How to Take Fins Off a Surfboard

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There are usually one to three small fins at the base of a surfboard. These act as stabilizers and keels so that a surfer can control the board. The fins are susceptible to damage, in which case it is often necessary to remove a fin to replace or repair it. This is easily done with a minimum of tools.

Items you will need

  • Hex wrenches

  • Cloth towel and small mallet (optional)

  • Lubricant (optional)

  • Rag (optional)

Place the surfboard so the fins are exposed. Placing it on a flat surface like a workbench gives access to the fins.

Brush off the areas around the fins to expose the hex screws locking the fin onto the board.

Remove the hex screws with a hex wrench and pull the fin off the surfboard. If the screws are locked on due to salt erosion or metal lock, spray lube onto a rag, dab it around the hex screws and try the wrench again.


  • Different sized fins give the surfboard different capabilities. Switch out fins to experiment with your board and its performance.


About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

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