Fin Adjustment Mother Chart

By Wade Williams

How to Use This Chart

We are always striving for consistency in water skiing. One day, we'll have equations to dictate setup adjustments. But in the meantime, it's not an exact science.

These adjustment recommendations are meant as a guide to help you understand what different changes to your fin setup will do to your ski's attitude and direction in the course.

Before making any adjustments, you should spend several minutes visualizing your skiing. Try to see yourself setting up and finishing turns on both your on and off side.

It's also imperative to record all of your adjustments. We've created an online application, Your Ski Log, just for this purpose.

Fin setup is all about balance. Every move you make will add from one side and take from the other. The best setup is balanced - equal on both sides.

*Technical Note: Reducing the Tail may be interchangeable with Reducing Depth. In most cases this is true. However, it's possible to Reduce Tail in order to Reduce Overall Fin Length, while maintaining the amount of Tip or Depth in your setup. This is why some skiers use the Leading Edge Measurement.

For help measuring your fin, read our Fin Measurement Guide

Fin Back

o tail of the ski slides out less in pre turn

o more ski will be out infront of you during the pre turn

o ski moves forward through pre turn

o more ski in the water

o Less tail wash, slower turn

o Earlier turn initiation

o More stable

o drives the front of the ski into the water and raises the tail

Fin forward

o More tail wash, faster turn

o Later turn initiation

o Less stable

o lifts the front of the ski and drops the tail of the ski during on-side turns

Less Fin Length

o Ski carries out further before starting to turn

o tighter turn radius

o less tip pressure at the finish of the turn

Too Much Length

o causes over turning

Not Enough Length

o ski wheelies

Reduce Tip

o Reduces tip pull outbound from wakes

o Reduces tip grabbing

o Looser outbound feel with a wider path

o Less tip pressure off side

o raises the tip of the ski on offside turn

Add Tip

o adds tip pull outbound from wakes

o straighter path to buoy, tighter feel

o engages tip earlier in turn

o more tip pressure off side

o drives the tip of the ski into the water on offside turn

Add Depth

o ski takes more movement to roll over on edge / initiate a turn

o ski rides with more stability from edge-to-edge

o ski will seem to hold more angle across wake

o ski will seem faster from side to side

o ski will hold speed and direction better

o ski will feel like it turns slower

o harder to roll edge to edge

o more stability

o more holding power

o more edge angle achievable

o slower tail wash, slower turn

Reduce Depth

o Easier to roll edge to edge

o less stability

o more tail wash, faster turn

o easier to turn

Reduce Tail

o more tail wash

o less tail hold at finish of turn

o less tip pressure onside

Add Tail

o less tail wash

o more tail hold at finish of turn

o more tip pressure onside

Too Much Depth

o ski will not roll up on edge enough to hold direction set out of the turn

o ski will run straight at the next buoy

Not Enough Depth

o ski dumps you over

o tail blows out

o ski initiates too early on off side

o ski points at buoy out of the wake

More Wing

o inhibits acceleration

o increases stability

o holds ski to water better, creates suction

o pulls tip into the water

o delays initiation of pre turn