I’m shaping and ordeing a shaping starter kit, so a recommendation for which fins and fin system to get would be super helpful/awesome.
For a first timer, the least expensive fin system to install is FCS X-2 Plugs, [2 plugs per fin... for a tri fin you'll order 4 RAIL plugs and 2 CENTER Plugs, if you're making a quad fin order 8 RAIL plugs as the RAIL Plugs have a fin cant angle molded in] FCS X-2 Plugs only require a normal power drill, X-2 Holesaw bit. and quick set jigs.
Here's how to install the X-2 plugs and a diagram of standard fin placements:
The things that we would suggest to make this an easy install are the FCS dummy install jigs and a g square or versasquare for laying out fin placements. The quick set jigs are an easy one time use product and the g square or versasquare is a tool you will use forever in your board building...
NOTE: For EPS boards use Resin Research Quick Kick Epoxy to reduce exotherm and prevent melting the foam. See Step 4.
1. FCS X-2 and FACTORY plugs are installed after the hotcoat. After installation and the resin has cured, you sand them down flush with the board while sanding the bottom.
2. Once you have the quickset jigs laid out on the board (lined up with your shapers dots) you will use a FCS Hole Saw bit to make your holes for the plugs. Drill the hole 5'8" deep and pull the foam out with needle nose plyers or dig out with a flathead screw driver.
3. We suggest using either FCS dummy jigs or a set of fins to set the plugs with the correct spacing as well as adjust the fin cant angle. Lightly screw the plugs onto the dummy jig tabs. If using fin keep the plugs loose on the fin tabs so you can push them down to where the "nubs" on the plugs touch the hotcoat.
4. Polyester boards: Mix 1 oz of resin per plug. (6 oz total for a tri-fin, 8 oz total for a quad).
EPS boards: Use Resin Research Quick Kick resin. In temperatures hotter than 80 degrees F, mix 1/2 oz per plug. You will fill the plug hole twice to reduce exotherm and prevent melting the foam.
5. Polyester Board: Pour about 1/3 oz of mixed resin into the holes.
EPS Board: Pour about 1/2 oz mixed resin into the holes.
6. Place the plugs in the holes with the dummy jig or fins to ensure proper alignment. Set the fin cant to the desired angle and hold in place with tape. Here is an illustration of taping the fins in place (these are glass ons but same taping methods apply to FCS fin plugs)
7. Polyester Boards: Using a small cup (dixie cups work great) carefully pour resin around the perimeter of the plug so it runs into the drilled hole. Be careful not to over fill! Fill just under the lip of the plug and jig.
EPS Boards: In temps above 80 degrees F, let the first pour cure for about 2 hours then mix another 1/2 oz Quik Kick resin per plug an top off.
Once the resin cures remove the jigs and sand the plugs down until they are flush with the board.