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Paddle Board Fin Replacement: Stand up paddle boards come with many different fin setups. The most common fin setup is a one large single fin (sometimes referred to as a skeg) located in the center of the board towards the back of the board.

Paddle Board Fin Replacement: How to Attach a Fin to a Stand up Paddle Board (SUP)The second most popular configuration is to have a tri fin set up. The tri fin configuration tends to be a little more prominent in SUPs that are made for surfing and riding waves.

It is also worth noting that not every stand up paddleboard is made with fins that are replaceable. If your paddle board does have replaceable fins, you will see a small box that is inlayed in the board that surrounds the fin. Your center fin box will usually have one Phillips head screw and a nut on it. Your side fin boxes typically have two set screws in them and they can be turned with a fin key or an Allen wrench.

Paddle Board Fin Replacement: Replacing Center Fin

There are many different types of center fins to choose from which will be covered in another article here on SUP Reviews Headquarters. After you have chosen your center fin:

  1. Remove the Phillips head screw.
  2. Slide the back of the fin with the small brass inserts inside of the slot with the long curved end of the fin facing towards the front of the board.
  3. There is usually a lot of room to slide the fin forward and backward. This placement of the fin is up to personal preference.
  4. Start with the fin placed somewhere in the center, go out and ride for a while, then slide the fin forward and backward to see where you like the fin to be placed.
  5. After the fin is inserted, line up the hole in the fin with the nut that is in the board.
  6. Insert the Phillips head screw and tighten down.

Paddle Board Fin Replacement: Replacing Side Fins

Side fins are much smaller than the center fin. There are also hundreds of choices when it comes to your side fins. To install or replace side fins:

  1. Use your fin key or Allen wrench and loosen the two set screws in the side fin box. (They do not need to be removed just loosened enough so that the slot where the fin goes is open and clear.)
  2. Take a side fine with the flat (non-curved) side of the fin facing the center of the board and insert it into the slot.
  3. Make sure the fin is totally in and flush with the board.
  4. Tighten the two set screws (BE SURE NOT TO OVER TIGHTEN THE SET SCREWS.)
  5. If the fin is snug and does not wiggle inside the fin box the fin is tight enough.

More articles to come about what fins do and fin selection.

Inflatable Paddle Board Vs Hard: When buying a new stand up paddleboard, many new paddlers are faced with the dilemma of choosing from among the thousands of boards on the market today.

Inflatable Paddle Board Vs HardOne of the biggest questions I receive is how to choose between an Inflatable SUP and a Solid SUP. There are many factors to consider when choosing between Inflatable paddle board vs hard construction materials. Just as not all cars are built equally, not all Stand Up Paddleboards are built equally (even within their respective categories).

Some Inflatable SUPs are better in some respects than Solid SUPs and vice versa.

Solid SUPs

The form of a solid board is where this sport has its roots. Stand Up Paddleboards have evolved from the world of surfing which started as a wooden board and progressed to a foam core covered with a fiber glass outer shell and some even more advanced composite materials in the past decade.

Stand Up Paddleboards have followed suit and with the previous technology of surfboards as a foundation, Solid SUPs are built of so many materials from foam, fiberglass, Kevlar, plastics, and wood.

All of these different construction techniques affect how well the board reacts in the water from its flotation, stability, and tracking. Another factor to consider would be the durability of your SUP.

A fully foam board has the potential to become punctured allowing water to seep into the foam making your board heavier and heavier over time. A fiberglass board is susceptible to dings, dents, and scratches.

While most of these defects can be cosmetic, fiberglass boards can also be punctured allowing water to seep into the core causing increased weight and eventually delaminating from the core. Kevlar boards are a much stronger board, but can often come at a high cost.

Solid SUPs, in large, are very durable and will last a lifetime if taken care of properly. As mentioned earlier, not all boards are created equal. Just because it is a solid SUP does not guarantee it will be durable.

Once you have made the choice between Inflatable and Solid, we strongly recommend reading the individual reviews for each board you are considering.

Inflatable SUPs

As Solid SUPs have come a long way in such a short time, so too has the market of Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards. Most Inflatable SUPs these days are extremely rigid with very little sagging if any at all.

