i'm personally not a fan of the inside foil thing, so i'd say go w/ the pg-5s, but it's totally your call as it's a matter of personal preference...some folks like the inside foil, others don't. the 5 series fin is nice b/c it's a more upright, pivoty fin than the am-2, so if you're looking to get more pivot out of your turns, that'll help. the am-2 will encourage more drawn out turns (all other things being equal).
if you just want 1 set of fins, i would suggest you try to find a place where you can try them before you buy...a lot of shops have test drive centers/demo trees that allow you to do this. otherwise just buy both sets & keep the set you like the best.
Pros use both, so from a pure performance perspective, I don't think there is much of a difference.
Having used both, I much prefer Futures. I've had tons of trouble with FCS plugs tearing out of the board. I've never had a Future box come loose. A pro probably doesn't worry about that b/c he's getting a new board every two weeks. But for the rest of us, they need to last. I think FCS knows that, which is probably why they created that new Fusion system.
Lastly, I would pick a system and stick with it across all boards. That way you don't have to buy the exact same fin set in both Futures and FCS when you do get a new board.
I broken many FCS tabs in my shorebreak days but never ripped a FCS plug out. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but you're either riding awful shallow or there's a good chance it was an improper install.
Never had an FCS fin get 'stuck/ really hard to get out. But did numerous times with Futures. Also, Futures has or had 2 different depth boxes. Got a new board from a shop once, and the rear fins they gave me wouldn't go in, they were too deep for the shallower box. Had to drive back.
Never had an FCS fin get 'stuck/ really hard to get out. But did numerous times with Futures. Also, Futures has or had 2 different depth boxes.
that might be the single biggest thing that annoys me about futures. a lot of times it seems like their bases are too wide for the box, so they won't go in or come out w/out a fight...i know a tight fit is essential, but come on! i shouldn't have to wax my fin bases to get them into the boxes...& as for the 2 different box depths, i like front fins as quad rears when the rears are set close to the rail (like my bing puck...pg-7/pg-3 fin set up), & i can't do that w/ futures...fcs lets me put any fin anywhere. not really sure what the logic is behind the shallower box...though i suppose you could get just the deeper boxes on a custom order.
From our experience fixing dings at the shop, we get a lot of rolled futures boxes to replace. Just finished 3 futures repairs today actually...
FCS plugs come in a close 2nd for repairs and FCS Fusions are a far third. In my opinion FCS Fusions are the best box option available in the mass market.
The actual fin performance is all relative to the rider.
I like the fin selection and interchangeability of FCS. And I like the newer Fusion boxes in terms of a quick and easy install, that tiny bit of fore-aft adjustability they allow, and the strength advantage of the under glass install when compared to the plugs. However, I must say that every plug I've done a repair/replacement on has been installed improperly. When properly installed, the plugs are a pretty reliable system. Lets face it... if you hit a rock or drop your board off the roof of your car, you should expect there's gonna be some damage, no matter what fin system you use. I can't speak about Fusions because I don't use them or work with them.
I'm also with 42 on using True Ames fins. Very consistent in quality and price. And just a side note... a well foiled solid fiberglass fin has the best flex properties, hands down (With the exception of some of the thicker foiled singles and twins, which I prefer to be made of plywood). All other fin technology tries to imitate the flex of fiberglass, because that's been the standard for generations. I have several fiberglass fins from the guys at True Ames, Rainbow, Fibreglass Fin Co./ProBox that are excellent. So don't be afraid to think outside the box.
I definitely prefer futures over fcs, mainly because of the fin boxes. Structurally, fcs plugs don't even make sense and the fusions still aren't that good. fcs has some sick fins but I've had nothing but trouble with their plugs and boxes. But, I still like lokbox better than both
Last edited by lbsurfer; Dec 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM.
I've shape a few boards and have used probox, futures, and FCS fusions. Hands down probox are the most adjustable. Futures are the least. They are all easy as pie to install if you have the jigs. As a semi shaper I don't like straight lines. So futures seem like there are a lot of straight lines, meaning 4 failure areas per fin. Probox and fusions have no straight lines so zero fail points.
Now about the two size future boxes. It sounds like a mistake by your glasser or shaper. The more shallow box should be used as the rear boxes or box due to the need to fit in the more foiled or thin tails. It should only fit rear fin bases.
FCS just happen to be first to market and first to be knocked off. In side the base slots should actually say FCS if you look down in them on older models, new ones have logo on the outside. Because they were first to the market they are world wide so if you're in a third world country, you have a better chance to get a blow out fixed.
True Ames and rainbow are great companies who offer more templates if you can't find an FCS / futures mirror. Like futures controllers, rainbow makes an FCS base match.
I'm a fin whore and by no means an expert so try all that you can, that's what I love doing.