How To Attach Fins to an ERS Inflatable Paddle Board

The Lake River Coast fin pack provides ERS Riders with a wide selection of fin options for tuning their stand up paddleboard for different conditions. The following is a basic guide on the procedure for securing the center and side fins, as well as some tips on how the get the most out of your fin set up.

Choosing a Fin Setup

Generally speaking, a longer center fin is used for distance and speed paddling, as it keeps the board tracking straighter. Shorter fins are better for quick turning and for paddling in shallow waters. Using three short fins instead of a single long center fin can provide comparable speed and tracking with the advantage of not bottoming out in shallow water. Using side fins alongside a long center fin further increases tracking and adds some lateral movement control, especially in conditions with wind and currents. Select your fin setup primarily based on water depth and obstacle clearance, and secondarily to optimize performance based on conditions and paddling goals. A configuration that works well in most situations is the 4.5" center fin and two 4.5" side fins, which can be a good choice when starting out.

An adult paddler can leverage force several times their body weight when falling or turning, and this energy can be transferred to the fin box in case of impact. Paddle boarding is not meant to be a contact sport and fin box breakage. Please use appropriately sized fins for your conditions, and realize that impacts, dragging, or bending can damage your fin box and your paddle board. If you are unsure of the conditions, use a shorter fin set until you are familiar with the environment.

Center Fin Installation

The center fin box uses a fin screw and plate which is included in the LRC™ fin set. Place the screw inside the center of the box and slide the plate forward or backward to match up with the hole in the fin. Unscrew the thumbscrew from the plate and insert the center fin into the fin box so it aligns to the plate. 


Use the thumbscrew partially screwed into the plate to position the plate in the fin box track. Set the plate into the center of the box and slide it toward the end of the track that will match up with the hole in the fin.


Remove the thumbscrew from the plate.
The plate may slide around a little at this point, but you can easily reposition it by pushing on it with the thumbscrew.


Insert the end of the fin base with the metal pin into the center of the box and slide it toward one end of the fin box to line up the hole at the other end with the screw plate that was positioned in the previous step.


Set the fin screw in place and screw it into the plate. Once you have engaged the screw with the plate, slide the fin up or down to your preferred location in the box, then tighten to secure.

IMPORTANT - NEVER force or overtighten a fin or screw as it can potentially damage the fin box.

Side Fin Installation

Insert each side fin into the slots on the fin box and then push it back toward the rear of the box. The fin can be secured using two of the supplied grub screws at opposite corners. 


Align with the fin box with the fin facing forward and push down.


Push back slightly toward the rear of the box. A muted click will result and the fin will be set in place. Do not allow weight or pressure on the board when it is on land as damage can result.


For most paddling, securing the screws is preferable (required for 2" fins) but if in an area where impact is likely, it is best to leave the grub screws out and lose a fin rather than breaking the fin box or paddle without side fins attached. Screws should be advanced just until they make contact with the fin base. Overtightening can damage the screw hole.


IMPORTANT - Side fin boxes should be protected when around rocks and in high velocity situations. Damage can occur from contact with fins and precautions should be taken to prevent impact.

Fin Setup - Best Practice and Tips

ERS FIN boxes are engineered for any water environment but like anything with connecting parts they require some care for optimal performance and longevity.

For boards with removable fins added weight should not be placed on the board while it is on a solid surface. This includes not standing or laying on the board, and attention should be paid to kids and excited large pets jumping or climbing onto it. An installed center fin is not designed to support weight on land, and significant damage can occur if weight is added and force applied. It is best practice to have your board on its side or, on soft surfaces, fin side up. The LRC™ fin box can handle the weight of the board so as long as further weight isn't applied, so it is safe to leave the board deck pad side up briefly while you prepare for entry into the water just heed caution around others.

Please ensure when launching that you have plenty of clearance for your fins in the water before climbing onto your board. Replace any fin that has been damaged or is showing signs of deterioration. This could compromise performance and pose a potential safety risk and damage from snagging on unseen objects.

Avoid bending the fin boxes when folding the board for transportation. For correct board folding technique please consult your instruction manual.

Fin boxes can be replaced in the event of damage, though it is a difficult job that can only be performed by an expert skilled in the technique. Do not attempt to remove or replace any fin box by yourself it could cause irreparable damage to the board and result in injury due to the tools required.

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