What is the best fin for noseriding?

I just picked up a 10’1" noserider. The nose is 19", mid 23-1/4", tail 15-1/2, 50/50 rails all the way, not much nose rocker with a concave, more rocker in the tail. I weigh 195, though I’ve been surfing for about 25 years, I’m just now learning to ride the nose. Which fin would be best to try out to maximize my tip time?

Check out a true ames, Velzy nose rider a 10" should do a good job, or a Yater spoon at 9.75". eather of this fins should work for your needs. Or the Lance Carson Longrake at 10 or 10.5 inches. That is the fin that I ride on most of the time.

Bagman has some good suggestions. Basically, what you’re looking for is a fin with a lot of tip area, which keeps the tail sunk into the wave. If your board turns a bit stiff, I’d think about a cutaway with a hefty tip area to help swing that thing around. If this is going to be strictly about perching on the nose, I’d go with the classic hatchet. They look badass, too.

Great tip from Retro. I made a board with those same dimensions and rails. I also weigh 195ish. The cutaway, mine’s a nine inch, works great. Enjoy the view.


Great tip from Retro. I made a board with those same dimensions and rails. I also weigh 195ish. The cutaway, mine’s a nine inch, works great. Enjoy the view.

Yeah the hatchet looks cool. The theory makes sense but how about for those cutbacks? It seems to me that it would be best to have a deep fin (10" to 10-1/2") with a narrow base and like you guys said a cutout with a hefty tip area.

What about the Greenough Stage 6? Wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds…?

There are so many good fins to try. The best part about having a fin box is all the possibilities. It could keep you busy for years and it’s like having several surfboards in one. It’s been said here many times; it’s more the surfer than the fin, with that being said, make them all work to your advantage.

My take is to use a fin that gives your board more characteristics with surfing the wave instead of one dimensional noseriding. Pick your fins for the different types of waves you are surfing. Trial, error, and fun.

The two fins that I like best for noseriding are the Wingnut Big Daddy, made by either Rainbow of Fins Unlimited. I forget which company makes it, but it’s an easy to find fin. It’s the biggest fin you can buy. Very wide base and big tip. Fills the whole fin box. I love it. Very smooth turns, but wide turns. Cutting back is not a swift move with a Bid Daddy. But I love that fin.

The other fin I recommend is the El Gato. I don’t know who makes it, but since El Gato means Da Cat, you know they named it after, Miki Dora. Since he could kind of noseride pretty well :wink: Then I think it might work for you. I like it, and it’s easier to cutback on than the Big Daddy.

One fin I DON’T recommend is the Turbo Tunnel. I tried it for a month, riding it everyday, and I couldn’t stand it. It did hold up the nose better, but made it hard to turn, especially in steep waves.

The best way to go is to lose as much weight as possible. I weigh 190, about the same as you. I’m six feet tall and, truth be told, need to lose at least ten more pounds, preferrable fifteen.

I find the best way to learn to noseride is to find an uncrowded beach break, take off the leash, and just go for it. You’ll wipe out a ton and swim a lot, but if nobody is in the way, it works great. Steeper waves are actually better for noseriding, not mush surf. A good steep wall will hold the edge and give you opportunity, but you have to be willing to eat it a lot. Riding conservatively on a longboard is fine for pointbreaks in which you have to fight a crowd, and a lone wave is scarce, but if you want to noseride, you have to get on the nose and learn from there. You can’t learn to noseride from anywhere else on the board.

Those guys on the videos from the sixties (Dora, Carson, etc.) had Malibu to themselves for a long time and they ate it and swam a lot before they mastered it, and they did not have concave under the nose to help them. But the videos generally don’t show all the wipeouts, just the success.

It’s like Joel Tudor said once, “You can have the right board, the right fin, and the right wave, but it really helps to be a small, skinny guy.”


I should add that Lance Carson and Miki Dora were small skinny guys too, Dora especially.

The current pro surfers are tiny as well, with a couple exceptions. I saw Mick Fanning walk by me at the Boost Mobile Pro, and before I recognized him I seriously thought he was a kid.

Maybe pro surfing should have weight classes, like boxing.

200 + Manyl men

175-200 Men

160-175 Guys

150-160 Dudes

135-150 Boys

under 135 girls

agreed. im 215, and my friends who are all 140-160 just dont understand.

beardw, the above images are of the fin I use in my 9’6". It has a 19" nose and is 23" wide and 50/50 rails. This is the 5th fin I have made for this board over the past two years and it is by far the best all round fin yet. I have tried bigger fins for nose riding but they would not break out of trim into a cutback. This fin does everything I ask of it. It is my own design and I have it set in the box so that the tip is hanging out the back of the tail by about 3/4". Print it out and give it a go. I’d like to get some feedback of what you, or anybody else thinks of it.platty.

I noticed that the ‘specialized’ noserider fins had steeper than usual leading edge rakes - close to 25 degrees. Yours looks from the photos to be even steeper than that - 22-23 degrees. Longboard fins run from 25-30 degrees of leading edge rake, usually.

An old wise man once told met that in searching for noseriding fins, just go for more and more area until the tail holds. But the leading edge rake may contribute to that also.

Just an observation. If you know the exact angle I’d be curious.

The Big Daddy and El Gato are both made by Rainbow fins. I am not much of a nose rider but I have found that the board shape is the most important part of being a good nose rider. Terry Simms who is a great nose rider uses a two plus one set up with a short little fin of about 5 inches. Eastern Pacific is right on with the idea of changing fins to get the correct one. Use a wonder bolt so it is easy to change. Two of my favorite fins are the Wingnut Long Rake and the Wingnut cutaway. The cutaway design has been changed to have a larger tip in order to give you more drive and holding power.

i’ve been using the josh faberow flex fin at 9.5 inches for my 9’6… works great for me. enough area for noserides, but the flex adds a little spring out of turns, or when fading on the takeoff.

Here’s a photo of the tail of my 9’10" Hap Pintail with a 9.25 inch Whiteside on it. It’s the best of my templates for nose riding as long as it’s sized right. A Hatchet fin is a better choice IMHO than a Stage 6 but It has to be sized and foiled correctly for the board and rider. Of course that’s true no matter what template you choose. The fin that will work best for you has a lot to do with you style of surfing and and the conditions you’ll be in. The Carson fin could be the right choice too. A lot depends on how much drive you want out of it and how big and critical you plan on going.

Mahalo, Rich

Practice, practice, practice is what I’ll add the most. At 180 I noseride most on my 9’6’’ Yater Spoon, single fin cut away by yater about 9 and 3/4 long. Don’t know the model as I am at work and don’t remember but it has a nice racke similar to the one Platty posted and carries a 3 3/4 width mid way through to the tail.

Better waves is what you’ll need in quality and swell strength more than size. I ride mostly point and beach breaks and prefer the shoulder to head high sets for nose riding.

Anyway after more practice you should be able to nose ride on most long boards in good conditions. Good luck and have fun practicing.

Peace from the East.

Hey, you guys are great. I now have a wealth of information. Its going to cost me a fortune to buy all these fins but It’ll be fun. We should have a fin co-op or a fin of the month club. Thanks for the help.

You know, your fin co-op idea is funny, but it has me thinking: Why is it so easy to get used surfboards but used fins are very hard to come by?

Do you guys know of any market for used fins?