Swim Fin Buying Guide
Fins are extremely important in the sport of Bodyboarding or Body Surfing. They help you to paddle out into the surf quickly and to have maximum thrust when catching waves. Without fins you can expect to go nowhere fast.
How should my fins fit?
Most bodyboard swim fins have a rubber foot pocket to accommodate a range of foot sizes, example: S, M, ML, L, XL. When trying on fins it’s important that they fit snug but not too tight that they cut off circulation or cause cramping. A fin that is too large will flap around or cause you to have less power. It's important to also keep in mind that fins will loosen a bit after they have been broken in, similar to new shoes. If you fall in between sizes fin socks or fin pads are useful.
Remember the way your fins fit dry is different than how they will fit in the water. Your body reacts to changes in temperature. If the water temperature is colder, your feet will have some shrinkage. The opposite happens when the water temperature is warmer, your feet may swell a bit.
Why do my fins hurt my feet?
Incorrect sizing or the style of fin can cause discomfort. Everyone has a different type of foot and what may work for some may not always work for others.
It is very common to get blisters from fins especially if they are a new style you are not used to. If they are consistently a problem after a few uses, neoprene fin socks or neoprene fin inserts are very helpful in relieving or minimizing the discomfort. Choosing a fin that has a softer rubber foot pocket like the Ally fins is another good option.
How do I prevent losing my fins in the water?
Fin tethers are always a good idea to protect your investment. They come in three main types, basic fin strings that tie like a shoelace, velcro tethers with a toggle type string that wraps around the heel of your fin, or deluxe pad/tethers combo that has a heel pad with an adjustable buckle that goes across your instep or top of your foot.
Things to consider when choosing which fin is right for you
Price- We offer many quality fins for any budget. Prices range from $40- $79.95.
Fin Material- Fin material will play a factor in numerous aspects of the fin. For example, natural rubber tends to be much softer and more comfortable in the foot pocket area. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire fin will be soft. Synthetic rubber tends to be lighter but not always as comfortable as natural rubber.
Length and Shape of the Blade- Bodyboard fins come in many different shapes and styles. It is mostly personal preference when choosing the right fin. Common shapes are Asymmetric, a blade that is diagonal and Symmetric which is a blade that is shaped the same on both sides. If you are a drop knee rider you may want a shorter stiffer blade so it's easier to get your foot up on the board.
Stiffness of the Blade- Fins come in a variety of stiffnesses, with personal preference coming into play again. Some riders like a very stiff blade for maximum propulsion, whereas some riders prefer a softer blade allowing easier kicking action. For riders with bad knees and/or ankles, choosing a long, stiff blade may not be the best option for you. You would be better off with a shorter/softer blade.
Floatation- Many fins we sell float. Please remember this is in salt water and can be about a foot under the water’s surface. Floating fins do not guarantee that they will not get lost. Many things can cause your fins to disappear or difficult to find. Some examples include undertow, riptides, tsunamis, large swells, rogue waves and a fin color similar to the water color.
Key Performance Features
- A Curved Ankle strap will decrease irritation and chances of ulcers on the ankle. This feature also Improves comfort.
- Drainage holes placed at the bottom of the foot pocket near the toes will allow maximum water flow through the fin and ensure no rocks or other debris get stuck in the pocket.
- Traction grip bottom to assist you when navigating slippery terrain.
- Rods to stiffen the blade for maximum thrust and power
Caring for your fins
The easiest way to prolong the life of your fins is to rinse them off with fresh water after each use and avoid storing them in direct sunlight. Corrosive saltwater and sunlight can cause the rubber to dry out over time and may cause premature cracking or splitting of the rubber.