Surfboard Fin Setups
Single Fin Setup: Using single fin is where the surfing fins started. Surfboard fins first put into use based on the keels on sailboard to stabilize the surfboard. Its increased size is due to the use of only one fin. Since the fin is located in the center is tends to tighten up the board thru turns however it will hold well in the large surf.
Twin Fin Setup: The twin fin is a design popularized with the fish type surfboards. The twin fin set up tends to loosen up the tail of the surfboard and allows it to remain stuck in a straight line and then turn quite loosely. Once you get a feel for the twin you can really drive down the line and carve thru turns easily.
Thruster or Tri-Fin Setup: The thruster is the staple of fin set ups in surfboard production. It was invented by Australian Simon Anderson in the early 80s. The thruster simply added a stabilizing center fin to the twin fin set up and suddenly the surfing became much smoother thru the turns and transitions. And the idea has stuck to the present and is widely recognized as the standard fin set up for most stock shortboards.
Quad Fin Setup: The quad is an attempt to correct the looseness of the twin fin while maintaining the speed and drive. The design is becoming increasingly popular with big wave riders and even some shortboarders. The extra set of twin side fins really adds speed and drive and helps stabilize the surfboard in the absence of the center fin and its associated drag.