Best Bodysurfing Fins

Some say that there is no purer way to surf than bodysurfing. With no board in between your body and the face of the wave, you are surfing on unadulterated bliss. It can’t get any more exhilarating than watching Mark Cunningham or Kelly Slater bodysurfing in double overhead conditions at Pipeline. Seeing their agile bodies drop through giant cascading waves will make you wonder: how exactly do they do it?

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Bodysurfing is done by using your body like a board. You can use your chest as a planing surface, which you will stir into the direction you want to go to.

The key to bodysurfing effectively is to let your head and shoulders go way below your hips and legs.

This way, you can be propelled by the force of the wave, multiplied by gravity, and your legs are loose enough to kick and thrust behind you.

bodysurfing swim fins

To bodysurf properly, you are going to need one very important type of surfing gear—a pair of swim fins! The right pair of fins will help you get the speed needed to take off a wave. Since this is the only piece of equipment you need, you have to make sure you are investing on a high quality pair of swim fins.

Here are some of the top-rated swim fins best used for bodysurfing:

Da Fin

These swim fins are the Official Swim Fins of the United States Lifesaving Association because they deliver the ultimate comfort, power and style. These fins are also the official swim fins of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association and many other ocean rescue and lifeguarding clubs across the world.

dafin swim fins

Renowned waterman, Andy Cochran, designed da Fins. Surfing pioneers such as Mark Cunningham and Brian Keaulana tested out these fins in tough water conditions and they both gave Da Fins two thumbs up. Read our full review page here.

  • Official swim fins of the United States Lifesaving Association
  • Featured in the classic bodysurfing film, Come Hell or High Water
  • Delivers unparalleled comfort and power
  • Known for powering through heavy conditions
  • Made of premium Malaysian rubber
  • Floats in water


Duck Fins

Voit Duck Feet Fins are known for being a technical pair of swim fins because they were meant to give you the maximum amount of propulsion in the water. They were designed to minimize strain and cramping in your legs so you can wear them for as long as you need to or for as long as you like.

bodysurfing voit duck fins

Duck Fins are made of dual density rubber, meaning the foot pocket is made of a softer material so it feels comfortable, while the foot blade is made of rigid rubber to give you power.

Duck Fins are ideal for long distance swimming and other ocean safety exercises. This is also a top choice for many lifeguards and rescue teams around the world.

  • Designed to minimize strain
  • Eliminates torque for better performance
  • Rigid rubber fin blade
  • Floats in water
  • Minimum effort required
  • Increases propulsion and power
  • Comfortable foot pocket


Viper Fins

When asked which pair of swim fins he’d use, 9x World Champion Mike Stewart said he would go with Viper Fins. The Viper swim fins are designed with a tapered tip coming in from the rails, which gives you more room to accelerate than the average swim fin. These are multi-purpose fins that can be used for bodysurfing, swimming, lifeguarding and bodyboarding. Read our full review page here

Mike Stewart Delta Viper Review
Mike Stewart Viper Fins orange dot review
Viper Vector V7 Fins review

  • Innovative 5-inch blade
  • Patented original design
  • Known for increased maneuverability
  • Made for superior tracking and performance
  • Made for superior tracking and performance
  • Unbeatable stability
  • Quickest to accelerate
  • Stiffened inner rail for better control


Churchill Fins

Churchill Fins are high performance swim fins designed to give you maximum amounts of speed and stability in the water. They were developed by Tom Morey, an all around waterman who is credited for the invention of the modern day bodyboard.

Churchill-Makapuu-swim-fins review

The patented fin design delivers satisfying amounts of comfort and power in the water. These fins are perfect for all conditions and can be worn by bodysurfers of all skill levels—from beginner to advanced. Read our full review page here

  • Made for maximum power and acceleration
  • Dual density rubber material
  • Soft and comfortable foot pockets
  • Stiffened inner rail for better control
  • ​Can be worn in all types of conditions
  • Drain holes to eliminate sand and water
  • Floats in water


Hydro Fins

Hydro Fins are all the rage these days because they recently bagged an Australian Design Award. These fins are made of innovative T-Form material, which is silicone-based compound designed to feel snug and flexible. The patented fin template also features breakthrough V-shaped rails, which change up the game because of increased acceleration times and better control.

Hydro Tech 2 SwimFins

The silicone-based material isn’t as buoyant as rubber so you will need to attach fin savers to these swim fins. That’s a small price considering how much these fins can advance your skill and confidence in the water. Read our full review page here.

  • Made of patented T-Form silicone compound
  • Features a patented V-Shaped Fin Rail Template
  • 3 drain holes to eliminate sand and water
  • Ergonomic and anatomical design
  • Called the “Most Foot-Friendly Fins” in the market
  • Asymmetrical foot pocket designs
  • Increases kicking power
  • Maintains huge amounts of speed
  • Contoured ankle strap





What Should I Look For in my New Bodysurfing Fins?

To help you decide on which fins to get, you can take a look at these components:

Power

The reason why you’re wearing swim fins is to be able to harness more power. Without power, the wave will take you and you will just have to hang on for the ride. With power, you can propel yourself down the wave and control where you want to go.

You will also need power to swim out of rough conditions. Having the right pair of swim fins will help propel you into safer water at a quicker time.


Comfort

Your gear should help you, not distract you. Some swim fins cause annoying blisters because they do not feel natural when you kick. Choose a pair of swim fins that will feel good on your feet.

Also choose a pair of fins with drain holes in the foot pockets so you won’t have to worry about small stones, sand and water getting stuck inside the foot pocket.


Material

Most rubber fins float in water because rubber is naturally buoyant. Having fins that float will make it easier for you to spot the fin in case it gets dislodged off of your foot.

Another type of material is the T-Form material, a silicone-based compound that is not buoyant. Fins made of this material are more comfortable but they won’t float in water. This usually is a small adjustment that you can fix by adding fin savers.


Bodysurfing Fin Tethers & Socks

If you invest on a good pair of swim fins, you’ll want to add fin tethers regardless of whether the fins float or not. Fin tethers will ensure that your fins will always be within reach in case a wave knocks them off.

You can also get fin socks if your feet are smaller than the average fin sizes. This will ensure a tighter fit so you won’t get cramps or blisters each time you use your fins.






FAQ

How do I pick the right size of fins?

The rule of thumb is your fins should neither be too tight nor too loose. Start by using your standard shoe size and ask for the same size of fins. You can then try to insert two fingers inside the foot pocket. If you are able to do this easily then the fins are too big for you. If you cannot insert your fingers at all then the fins are too tight for you.


What can I do if my shoe size is an in-between size?

If your standard shoe size is a 9.5 or a 10.5, you can ask for wither a size 9 or 10 and try each one while wearing fin socks. Fin socks will ensure that you get a snug fit if your size falls in between standard sizes.


Why are fins so hard to put on when dry?

Fins are made to be worn wet. Unless you have pre-greased or powdered fins, you really won’t be able to put them on easily while on land. The easiest way to put fins on is when you are in the water. When doing this, find an area with little to no water movement so you don’t lose your fins.


What if I accidentally drop my swim fin while trying to put it on?

Unless your fins float, you will have to swim after your fin as fast as you can so they don’t get washed away further from you. This is also why it’s a good idea to get fin tethers.