When inflated properly, many Inflatable SUPs react in the exact same way a Solid SUP would react in the water. Inflatable SUPs tend to be a little lighter than many Solid boards because they are composed mostly of air.

An Inflatable SUP is susceptible to a puncture, but make no mistake, this is not your raft that you blow up and take to the beach. Most Inflatable SUPs on the market today are very puncture resistant. They also allow users more versatility, as they can be inflated and deflated fairly easily.

Due to their small size when deflated, they store and travel very easily. These boards can also take a different kind of beating that many Solid SUPs cannot endure. When a Solid board may become dinged from running into a dock an Inflatable board tends to bounce right off with no damage.

Inflatable Paddle Board Vs Hard: Closing

Some of the largest factors for deciding between a Solid or Inflatable SUP have nothing to do with the board itself. You should consider your transportation, practical uses, launching locations, the frequency of use, users, and pricing when reviewing Stand Up Paddleboards. Then as you choose between Solid and Inflatable, follow through with research on the individual boards you may be interested in.

Good Luck and Happy Paddling.

If you are a competitive racer or are looking for a high quality, long distance cruiser that can stand up to anything the Surftech Paddle Boards – Lahui Kai Pro Elite is the board for you.

The price is a little high for your average paddle boarder, but it comes with some very unique design features for competitive racers and can boast winning a Battle of the Paddles.

Surftech Paddle Boards — Lahui Kai Pro Elite Specifications

Dimensions:       12’6″ x 27″ x 6″

Weight:                 26 lbs.

Purpose:              Fitness, Racing, Long Distance Cruising

Users:                   Intermediate, Advanced

Material:              Carbon Fiber Epoxy

Price:                     $ $ $ $ $

Surftech Paddle Boards — Lahui Kai Pro Elite Performance:

Maneuverability

This board was constructed as a racer. For its size (12’6″) it is a fast and maneuverable board. The speed I believe comes from a couple different design features. First, this board is a very lightweight board. Second, the bottom of the board has a double concave which I believe lessen the drag of the board and helps water flow, I would assume it may help with some maneuverability as well.

Third, this board has very unique rails. The total thickness of the rail is 6″ but it is beveled on the top and bottom leaving a nice smooth rounded bottom edge where it meets and cuts through the water. Not only is this board fast, it tracks very well into the wind and breaks through any little chop on the water. The pintail design and single fin reminds me of the large surfboards the big wave surfers in Hawaii.

Stability

This is a very stable board. Though it is a little narrower than a lot of beginner to intermediate boards those that are getting on this board most likely don’t have a huge issue with stability, surprisingly though it is very stable and the double recessed deck definitely helps the stability and maneuverability of the board.

Surftech Paddle Boards — Lahui Kai Pro Elite Construction/Durability:

This board is constructed of bi-axial carbon on the bottom and epoxy/fiberglass on the top side. This is a solid construction and a very lightweight core. With any fiberglass construction you have to be careful of dining the board to hard against something and the point of the nose and pintail in the back the board look like they would get a little beat up over time if the owner isn’t careful.

Surftech Paddle Boards — Lahui Kai Pro Elite Summary:

If you have the funds, this is the board to get. Not only can it stand up to some of the fiercest competitors out there, but it is a great all around board for the intermediate to advanced riders that can be taken on long cruises in flat water or pounded against the waves in a battle of the paddles.

Inflatable SUPs are not for everyone, however, if you are hesitant in getting an inflatable board strictly because you are worried about the quality of construction compared to that of a hard board, there is no need to worry when considering the Sevylor Samoa paddle board.

The Sevylor Samoa Inflatable SUP is a rigid, well-constructed board that can take on the flat water as well as some of the choppy water. It does well in the ocean but doesn’t surf the waves all that well. It is about your average dimensions of inflatables on the market, but above average in its durability and rigidity.

Sevylor Samoa Paddle Board Specifications

Dimensions:       10’10″ x 30″ x 4″

Weight:                                22.5 lbs.

Purpose:              Cruising, Traveling

Users:                   Beginners, Travelers

Material:              High Pressure Inflatable

Price:                     $ $ $ $ $

Sevylor Samoa Paddle Board Performance:

Maneuverability

Overall the board tracks pretty well. The snap in fins can prove to be a little difficult to install and the setup of the fins do tend to add some drag in the water, so you’re not going to win any races with this board.

