Fin Placement

Adjustable Fin Boxes

adjustable surfboard fin systemRemovable fin systems are constantly evolving and we are in a golden age of experimentation and creativity. We’re glad to see surfboard fin companies getting in on the act and pushing the boundaries of surfing to produce stronger, lighter, and better performing fin systems. Most of us all know the two largest and most commonly used fin companies in the world, Futures and FCS. They are great companies who make awesome products, but in this article SurfScience brings to your attention the work of two lesser knows fin companies changing the game.




LOKBOX is a San Clemente, California based company that understands the way to a surfer’s heart is through his wallet. We don’t have money to buy new boards every two months, but we can change our fin set-up to produce an entirely different feel to our surfboards. We also don’t want our fix boxes easily damaged, costing us money for repairs.


“The main feature that set us apart from our competitors is adjustability,” says Casey Blank of LOKBOX. “You have a half inch of adjustability forward and back. In most cases, you can produce totally different performance characteristics simply by moving the back fin an eighth of an inch. We give you that flexibility.”


Lokbox moveable fin systemThe second thing that LOKBOX offers is a way to help prevent damage to the fin box should you have a run in with a surfer, reef, or pillar.


“The fin lock that holds the fin in place is actually designed to bend upon serious impact so your fin will most likely dislodge or come out of the board,” Kasey Curtis explains. “This happens so your box or entire tail doesn’t break. Stuff does break, it happens. This feature helps to prevent your board from getting damaged.”


LOKBOX also boasts a couple of cool ideas designed to strengthen the fin system and improve performance. This includes a tapered cavity (where the fins is placed) and the fact that the LOKBOX system is installed before the glass job. Casey expands on the tapered fit.


“Another key feature is that it is a wedged fin. The main idea behind it is to have a fin system with no loose or wobbly fins once you seat it in there. You don’t want to be able to move the fin because you want the flex of the fin to be as true as possible.”


4 Way Fin System


This fin company is serious about adjustability to your fin set-up. They have a fully patented fin system design that allows for fin adjustments to “all angles of attack”. This includes toe-in and toe-out, cant and lateral adjustment. Never before have you been able to address so many different performance characteristics without buying a new surfboard!


adjustable four way fin systemYou want a more maneuverable board? No problem. Simply move the center fin a tad more toward the nose. Not enough? Move the side fins back toward the tail to create a closer fin cluster. If those solutions don’t work don’t forget to increase the outer cant of your side fins and then increase the toe-in! Whew, we’re tired, but can you imagine the possibilities?


4 Way Fin System engineered this system to not only help you personalize your set-up, but also to help prevent major damage to your surfboard from strong impact to the fins. The fin is seated in a removable “interdisc” that dictates fin positioning and placement. This is very similar to some snowboard bindings. The fin system is designed to allow this interdisc to either fracture or break off on severe side impact. The result, according to the company’s website, is a reduction to fin box and board damage by up to 80%.  Under severe frontal impact, fins snap out of the disc interface without damage to either the box or board. This is great news for anyone on a surf trip. Just make sure to bring a travel repair kit that has replacement interdiscs.




Surfboard fins are the engine under your hood. Shouldn’t you get your hands dirty and tune-up that engine? Both LOKBOX and 4 Way Fin System understand that surfboard fin position can and should be adjusted outside of shaping bays. The ability to adjust fin positioning, toe-in, and cant gives riders the option to use their surfboards in a variety of surf conditions with numerous performance characteristics. With these two fin systems your next surfboard may be the only one you ever need. We can’t think of a better innovation to help us maximize our equipment’s use, so talk to your shaper about his thoughts on fin systems. You both may learn a lot.     

Stay Informed