Here in Seattle, our beach sand is the same color as our fin screws. As a result, many of us have lost the screw and/or plate after ‘one of those days’ of fishing either out of the fin box after a failed fin attach attempt.
I do use QFR quick release fin screws for most of my fins but for surfing and/or specialty fins like Larry Allison’s Ninja Fin, the screw holes are too wide or narrow for the QFR set-up.
In Surfing, I find that a screwed in fin screw is more secure than the quick release versions which can slide in some fin boxes and/or can be ripped out if the fin hits a hard surface.
Avoid losing your only fin screw by carrying backups. Since I run a paddle board school, I carry extra screw and plates, and have 2-3 varieties of each for students who may have different fins and varying width fin boxes. Note: Not all fin boxes are made the same. Test before going out!
I store my extra fin screws in a plastic jar in my car and carry one in my First Aid / Repair kit when teaching or on trips.
Also keep a multi-tool handy especially if surfing or paddling with friends are you teach, as many will show up with screws that take either a flat head, Philips and/or a hex head. Side bites fins are usually a tiny hex head requiring the right sized Allen wrench tool.
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About Rob Casey
SUP has changed my life, so I love to share my knowledge and skills and transform lives. Students have lost weight, increased their self-esteem, and have paddled in places and conditions they’d never imagined they’d be capable of.