This board turns well, but again not as great as some of your higher end boards with configurable fin designs. If you are looking for a beginners board or a travel board that will get you out on the water without you falling off, this would be a good board for you.

It has average maneuverability when compared to hard paddle boards, but is up to par with all of the other inflatable boards out there on the market.

Stability

This is a pretty stable board. It has a thickness of 4” and an overall width of 30”. There are some other boards out on the market like the Tower Adventurer that are 2” wider and thicker which probably will add some stability to those wider and thicker boards.

Overall this is a quality, stable board. It does have a deck pad for added comfort and footing while paddling. When inflated fully, this board is very rigid and handles hard paddling well.

Sevylor Samoa Paddle Board Construction/Durability:

This board has drop stitching and is made of a high-pressure material that not only ensures that it will stay inflated, but makes it very resistant to impacts that a lot of hard boards are susceptible to like running up against rocks, docks, and transporting the board.

Inflatable boards are also good for beginners because of their construction they are softer if you happen to fall off and hit them. This board was built to take a beating and not be any worse for the wear.

Sevylor Samoa Paddle Board Summary:

This is a good board for beginners or travelers that are looking for a pretty cost effective way to get out there on the water.

An inflatable board like the Sevylor Samoa has many positive features and the only real drawbacks that I see when considering this board is the amount of time it would take to pump it up (10 mins.) and the lack of speed that this board has (I think due to the fin system).

When compared to some other inflatable boards on the market, like the Tower Adventurer it is a little narrower and a little less thick, so it is just a matter of personal preference if you like a thicker or a wider board.

The BIC Sport SUP ACS 10’4” is a great utility board. This board was manufactured to have a lot of different uses and to be accessible by many different users. It is constructed of a very rigid Polyethylene outer shell which gives it extremely high resistance to dings from running into things or just regular wear and tear.

This board would be perfect for beginners just starting to paddle, anyone looking to do some small wave surfing, or for rentals or in a situation where the board gets a lot of use

BIC Sport SUP ACS 10’4″ Specifications

Dimensions:       10’4″ x 31″ x 4.5″

Weight:                33 lbs.

Purpose:              Cruising, Small Surf

Users:                   Beginner, Intermediate

Material:              Polyethylene, EPS Foam Core

Price:                    $ $ $ $ $

BIC Sport SUP ACS Performance:

Maneuverability

This board was made to bridge something of a gap between flat-water SUPs and Surfing SUPs. It is not a full blown crossover SUP which tend to be a little more maneuverable in waves, however, this board was constructed to handle well in the flat water as well as in some small waves.

The unique balanced rocker template and the SUP specific volume distribution allows for stability where you need it and maneuverability when you need it. The board also has a 4.5” thick rail and the shape of a long board surfboard which I think helps to maneuver when surfing small waves. This board comes with a single fin box which is standard on many SUPs.

Stability

This board overall is a fairly stable board. It has a volume of 175 Liters. Whenever you have a board that is designed for many different things sometimes the makers sacrifice one thing for another. This usually comes in the form of Maneuverability vs. Stability.

This board strikes a good balance for beginners of thickness, width, and shape that allows it to be stable and maneuvers well in many different conditions.

Larger individuals may find this board slightly unstable. The 10’4” is made for those around 180 lbs and below. BIC does offer the same design of board in an 11’4” for those around 220lbs or less.

Construction/Durability:

In my opinion, the forte of the BIC Sport ACS line is in the materials it is built with. With an EPS foam core and a Polyethylene outer shell the board is built to really take whatever you can throw at it. BIC advertises that it is the same durability as a kayak. With the foam

With the foam core, the board still remains light for how durable it is. This board was made to be thrown around, run into things, get dropped, and remain virtually untouched.

Summary:

This is a great universal board for those just entering into SUP and may want to also get out in some small surf. The board is great for kids and adults (for larger adults there is the 11’4” version). This board is also popular with rentals and daily use activities. Overall, it’s a great utility board for beginners to intermediate riders looking to get in the water in the flats and out in the surf.

Overall, it’s a great utility board for beginners to intermediate riders looking to get in the water in the flats and out in the surf.