If you’re in the market for new fins, the first question you need to ask yourself is, should I buy FCS fins or Futures fins?
Which of these options is best, how do they compare, and what are the pros and cons?
What Are FCS Fins?
“FCS Fins” are both a brand and a style of fins that was first invented in 1995.
You can recognize FCS fins by the inclusion of a dual tab system designed to slot into a plug and secure the fins in place.
It was designed with simplicity, stability, and ease of use in mind as the FCS fin system can be easily removed and transported.
In 2013, FCS II fins were released, improving upon the original design.
FCS II fins lock into place and there is no need for screws and specific tools. The connection is also flusher and as it’s backward compatible, it works with fins that were designed with the original fin system in mind.
What Are Futures Fins?
Futures fins are secured by a single screw, with the base flush in the board.
These fins are available in several types, with surfers choosing from varying ride numbers to find the ones most suitable for them.
This Ride Number innovation makes it easier to find surfboard fins that perfectly match your riding style, giving you the exact amount of release, hold, balance, and drive that you need.
These easy-to-fit surfboard fins are just as efficient and powerful as FCS fins.
What’s the Difference Between FCS and Futures Fins?
Both of these fin systems are added to surfboards before they are hot-coated.
FCS feature a dual tab design; Futures fins have a single tab. This is the main difference between the two, but the pros and cons also differ.
Reasons to Choose Futures Fins:
- A cheaper price point
- Very easy to install
- A stronger fin system
Reasons to Choose the FCS Fin System:
- Lighter than Futures fins
- More common and easier to find and replace
- Easy to use and install
It should also be noted that FCS surfboard fins are widely counterfeited, so there are a lot of cheap copies, and navigating the surf funs market can be a bit of a minefield at times.
What is the Best Fin System for Surfboards?
When looking for surf fins, there are a few things that you must consider.
Firstly, which fins are strong, easy to use, and suitable for your needs?
The exact style of fin can vary, but both fin systems tick these boxes and produce high-quality options.
Secondly, you need to think about cost. If they’re not in your budget, there’s no point considering them.
Again, there are cheap options for both, but Futures surfboard fins might be better suited if price is a big sticking point.
Thirdly, consider storage and transportation.
How easy are the fins to remove and store? Both are fairly reliable here, but there are some complaints from customers suggesting that FCS II fins fall out.
FCS fin systems aren’t cheap. Fins in general aren’t cheap. So, you can’t afford to lose them so easily.
Finally, you need to think about popularity, and this is where things swing back to FCS.
FCS fins are much more common and are used all over the world and by the majority of shapers. If you have an issue, it’ll be easier to replace them than it will with Futures fins.
In the end, there is no clear and obvious answer to the question of FCS vs Futures fins. Just look at your options, consider your budget, and buy the fins that work best for you.
FAQs about FCS and Futures Fin Systems
If you still have a few questions about how these options fit in the surf fins markets, what kind of benefits they offer, and which one is right for you, check out the following FAQs.
Can I Use FCS Fins in Futures Fin Boxes?
You cannot use FCS fins in Futures fin boxes, and the same applies the other way around.
Do FCS 2 Fins Need Screws?
These surf fins were designed to be installed without screws.
Can You Use FCS 2 Fins In FCS 1 Plugs?
Yes, FCS 2 fins are backward compatible and so you can use FCS 2 fins in FCS 1 plugs.
What Does FCS Fins Stand For?
FCS stands for Fin Control System.
What Are FCS Fins Made From?
FCS surf fins are made from molded fiberglass, making them lightweight, stiff, and suitable for a range of conditions.
What Are Futures Fins Made From?
Futures fins are made from molded carbon fiber and are also strong and lightweight.