Who Rides Futures Fins?

Despite their comparatively lower profile, Futures are the go-to fins of many of surfing’s biggest names. From Championship Tour stalwarts to big wave enthusiasts, these are some of the most well-known surfers who swear by these fins.

John John Florence

There’s a chance you may have heard of this guy. The two-time world champion is pretty good, and were it not for injuries there’s every chance that his trophy cabinet would be even more full than it is. The recently turned 29-year-old still has plenty of time to add to his collection of world titles, and if he does so it will be atop a board utilising Futures. 

Florence has, by his own account, been using Futures for as long as he can remember, and now has his own range of eponymous Futures fins. This Tech Flex model initially only came in the one size, but it’s now available in small, medium and large – making it suitable for a range of different conditions – and is used by Florence himself while he’s wreaking havoc on his opponent’s on tour.

Jordy Smith

Smith doesn’t quite have the resumé to match John John Florence, but that’s hardly a slight. The big South African has never managed to win a world title, but he’s been mighty close on numerous occasions, finishing in the top five in five different seasons and seventh in another three. He’s also accumulated seven tour wins along the journey, including two consecutive triumphs at his home tournament of J-Bay early in his career, a break which he surfs as well as almost anyone in history.

Like John John, Smith has his own range of Futures aptly called the Jordy Signature. Unsurprisingly given his imposing frame, these fins are best suited for bigger surfers, recommended for those weighing in at 80 kilograms or more. Designed to be used in a thruster setup, the smaller centre fin helps to increase manoeuvrability, while a balanced flex pattern helps to draw the smooth, raking lines for which Smith is so renowned. 

Conner Coffin

Now 28 years of age, Conner Coffin probably hasn’t had the level of success at the top level that he would have liked, but if Championship Tour events were judged purely on aesthetics it’s likely that he would have. Renowned for his long, carving turns, Coffin has one of the most lauded styles in professional surfing, and this simultaneously retro and innovative technique in the water is done with a set of Futures underneath his board.

At times, Coffin looks like he’s playing a different game to his competitors, with the equipment under his feet behaving in a manner entirely unique to him. Unsurprisingly, the Futures that he uses are characterised by the control that they provide. The aptly named EA Control Series which he uses has a Ride Number of just 2.9; Ride Numbers range from 1-10, with fins with lower numbers boasting greater control and higher numbers greater speed. The other Futures fin in his quiver is the AM1 Honeycomb, which provides more of a balance between speed and control with a Ride Number of 5.8. 

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton has one of the most remarkable stories in surfing. Having lost her arm to a tiger shark surfing her home break in Hawaii as a kid, a consistently positive attitude and a hefty dose of talent have enabled her to live out her dream as a professional surfer despite facing challenges which, for most of us, are unimaginable.

She might not have her own signature range of Futures like the above names, but nonetheless she swears by the single-tab setup. Included within her quiver are John John’s Techflex, as well as an AM1 Honeycomb like Coffin, and an EA Blackstix – a fin with a Ride Number of 9.4 and which helps her to generate the speed and power so evident in her surfing.

Shane Dorian

Shane Dorian is a different kind of surfer to the above names. Though he started out on the Championship Tour – in fact he spent 11 years there – in 2003 he switched his attention to the kinds of waves far too big for the Tour, or for any of us normal folk to even imagine paddling out into. Now regarded as one of the best big wave surfers on the planet, his requirements in a board differ significantly from the rest of the names on this list, but nonetheless its Futures that he backs to take care of him as he’s trying to outrun inconceivably big waves.

Like Hamilton, Dorian doesn’t have his own range of signature fins with Futures. Included in his quiver, however, is the medium-sized John John Techflex setup, one of the best-selling fins in history and an ideal fin with which to maintain control – something which is generally encouraged when hurtling down the face of a wave the size of a building.

Rob Machado

Rob Machado might not have the same professional resumé as the aforementioned surfers, but that doesn’t have a whole lot to do with his talent. A self-described ‘soul surfer’, Machado’s energy these days is largely directed towards free surfing, but throughout the ‘90s and even for the first decade or so of this century he was a regular at the top level, with a Pipeline Masters victory his most significant professional victory.

Machado has an idiosyncratic surfing style characterised by swooping turns and a power which belies the initially laidback appearance of his technique, and he does it all with a set of Futures hidden away underneath his board. Unsurprisingly, he has his own signature set of fins with Futures, suitable for a range of different conditions and surfing styles. There’s the Machado Keel, the Machado Blackstix and the Machado 7.5, all of which are described as ‘loose, springy and full of life’. They might not make you surf like Rob Machado, but if you were ever going to emulate the enigmatic Sydney-born American, these would be the fins to do it with.

While Futures may not be the brand with the biggest following in the world of fin production, the quality of the above names suggests they still have plenty of the world’s best who swear by their products. And those aren’t all; included among the rest of the Futures team are young gun Ethan Ewing, tube aficionado Michel Bourez, big wave champion Twiggy Baker, and the legendary Dave Rastovich, to name just a few. It’s a group of names as diverse as it is talented, and is indicative of both the quality and the versatility of the Futures range.