FCS Just Revealed Its New, Idiot-Proof Fin Templates And Constructions

by stab October 12, 2019 2 min read

Who among us feels truly confident in their fin knowledge?

You? Your semi-pro pal? Cheyne Horan? 

Certainly not the Stab crew. 

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Surfing’s disdain for technical concepts and theories has led to a culture of blissful ignorance, where even lifetime hobbyists struggle with basic fin principles. 

Can you define rake? Isolate the foil? Quantify flex? Didn’t think so.  

So how do you know which fins to ride, and when?

Enter FCS.

The best no-screw system on the market is looking to increase our skeg-based knowledge with their new Essential Series. FCS’ quad-categorization system is so idiot-proof that even the Stab Staff can (mostly) understand it. 

Here’s how it works:

PCC Editorial Tile 1

The Essential Series is comprised of four fin templates: Speed (AKA Reactor), Balance (AKA Performer), Control (AKA Accelerator), and Power (AKA Carver).

Speed fins (color-coded in gray) are meant to create speed and turn in tight spaces. Best for short-period surf and beach breaks.  

Balance fins (blue) are meant to be quick in transition but hold when necessary. Best for short-to-mid-period surf and reef breaks.

Control fins (red) are meant to provide stability while retaining maneuverability. Best for mid-to-long-period surf and point breaks.

Power fins (yellow) are meant to hold rail at all costs. Best for big, powerful, long-period surf. 

PCC Editorial Tile 3

Ok, so we get that the whole dual-name thing is a little confusing, especially when the “Speed Fins” are considered “Reactors” and not “Accelerators,” but as far as fin marketing goes, FCS is definitely speaking more of the consumers’ language, which we can all appreciate. 

And while we’re hesitant to add any extra layers of info to this unconcealed ad, we’d be remiss to ignore that each of these four templates is available in three different constructions: Performance Core Carbon (PCC), Performance Core (PC), and Neo Glass. 

For simplicity’s sake, you can think of the constructions like this:

  • Performance Core Carbon = very stiff/for advanced surfers
  • Performance Core = moderately stiff/for intermediate surfers
  • Neo Glass = flexy/for novice surfers

According to FCS, all three of these constructions are lighter than previous versions thanks to their “Air-Core” tech. They also have a “smoother feel” thanks to an ergonomic design update (stiffer at the base, more flexible at the tip, to improve both hold and release).

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While this info is great, it all leads back to the same question: which fins do I actually need

In our experience, two sets are plenty for most non-pros—one for smaller, weaker waves (think the Speed or Balance templates, potentially in a more flexible construction) and one for bigger, more powerful waves (think the Control or Power templates, potentially in a stiffer construction). 

Or, if you’ve only got enough coin for one set of skegs, it would be advisable to consider your surfing tendencies.

Do you surf big or small waves more often? Are your turns tight and abrupt or long and drawn-out?

Once you answer those questions, choose the set that best fits your game. To be safe, it should probably be one of the more moderate templates, like the Balance or Control. 

And remember, too stiff is always better than too loose. There’s nothing worse than blowing your bottom turn on the wave of the day.


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