Surf FCS

A Guide to FCS Fins

by Chris Durlacher | Mar 01, 2013

Finding The Right Size Fin

FCS thruster and quad sets are categorised by size. Each size category has an optimum weight range that can be used as a guide when choosing a fin:

 fcs fins extra small Optimum Weight Range under 120lbs / under 55kg 
 fcs fins small Optimum Weight Range 120-155lbs / 55-70kg
 fcs fins medium Optimum Weight Range 140-175lbs / 65-80kg
 fcs fins large Optimum Weight Range 165-200lbs / 75-90kg
 fcs fins extra large Optimum Weight Range over 190lbs / over 85kg 
 fcs fins special For specific surfboard designs or as specialised fins

How Fin Material Can Improve your Surfing

Most FCS fins are constructed of either Ultra Light, Performance Core, Performance Glass or Glass Flex material. 

FCS Ultra Light  Ultra Light 
Ultra light was developed by FCS to create the lightest possible fin with suprerior flex properties while ensuring strength and foil accuracy. By minimising weight without sacrificing response of flex and strength. Ultra-Light Epoxy is our lead construction process delivering the ultimate in performance.
 FCS Performance Core Performance Core 
Performance Core material and construction is designed to deliver the feeling of a traditional fibreglass fin with the added performance of reduced weight. The RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) process produces a lightweight fin with remarkable flex, a smooth feel and an impressive aesthetic. 
 FCS Performance Glass Performance Glass 
Performance Glass material characteristics and flex pattern are identical to traditional fibreglass fins offering a stiff base with subtle responsive tip flex, amazing aesthetics and proven durability. PG fins are the perfect transition fin for surfers moving from fixed fins to the convenience, accuracy and performance of FCS.
 FCS Glass Flex Glass Flex 
Glass Flex has been formulated to replicate the flex and memory properties of hand layed fibreglass. It's advantages over other composite fin materials include stiffness, a more positive flex pattern (nice tip flex, little base flex) and remarkable flex memory. The precision of the injection moulding process ensures the highest accuracy in geometry in each fin produced.

The Impact Of Fin Technologies On Your Surfing

FCS tricoil technology  Tricoil Technology
Multi-directional flex pattern harnesses energy and de-coils through turns, giving back to the surfer in the form of speed and acceleration.
FCS bamboo core technology Bamboo Core Technology
Lightweight bamboo core foiled to mimic the actual foil of the fin producing a unified flex between materials. As bamboo is bias towards the grain, the natural flex of this wood further enhances the directional flex of the fin.
FCS snapback technology Snap-Back Technology
Carbon inside face produces a high tension ‘snap back’ flex pattern through the top of the fin. Highly responsive and very popular among the world’s best surfers.
Compound Glass Tehnology
Multiple fiberglass layers are set under pressure to produce an extremely stiff, high-strength material. The machine cutting process delivers a fin with highly accurate foils.

Understanding FCS Fin Characteristics

All FCS fins are classified by the following characteristics; Base, Depth, Area, Sweep and Foil.

Understanding how these fin characteristics can change the performance of your surfboard is an important consideration when working out which FCS fins are best for you. Each of the following fin characteristics are clearly listed on each each fin page, allowing you to evaluate the impact that a fin design would have on your surfing.

FCS fin characteristics base 


Base is the length between the leading and trailing edge where the fin meets the board. Base is primarily linked to drive. Fins with a longer base will offer substantially more drive and acceleration.

FCS fin characteristics depth 


Depth is the distance the fin penetrates into the water. Depth directly relates to hold. The greater the depth the more hold, the shorter the depth the more a board will slide and release.
FCS fin characteristics area  


Area is the total surface area of the fin.
FCS fin characteristics sweep 


Sweep is the angle measuring how far the outline of the fin is curved backwards; also referred to as rake. Sweep has a direct influence on pivot. Fins with more sweep produce a longer turning arc, less sweep offers a tighter turning arc.
 FCS foils overview top


Foil refers to the shape and geometry of the inside and outside faces of the fin. Foils directly affect the flow of water over the surface of the fin. Different foils create variations in water flow and have a direct link to the overall performance of the fin and the board.
FCS foils overview base 

FLAT FOIL: A flat inside face combined with a convex outside face. The traditional flat sided foil offers an even combination of drive, pivot and hold and provides a very consistent, reliable feel over a wide variety of conditions.

INSIDE FOIL: A sophisticated hydrodynamic foil consisting of a convex outside face, a rounded leading edge and a concaved inside face. Inside foil increases the efficiency of water flow over the surface of the fin adding lift and reducing drag. The result is a fin with more options through increased hold and speed.

50/50 FOIL: A symmetrical foil used on all centre fins where both sides are convex. Even water flow on both sides creates stability and control.

70/30 or 80/20 FOIL: Combines the performance of a centre and side fin offering increased speed, smooth rail-to-rail transitions and a consistent feel in a variety of conditions. (Ideal for all board types and rear fin placements)




    Julian Wilson

    Julian Wilson

    Name: Julian Wilson
    Date of Birth: November 8, 1988
    Born: Coolum Beach, QLD Australia
    Lives: Coolum Beach, QLD Australia
    Sponsors: Nike footwear and clothing, Red Bull energy drinks, Oakley eyewear, Sol Republic headphones and FCS fins