There are few experiences more liberating than riding a wave with your body. There’s no one but you and the ocean. However, you may need to wear a pair of swim fins to perform the activity safely and efficiently.
Choose the best bodysurfing fins to take your experience to the next level. While similar to the fins used for bodyboarding, bodysurfing fins have specific qualities that make them different. More than anything, bodysurfing fins should fit your feet perfectly and feel comfortable. Even a slight looseness to them could negatively impact your performance on the waves.
Now that we’ve cleared up the need for fins for bodysurfing, let’s find out exactly why you need them in the first place. Here are some of the best reasons we could think of.
Why the Need for Bodysurfing Fins?
There’s a common misconception that all fins hurt and cause blisters on your feet. That might be the case with loose- or tight-fitting fins. However, the right-sized fins do nothing but provide comfort and boost performance. Here are other reasons you may want to wear flippers while bodysurfing:
1. They Make Things More Fun
No, we’re not talking about how fins can make your feet look, though that could be a bit comical, too. We mean how fins can make bodysurfing even more fun. Like any other sport, bodysurfing isn’t something you can do half-baked. However, that could be where you’re headed without flippers.
Fins are a must for getting the most out of your bodysurfing experience. They not only boost speed but can also improve manoeuvrability, minimize fatigue, and help increase your barrel count. If you only started wearing fins after going fin-less for so long, you may notice how a simple kick propels you through the water like a torpedo.
2. They Let You Swim Out With Ease
Swimming past the break line has been known to cause frustration and misery to many a beginner bodysurfer. Despite looking so easy to an onlooker, it is anything but for those actually doing the swimming. It’s hard enough to do in calm waters, but it can literally make you want to wave the white flag in gnarly conditions.
The waves breaking quickly adds a whole other layer to your experience beyond the break line. Some riders can’t swim fast enough to recover the distance lost from breaking waves. In fact, this is one of the reasons beginners get discouraged from pursuing bodysurfing further.
Self-teaching beginners tend to emulate their professional idols by going finless even though they lack the skills to pull it off yet. This is possibly the worst way to start, as it leaves amateur riders vulnerable to waves that break quickly. At this point, most beginners may not be able to swim underwater fast enough to make up the distance lost from being pushed back by the waves.
Fins can mean the difference at the start of one’s journey and possibly thereafter. They provide an additional propelling element that lets you cut through the water faster and dominate those breaks. Truly, the break line won’t see you coming!
3. They Offer Improved Control
Fins may be the last thing some riders associate with control; speed, perhaps, but not so much control. Of course, that’s what happens when you do fin-less bodysurfing. Try doing it with fins and unlock skills you never would have thought possible, control being one.
Aside from allowing riders to swim faster and with more distance, fins that fit right also allow for optimal manoeuvrability. Yes, you can literally get your mermaid on underwater with the right pair of flippers.
While the headboard helps control the upper part of your body, the fins manage your lower extremities. Specifically, fins help realign and stabilize your body as you move through the water.
You can harness power from your fins to help catch a wave in either direction from where you’re swimming. Thus, you should be able to ride that wave easily by making a sharp turn. All this comes from leveraging that extra foot length that fins provide.
4. They Make Wave Jumping Easier
Your bodysurfing experience wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t go airborne at least a time or two. With the right pair of fins, there should be fewer obstacles in the way of jumping over waves.
A good pair of fins may provide you with that extra boost to leap out of the water like a dolphin! With your excellent kicking and a pair of carefully chosen fins, the airtime you seek should no longer be elusive.
Bodysurfing Fins Can Be Lifesaving
The ocean is unpredictable. No matter how skilled you are at a water sport, nature cooks up things that raw talent alone may not overcome. That’s why there’s safety gear, which comes in the form of fins and a wetsuit for bodysurfing.
In particular, fins can provide the swimming power for getting out of a rip current, a powerful current that can drag you out to sea. Wearing fins allows you to remove yourself from this dangerous section of the water as fast as you entered it.