FCS vs Future Fin which one is best a detail inspection
Best surfboard fins brand:
You may have seen or heard of many other brands that make good and affordable fins. But when it comes to the best fins in the market. It always comes into FCS vs Future fins. So ignoring other brands here we are making this piece of article is a clash of Thor VS Hulk.
Fin Control System (FCS) isn’t just a brand, it’s an industry standard type. Started back on November 7, 1995, the FCS system was designed by Brian A. Whitty in Australia. Today FCS is the most widely used fins of all.
FCS fin family Types:
FCS has four fin family categories based on the sweep, wave types and supported board types.
These are commonly known as Reactor Family (Speed), Performer Family (Balance), Accelerator Family (Control) and Carver Family (Power)
What is FCS Reactor Fins?
This FCS family has very low sweep which means it will provide speed and tight turn on the wave suitable for beach brakes and hollow waves also the surfboard having low rocker these are perfect fins.
What are FCS Performer Fins?
Neutral sweep suitable for all beach conditions, all board types and designed to get the balance of speed, flow, and response.
What are FCS Accelerator Fins?
Greater sweep than performer family but less than Carver family, suitable for punchy or critical conditions, suitable for all boards as well as Step UPS, designed to get controlled high-speed turns
What is FCS Carver Fins?
This FCS family has a high sweep, perfect for point break & open face waves and high rockers surfboards, designed to get high control and drawn out turns
FCS Fin Material Types:
FCS currently has six different fin materials each one of them has different weight and response. These are Soft flex, Glass Flex, Neo Glass, Performance Core, Performance Core Carbon and Performance Glass.
Soft flex fins are made up of highly flexible urethane which makes it safe, and highly flexible. Due to the high flexibility, it is having the largest delay in response. Due to this reason Soft flex fins are best for soft top boards and recommended for novice surfers. As these fins make their surfing easy and helpful to gain confidence in the water.
Glass Flex fins:
Glass flex fins are made up of engineering grade polymer containing around 40% fiberglasses. These fins are also highly flexible and delay in response but due to its unique material combination make these fins relatively low flexibility and less delay in response as compared to soft flex fins mentioned above.
Glass flex fins are typically used with longboards as well as soft top boards. So these fins are ideal for a beginner who is riding for a while and primary level intermediate riders. These fins are helpful to maintain speed and acceleration while surfing and transitioning through turns.
Neo Glass fins:
Neo glass fins are made up of long strength fiberglass and marine grade polymer. Neo glass is a premium material having around 50% fiberglass. Due to its high fiberglass content, these fins are having active flex pattern with quick response. Due to it is compatible with a wide range of surfing conditions and all types of boards.
Neo glass fins are ideal for intermediate and pro riders.
Performance Core fins:
Performance core fins are made up of around 55% fiber through Resin Transfer Molding. The main important thing of these fins is the flex pattern which extends progressively from the base to tip. This helps a surfer to maintain drive and hole through a turn.
Performance Core fins are compatible with all types of boards but preferable with short boards and recommended for Advance and pro riders.
Performance Core Carbon fins:
Performance core carbon fins are made up of carbon base and 60% fiberglass through Resin Transfer Molding. These fins are helpful for exclusive turn on the critical part of the wave.
You can use Performance Core Carbon Fins with all types of boards but with short boards are recommended. And only for Pro riders.
Performance Glass fins:
Performance Glass fins are made up of woven fiberglass. Just like traditional fiberglass fins, it has a stiff base with subtle responsive tip flex. Its flex pattern gives immediate response makes it compatible with all types of boards but fun boards are preferable.
Performance Glass Fins are widely used by Advance or Pro riders.
Started in a garage in California, 1996. Both brands have very close born time. Just like FCS, the Future fins are also very popular and widely used.
Future fins category
Future fins are divided into three types of categories Speed Generating (10-7), Balanced (7-4) and Speed control (4-1). All are divided by Ride number 10 to 1, The Ride numbers are determined by the amount carbon is being used to any fins. Higher the ride number means less carbon content makes board Springy, fluid and responsive while surfing. Whereas lower ride number means more carbon content makes a board more solid, engaged and predictable while surfing.
What is Future Speed Generating fins?
Speed Generating fins are having ride number 10 to 7. Which are the highest of all fins among the future fins category? As discussed earlier higher the ride number makes the board more Springy, fluid and responsive, typically good for weak waves where you wanna generate speed while surfing.
So Future Speed Generating fins are ideal for beginners and compatible for all board types but preferable with longboards or soft top boards.
Speed generating fins are further classified into two more categories BLACKSTIX with ride number 1 to 7 and GENERATION Series with ride number 9 to 7.
What are the Future Balance fins?
Balance fins are having ride number 7 to 4. Gives you a balanced feel of speed and control. Recommended for intermediate riders and ideal for all board types.
Future Balance fins are further classified as ALPHA and HONEYCOMB fins.
What are FCS Speed control fins?
Speed control fins are having ride number 4 to 1. These are solid, engaged and predictable typically useful when you are riding on a strong hollow wave. Compatible with all board types and only for Pro Riders.
