Toe in

I picked up a board (7’ tri fin)from the glassing shop and noticed the toe in on the fins (FCS) looks excessive. I measured it to be 1/2" on each fin, I know most of my other boards are toed about 1/4". How badly is this going to affect it? I know the drag will increase, is this thing even worth getting in the water or do I need to move the fins on a brand new board?


If you did not specify amount, then ask the guys what’s up?

Toe-in amount depends on lots of factors, like rocker, outline, intended wave size, whether a rider likes loose and easy turny or straightline gunnin.

You can adjust slightly by changing to more upright, taller fins of higher aspect. They can decrease drag while still holding in really well, but can’t be ridden in shallow waters, of course.

Personally, and no one agrees with me, I like my toe-in to be halfway to the nose of the board, measured up parallel to the stringer. That way, a longer board, intended for faster waves, gets straighter toe-in. A shorter board, usually for smaller waves and more sharp turns, gets more toe-in.

At least try it, unless you are a single fin front foot surfer who is trying a tri.

A little toe-in is a good thing; makes the board lively. Too much and you could have a DOG. Better consult with the shaper, THEN call him out on it. Of course he will blame the fin guy and that would be an admission of wrong-doing. At that point it’s just a matter of proper customer service that they change out the FCS plugs FOC (free of charge). But that’s if it wasn’t supposed to be that way. If he says it IS supposed to be that way, then get him to show you HIS board or someone else’s in the shop and get a testimony of how great the board works.

Just curious if you could use a long straightedge against the flat inner side of the fin and project that line out to see where it exits off th board. For the 7-footer and normal rocker, I would consider being pointed right at the nose as being a lot. Normal is about 2 inches off to one side of the nose (the side that makes LESS toe) and as little as 4 inches will be good. If no long straight edge is available use a long piece of string and have an assistant pull/move it until you see perfect contact with th fin’s inner side. Then, report back here…

Thanks Plusone,

I had already used the long straight edge as you suggested, the toe puts it on the opposite side of the stringer! I’m thinking this thing cant ride worth a damn with the fins pointing in at such an extreme angle.



Thanks Plusone,

I had already used the long straight edge as you suggested, the toe puts it on the opposite side of the stringer! I’m thinking this thing cant ride worth a damn with the fins pointing in at such an extreme angle.


My personal experience tells me that its way too much tow in and will surf like a DOG. Even pointed straight at the nose is a bit much. I would take plusones advice here.

Past the center line? bummer… What avenues of action do you have? Argue it out. Do it yourself. Try it.


I bet the person who marked the fins was smoking crack, taking a hit some time between marking the correct rear-edge marks and the errant front marks. Again, that’s only a supposition. Still can’t believe that got through their place having YOU as the first person to notice it!!! this kind of stuff really chaps my hiide…

Yeah, that’s waay excessive.

At least you have some leverage on them.

You can always name the glassing factory!

Boo boo’s like that are horrible for the surfing industry, and hopefully, they’ll just rout out the boxes and adjust for “correct” tow-in specs.

I know I always advocate less toe-in’s than anyone else, but I care only about head plus waves, and our waves move towards shore faster than most of Continental USA.

Oh…and I"m old and stiff, and a good turning board would just pitch me right off.

STOP. Put the board gently back in your racks, and slowly back away. You are obviously an unsatisfied customer. Now before you ride your board, what you need to do is NICELY call up your shaper and ask him your question about the tow on the fins. If he is a nice guy he will say one of 2 things, the first being “Oh dude, bro thats the way it’s supposed to be!” In that case it’s your call, his responsibility has ended and you can go ride the board, decide that it sucks/rips and do as you please. If it rips you will be stoked, but if it sucks, then you’ll be pissed, and I’m sure you’ll tell all your surfer buddies about it, and you probably won’t want to get boards from this shaper any more. You can modify the board, sell it or whatever. In the second scenario he will say “What??? bring that thing over here and let me take a look and/or fix it!” In that case, do as he says and your problems are solved. Now… if he isn’t such a nice guy, he will tell you to Fk off, and then you will. After that, you can do as you please with the board and never do business with that particular shaper again, and make sure to tell all of your surfer buddies that he is a dkhead. -Carl

Sounds excessive for sure but it will depend on the waves you are riding/surfing. I just finished a 7’0" for a 13 year old girl. I set the toe @ 3 1/2 degrees. This placed the line just outside the nose about 1/2". Over 7’ I would go to 3 degrees. Point …She will be riding 1 to 2’ waves that are extremely slow (Texas Gulf Coast) I reasoned a little more toe will help her turn the board in this type of surf. Drag is not an issue at the slow boardspeed she will be experiencing. You probably won’t notice too much until you start riding head high or better clean walls. Something that will get your boardspeed up and put pressure on the foils. I agree with Carl, call the shop, tell ‘em your concern, see what they say. Let them take a look and then take it for a spin if that’s an option. Being a dick begets "Gettin’ Dicked"!!!


I gotta disagree with you here Krokus - 1/2" is way excessive toe in - the board will be very slow. I’ve just installed 4wfs fins in my most recent board and have been playing about quite alot with placement. 1/2 " = parking brake jammed on. In fact - just a little (and i’m talking 2 mm) past 1/4" and the brakes begin to rub.

SB, Yea…I agree with you there. 1/2" is way too much. I personally can’t stand the feel of fin drag. On my personal boards I go with a little more outline and some rocker kick in the tail with 3 degrees of toe (just under 1/4" @ 4 1/2) 3 1/2 degrees = aproximately 1/4" toe. I recently started using this as a baseline on all boards up to 6’6". Over that I go to 3 degees, except for the board I was talking about above. I made a nice little jig on the table saw that I use with a square off the stringer to slide over and mark the toe with. I think someone made a mistake on that board and you are right…it will feel like draggin an anchor.