rear tab fins?

Seems like I should know the answer to this but I don’t, and saw nothing in the archive: Why make rear tab fins? I thought the whole point of the tab was so the screw could strip out rather than ripping up the fin box in the fin strikes something. A few of my friends have rear tab fins on boards they bought used, and each has cracking at the front of the fin box. -Chad

Almost all of the tabs are made of CRES, as is the 8-32 screw. Both of these are much stronger then the box. So putting the tab in the front or in the back, the box will give up first. I have some tabs that are made from some sort of platic, with a brass insert. Now this one will give up before the box. In fact I lost a $40 fin because one of them gave up and I had not even hit anything. I guess it just got tired, and broke. The cracks in the front of the box on your friends boards may not be from hitting anything. They maybe from bad box instalation. I have seen boxes not even glassed in, and no added glass over the top of the box. You could just hit the fin with your hand and it would break the box loose from the foam. Just my take on the problem.

Good point Bagman - It seems “glass over” box installations are a premium item these days. In the brochure for the new Con “Ugly” re-issue, they mention it as a selling point. I’ve seen way too many boxes with cracks at the front of the box because the glasser just glossed over the installation.

My fin has the plastic nut with the brass insert, and it hasn’t stripped out yet. In fact, I really nailed my fin a while ago and was surprised the screw didn’t give. So are you saying that there’s no good design reason you know of for putting the tab in the back?

That what I’m saying. I think putting it in front makes it easier to put in. That my line and I’m sticking to it.

Found the fin saver plate at Surf Source. It serves as a break-away on front tab mounted fins.

I’m not sure it this is intentional or accidental, but having the tab at the back of the fin allows you to put the fin slightly farther (half inch or so) forward in the box - that can be helpful if the box was installed too far back on the board.