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To Toe or Not to Toe

Side fin placement on shaped surfboard blank

To tell you straight off, yes you need “to Toe”. That is have Toe-in to a certain degree. What is that? Flip your surfboard over and look at the side fins. Most likely they are pointing towards the centre line of the surfboard if you were to draw a line from the rear of the fin through the front all the way to the stringer. The point where the two imaginary lines from each side fin meets is called the Convergence Point. We call this pointing to the middle of the surfboard “Toe-in”. Most boards, have toe-in.

Why have toe-in? Well it helps you turn. The greater the toe-in, the easier the turning because the flow of water on the inside fin tends to push the tail away from the flow. But did you notice the cost? The greater the toe-in, the greater the drag when going straight. Drag slows you down.

So how much toe-in? Well like with every design element of a surfboard, it all depends. If you are looking to manoeuvre like on a shortboard, you definitely need a toe-in of a few degrees. But if you are actually just cruising like on a Mini Mal or something with no plans to be turning much, you could just so straight and eliminate as much friction as possible so you maximise your speed and length of ride.

But who the heck can really notice a 1 degree variance in Toe-in anyway? Main point is to know the concepts and how they apply to what you want to do and the conditions you are riding in. Combined, it will help guide you to make the right choices that get you to maxing out your grin.

Looks like Santa is going to deliver a typhoon swell for Christmas. Could not have asked for more grin than that! Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas everyone!

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