install my first set of future finboxes and still have some open questions, so here goes…

If I want toe in of the fins do I set the boxes at the angle I want the fins to be? Or do I adjust the fins within the boxes for toe in?

What got me confused in the first place was a thread I found here where someone marked toe-in on his board but had the boxes installed at a different angle. I am referring to this thread here:

And the 2nd picture from the top. If someone could clear this up for me, I would be really greatful…

greetings from Germany,


Are you confusing toe-in with cant?

You can slightly adjust the can’t of Futures, but for the most part it’s in the fin. Futures are at 6.5 degrees for the cant on standard front fins. You wouldn’t be ablessed to adjust the toe in of a routed hole with a fin in the box.

that is exactly what I thought. did you take a look at the picture I mentioned from the thread I linked? I still don’t get the two lines he drew…

The lighter line appears to be parallel to stringer and likely served as a reference.


It looks like the original thread was a method of installing Futures without a jig and with additional cant. The below pics are from the thread Cbass mentioned.

The difference of the back of fin box to stringer (centerline) to the front of fin box to stringer (centerline) is called toe-in. The darker lines on the side boxes show the long axis of the fin box, which demonstrates the toe-in towards the stringer. The lighter lines are just parallel to the stringer so the shaper could set toe-in. Center fins/boxes usually have zero toe-in, sides usually have toe-in. Looks like 1/8" toe-in (3.2mm) on those trailing sides from the handwriting. The leading sides have more toe-in on this picture you mentioned.


The angle of the whole fin to to bottom of the board is cant. Center fins/boxes usually have zero cant, sides usually have cant, either from the box, the fin , or combination. In this pic the fins are being taped to add 2 extra degrees of cant to the Futures box while the boxes are being set by pulling them out of level (I am not that smart, just read that in the original thread).



thank you very much! I could have thought of that myself, but sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees…


this is driving me crazy right now. I don’t have the jig plate for future fins so I will be building it myself! My question on routing would be whether I rout a liitle deeper than the actual box so that there is some room for resin, PU and box to bind. So if the flange is 2mm the deeper part of the box is 16mm I would route 19mm? And the same for width?

I appreciate the help here so much I can barely express my gratitude…



Haha you’re going crazy now just thinking about depth milimeters of cut to install a straight peice of plastic in a curved surfboard bottom?

The “official” set up is a recommended trim router, two different collars and a two stage rout with a metal jig plate, and even that’s tricky for a first timer without help. I’ve seen pro installs that looked pretty sloppy to me… on the other hand I think I remember seeing here a backyard FREEHANDED install that looked ok to me. And you still have to install the boxes, glass, sand

IMO if you want a clean install and think you’ll be doing more boards get the install kit then strip a broken board or get a second hand blank to practice on.  Otherwise just wing it and learn on the fly




you won’t have to visit me in the nuthouse, but yeah, there is even more to all the steps requiered than I originally thought. And I didn’t start this project blindfolded…

anyway, I don’t know whether I will be building more boards in the future, but for this one buying the future kit is not an option! I have a router though, and will build my own jig plate. I have a piece of scrap foam sitting around on which I can practice, but yet my question remains. Do I leave some space all around the box?



I’m pretty sure the futures jig produces a pretty tight fit, so I’d imagine that’s how it should be. I don’t own the jig and that stuff, but I’ve installed boxes in holes cut by that setup and they were a tight fit. Not like tight to the micron, but not a gap for resin to puddle up in. 

yeah go for it man!

Backyarder warning - just my .02

Yes it should a be a tight fit, strength is the bond between box and foam so the resin is mostly gluing a joint, You don’t want the box floating in a pool of resin.  Can’t hurt to scuff up the sides & bottom of the box with 60 grit before resining in the box in the hole. The bottom lam plus patch over everything locks down the flange spreads the load.  Remember you have the flange and the tab holes to rout so unless you’re going to make router collars you’ll probably have to make 2 jig plates one for each hole at different depths. re-aligning them between routs will be a trick


Shoud be a tight fit.

Tighter fit, less resin.

Less resin is lighter, and box can flex.

I’ve seen so many Future holes routed way too deep.

Just lazy.

I adjust my Future router constantly to fit a variety of bottom contours.