FCS Speed control fins are also classified as TECHFLEX and CONTROL
Future fins Material concept:
Future fins use two main materials carbon and fiberglass. Within these two materials, they use a verity of the concept while making fins to give verity of feels to riders.
FCS vs. Future fins what is the difference?
Here we are going to compare these two brands against each other. We will try to cover each and every aspect to differentiate them and hopefully with the end of this article nothing will be left over for you to see and check elsewhere.
Both brands have differences in their Fin mounting Technology:
One of the major differences between FCS and Future fins is their fin mounting tactic design. FCS uses two tabs or plugs which are fixed to the board using a set of screws. Unlike dual tabs, Future fins have a single tab that means it uses a Truss Base along the entire length of the fin box
In September 2013 FCS launched the FCS II Standard. FCS II fins are basically keyless Fins. Meaning now you can install or remove fins without a key or grub screws. FCS II is also backward compatible which means you can use your old dual tab FCS fins with the new FCS II system with the help of a compatibility kit.
Even though they have different fixing technology both maintain their quality pretty well and both are strong enough to hold fins with surfboards.
A quick note here: Single Tab Futures fins and Dual Tab FCS fins style are not compatible with each other. So you have to use fins that are compatible with your fin boxes installed on your surfboard.
Both brands have Structural differences in their fins.
Both brands have different Base, Depth, Area, Sweep, Foil, Flex, and CANT.
The difference in Price:
There is a little difference in price such as FCS II fins are the relatively higher price. And there is a couple of reason for that, FCS II comes with the very unique material combination as well as upgraded fin mounting technology.
Both are different Brand awareness:
FCS has more brand awareness in the surf community as compared to Future fins but that does not mean Future fins does not make great fins.
Despite differences, these two brands share some common facts!
Both Brands uses the almost same concept in foil. The shape of foil impacts a lot on stability and control while surfing.
A brief spec is below
Future Tow foil or FCS 50/50:
Future fins Tow foils and FCS 50/50 foil type share the same concept. This type of is symmetrical. Even water flow creates stability and control. Good and recommended for beginners.
FCS flat foils VS Future flat foil:
Both have the same concept in the case of flat foil. One side is flat and the other side is concave form, makes an even combination of drive, pivot and hold. This type of fin provides fast directional changes along with balance, speed control. Good and recommended for intermediate riders also suitable for advanced/pro riders.
Future V/V2 foils VS FCS 80/20 + 70/30 Foils:
Rounded leading edge with concave inside face like “v” shape. It’s Asymmetrical foil typically used for quad rear fins that provides fast turning sensitivity while still providing stability and control. Even though very few minor difference is there in shape of all these foil types which is ignorable. Recommended for advanced/pro riders.
Warranty & Guarantee:
Both brands provide a 1-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects and faulty workmanship. Please note that this does not include damage caused by misuse, inappropriate use or normal wear and tear. We recommend our reader to read and understand their T&C about the warranty.
Both brands have Carbon fiber as well as fiberglass fins. Carbon fiber fins will be a little more durable and lighter, typically recommended for Intermediate and advanced riders
If you are a beginner I would suggest you go with a fiberglass fin, it will keep the cost down then as you advance you can move into a carbon fiber fin. It will mainly create a lighter overall set up.
Some wiki type knowledge
FCS Fins Characteristics:
Base: In FCS fins Base is the length between the leading and trailing edge where the fin meets the board. Fins having longer base will offer more drive and acceleration to a great extent.
Depth: How extent the fin is underneath the water. The greater depth will produce more hold and with shorter depth, a board will more slide and release
Area: Total surface area of the fin
Sweep: It is the angler measurement to determine how far the outline of the fin is curved in the backward direction. Something similar to the Rake in future fins
Apart from these FCS also considers FLEX (how flexible, more flexible is less responsive) and CANT (how stiff or lose the fin is from bottom) as a classification factor.
Future Fins Characteristics:
Flex: They have a slightly different concept on calculating flexibility. This is calculated as the distance moved from the axis divided by the fins height. So more flexibility means more speed generating feels whereas less flexibility means more speed control feels.
Rake: Just like FCS’s sweep, it is the angular measurement to determine how far the outline of the fin is curved in the backward direction. Calculation slightly different as compare to FCS it is by Area of (X) / Area of (Y).So more Rake is more speed generating and less Rake is more speed control.
Just like a fish uses her fins to stabilize, control and to play in the water. A surfer uses his favorite fins to do the same thing. To be honest, due to the variation of wave type, riding skill, and surfboard types it is not possible to give a 100% compatible fin to you. You have to do few experiments by yourself to see what works best for you with your surfing style and conditions. But with this article, we hope that you can make a close 100% goal in first short and we believe after reading this article you already get a lot better idea about these two fine brands. This site also contains about many more fins reviews and comparison chart to ease your problem, check them out as well.
If you have any questions and suggestions please feel free to write in our blog and comment section. Thank you for reading up to the bottom, hope this was helpful.