The fin box is an essential part of your SUP adventure. Without a fin you cannot paddle straight, and you will also notice less stability on the board. While a cracked fin box is not the end of the world (it will probably still hold your fin and be fully functional), it is truly a bummer.
Here are four easy steps for caring for your fin box:
- Keep your board fin side up on land.
If you lay your board on land with the fin down on the ground, you are just inviting trouble. The chances of somebody stepping, sitting or bumping your board and breaking your is high. There is no doubt that an iSUP is a great place to sit down and chill, even on land, so just flip it fin side up to mitigate the risk to your finbox. Alternatively you can remove the fin and lay it pad side up, but be careful not to pack your fin box with dirt or sand by doing this.
2. Carry your board into deeper water.
When you are excited to get out it can be tempting to jump onto the board right away as soon as your feet get wet, but if you look back your fin is 5 feet behind you and may be in mere inches of water. When you put all that weight on the board with the fin hitting the bottom it can put a lot of force in the fin box and you could get a crack! Avoid this by walking a few steps more and be sure the fin is in deep enough water so it does not touch the bottom.
3. Wash your fin box.
The channel in your fin box is for the washer to slide, or your silicone plugs to grab. If you let your fin box get filled with dirt, sand or salt debris, it will not work smoothly. Avoid laying your fin box on the ground, and when you are finished, take extra care to rinse it with clean fresh water.
4. Mind the fin box when packing up.
Whether your roll or fold your board up for storage, you should always take special care not to bend the fin box. It does not bend and the edges can crack if you try to roll it up and kneel on the box. No fin box is designed to take that kind of abuse. When you get to the tail end of the board when packing up, just reach out to grab the end and fold that over so you can see the fin box and fold the board around it.
Caring for your fin box is easy if you treat your board with a little love. If you forget a step and crack your box, it is not the end of the world. It will most likely still hold your fin and give you a great ride, but nobody wants to see that damage on their beloved iSUP. It is worth paying attention to details and taking care of your investment so you can enjoy it fully for years to come.