And use the shims to keep the cant angle correct.

I take my futures about 1mm- 2mm deeper to include the flange. Super tight fit, glass patch. Short of falling off a car on the highway it will never break.

Yours look way too high from my computer. Predict epic fail.


Out of curiosity I would like to know how you go about installing the future finboxes when you don’t have a flat bottom? I know you are supposed to level the jig plate with the shims, but wouldn’t I sink the box in deeper on one side than on the other? maybe someone can shed a light for me…




I don’t use the shims as a general rule but some bottoms and shapers specific fin instructions might make me bust them out. If you are on a huge V/reverse V, the fin set is specified by the shaper you either need that fin set or know the cant of the fins requested to get the cant correct. That is why I go 1-2mm deeper on the of the whole initial cut(FLAT NO SHIMS) and I can adjust usually enough to make it work. When you are using the shims you have to move the router bit shaft down in the router collar to make it work. If you take a piece of test foam and shim your jig and cut a box hole you will see exacly what I am taliking about. It never mentions this on the instruction video I saw 12 years ago from futures. Using the shims leaves more void space, box to foam.  Not having a flat bottom could mean alot of things. Once you have your design in mind or on paper you should know what fin system is going to work best with your bottom in regards to jig fitting, what fins to make or buy to make it easier to get you desired cant. Haven’t seen the futures instruction video recently but that reference would be the best start. 

the only router I have access to is this one! will this work for the future boxes? or is there any trouble ahead?


I don’t beleive that router will work.

Trim routers are what is commonly used.

1/4" shank.

Most trim router bases can be trimmed to fit inside the round doughnut.

I’ve used Ryobi, my favorite is my Ridgid.

Buy one with a plastic base.

It can be modified easily.

It is round with one flat side for alignment.

Hey cbass -

No offense meant to Barry, but if you take the time, and especially if you can find an old/broken board to try on, you could make that router work.

One thing to keep in mind, you are not in a race, and all you really need to do with the router is cut through the glass. If you are to concened with messing something up, once you have the glass out of the way, you can carefully remove the foam by hand, or with slower, shallower, “safer” passes of the router.  Heck, even if they are not made that way, with care, and craftyness, you could install them under the lam, then all you would need to do is pop them open later…

I used to use a router like that - I used an “all purpose” bit, @ 1/4"(3-4mm)wide, and very carefully followed the layout lines I drew, free hand.  This was for RedX boxes, which have a similar outline. One saving grace for my purposes: I didn’t care what it looked like, and I packed the box in with a resin and cab-o-sil putty, I mixed up, for strength. I scarfed out the foam @ 2-3mm under the glass, so the putty would add support to the surounding glass, and I capped the boxes with 3 layers of four oz cloth. from one that was cut close and then moving out.  Over kill for most, but I am after as bullet proof as I can get.

Anyway, my point is, if you are careful, which includes not being in a hurry, then you will be able to find a way to make it work.  If you mess something up, you can always fix it, and carry on.  You may not get the best looking, lightest board, but you will have made a board yourself, and it you are fortunate, it will ride well for you, and that is a stoke that can not be beat!

Best success, and post some pics of your progress. 

Is there surf in Germany???  Ha!  I met a great guy from Germany, who surfed pretty good, in mainland Mexico…  “Who knew?,” I thought.

I agree with Barry. You need to be able to see what you are doing and have percise control since you are doing it the off label way. Why not just glass on fins??? Chances are high you will make a mistake doing it by hand. Save your money and buy the proper jigs. Look for wind surfing or SUP manufacturers and ask to borrow their jigs. Purchased jigs won’t go to waste and the laminate router has many other uses in board building too.(rail bands, knocking off under glass caps of leash plugs and fin boxes and vents, big resin drips on laps, etc)

alright, I have 13mm and 32mm router bit so I can rout exactly what I need for the future boxes! I will try to get my hands on a smaller router though. buying is a bad option right now since I don’t know yet how many more boards I will be building. 

and no, Germany doesn’t really offer great conditions to surf, but up and down the Atlantic coast from France to Portugal its great. and we spend part of the year in Sri lanka where surf is great as well. but then you see why glass ons don’t make much sense either since the boards need to travel well. sucks to be landlocked but what can you do…