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A Good Overview of Swim Fins by eBodyboarding.com
Courtesy of ebodyboarding.com (Updated on May 6, 2009)

Choosing the right pair of swimfins...

When choosing a pair of fins, we recommend that comfort and fit be the number one most important factor. Second should be performance, and third is price. Let's address these factors.

1. Comfort - The fin should fit snugly without squeezing your foot. If it squeezes, you'll get cramps. All of our fins are comfortable and top of the line. Make sure you pick the size that corresponds to the sizing info given with each fin description. (Check "fin accessories" at the bottom of this page). When you get them, wear them around the house for a half an hour. Walk around, sit down. If they hurt your feet, you need another brand or a different size. We take returns or exchanges minus shipping costs as long as you haven't used them in the surf and you return them within 30 days after you receive them. 

2. Performance -  A fin should provide good thrust. We basically sell "asymmetric" which have a blade that is diagonal, and "symmetric" which is a blade that is shaped the same on both sides. Shorter blades provide quicker starts, but it means you have to give more kicks to travel the same distance as a longer fin.

3. Price - Think about how often you are going to use the swimfins and if the fins you're looking at are within your budget.


Now heres a rundown of our fins and how they work and the accessories that go with them:

BZ Black Tipz - Symmetric, very stiff, and somewhat heavy, these fins will provide solid thrust, but lack a bit in the comfort department for some riders. If you're on a tight budget, a great buy, especially if combined with a pair of fin socks to greatly improve the comfort.

BZ Rubbers - BZ Rubbers are an asymmetric-blade fin meaning there's a right and left foot fin. The fins are shaped similarly to Redleys, but that's where the similarities stop. The foot pocket is one of the most comfortable on the market, and thrust in the fin is above average, but not incredible. The other benefit of this fin is it's light weight. That makes them easy on the feet.
Clones - With a nice tall foot pocket, and soft rubber within it, the Clones are definitely comfortable. Symmetric blades make for a nice, even kick, with great thrust. Average in weight.

Custom X - One of our lightest all-rubber fins, it also has one of the shortest blades of any of our fins. The blade is symmetric, and the foot pocket is very soft. They also float. Great for dropknee riders especially, and priced well.

Churchill Makapuus - These are the original bodyboarding fins. The design has stayed the same since they were first developed many years ago. These fins now float (for many years they didn't) . The blades are asymmetric and fairly short making them good dropknee fins, and they provide average thrust. They are moderate in weight.

Kicks - My current favorite, and the lightest all-rubber fin we carry, these symmetric fins have a round blade making them ideal for dropkneers. The thrust is average, but to me the light weight and ease of use of this fin make up for that. A nice thin-profile heel strap for minimal heel irritation and a nice comfy foot pocket. They work great for prone riders too.

Churchill Slashers - One of the most comfortable fins we sell, these fins were designed around the foot pocket using a foot mould to design the pocket, so they are comfy. The thrust is fair at best as these very buoyant fins are a touch more difficult to sink when you're kicking. The blade is asymmetric and is fairly short making them good for prone/dk riders. Weight is moderate.

Laguna Swimfins (formerly "Neofins") - These unique fins are without a doubt the most comfortable fins we sell. They are also the most compact and lightest. Highly recommended for first-timers or folks that have problems with sores on their feet caused by wearing fins. The entire foot pocket is lined with neoprene. The strap is adjustable (a one-of-a-kind in bodyboarding fins) in length and tightness. The thrust is quite good, and they float. They are great for travel also because they compact well. The blade is symmetric, and made of silicone unlike our other fins that are all made of rubber. The strap is nylon and neoprene.

PowerEdge - Stiff blades and a fairly comfortable foot pocket with good thrust. The blades are asymmetric. A good buy for the price.

Redley's - Made in Brazil, these asymmetric fins provide some of the best thrust of our many fins, and have a longer blade than other fins we sell. The foot pocket is a bit more firm, so they may not be the most comfortable fins for folks new to the sport. If you dropknee, it will be a bit more difficult with these fins because of the longer blade. These are some of the heavier fins we sell.

Tech Fins - A very comfortable foot pocket, light to moderate weight fin. The blade is symmetric, and curved, and the thrust is excellent. They have a good design for aiding in holding an edge on the wave when you're prone riding. A very good product.

Tech Fins 2 - Made from opaque silicone, these fins offer a foot-shaped, soft, comfortable foot pocket with a cool new look. Asymmetric blade, but remember, they DO NOT float! Excellent thrust.

Unit X - A solid symmetric fin with a medium length blade that suits them well for both prone and DK riding. Medium weight, and a stiff blade.

Vipers - Vipers' main benefit is the fact that unlike most other fins, they have a soft neoprene padding glued into the inside top of the fin. This not only pads the top of your foot, but also helps to prevent blisters. The blade of the fin is symmetric. They offer both short and long blade styles (V5's having a 5" long blade and the V7's having a 7" long blade). The V5 Flex model are a bit more flexible with a bit less thrust. Some people like to get these to reduce the strain on their calves. Customizable in that you can cut the blade to desired shape and length for prone or dk riders. Vipers are one of our heavier fins. They have a good design for aiding in holding an edge on the wave when you're prone riding.

Voit Duck Feet - These fins were one of the first-ever swimfins used for bodyboarding when the sport was invented. With their long blade, relatively heavy weight, and powerful thrust, I don't recommend them for anyone who aspires to dropknee, but if you want a solid, economical fin, this is your baby. Symmetric blades.

Fin Accessories

Fin Socks - Neoprene socks that cover your entire foot except the ball of your heel. Prevents fin sores and also makes swimfins more comfortable. 2mm thickness.

Aleeda surf socks - 3mm neoprene booties that cover your entire foot and ankle and go up part way onto your calf. Beside preventing fin sores, these also keep your feet warm in cold water and comfortable in swimfins. You may want to consider getting your fins a size larger if you're planning to wear these with them.

Aleeda or Finis lycra fin socks - Made of thin lycra to wear when your main purpose is to prevent fin ulcers or cuts. They cover your entire foot, and aren't thick and bulky like other neoprene socks.

H2Odyssey socks - We offer these in 3mm and 5mm thickness, and they are blindstitched to handle the coldest conditions out there. You will almost definitely need a larger size of fins to fit over these unless you want unbearable cramps in your feet. These incorporate a built-in fin tether.

Heel Pads - A neoprene strap that velcros around the strap of your fin to prevent sores on your heel and ankle.

Nuisance cinches or H2Odyssey Fin Tethers - Just like heel pads, but with the added benefit of a nylon strap that goes over the top of your foot to "lock" the fin on your foot so it doesn't get blown off in heavy surf.

Island Style/Gyroll Connectors/Custom X fin savers/Bully's Tethers/Nuisance Strings/BZ Tethers/Morey Tethers/eBodyboarding.com tethers - Straps that attach to the strap of your fin with the other end to your ankle to prevent the fins from floating away in the event that they get blown off in big surf.

Sharkfinn Guardians - Small neoprene booties that cover just the area around your ankle. Helps prevent fin sores around the ankle. They also incorporate a built-in fin tether. Aleeda fin socks- Neoprene socks that cover your entire foot except the ball of your heel. Prevents fin sores. 


TIP! If you plan to use your fins in cold water mostly and want to wear booties (3mm or more) under them then you might want to get one size up in the fins than what you would normally wear. The booties will make the fins fit tighter, can be uncomfortable and may cause cramping.


Swim Fin Information Courtesy of ebodyboarding.com
Swim fin information courtesy of eBodyboarding.com


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Last updated on: 10/30/09