I won't bore everyone with the details so long story short - I've been surfing for 25 yrs. Unfortunately some recent physical limitations (pinched nerve) mean I have to limit myself to BB'ing for at least the next 6 months. I simply cannot arm-paddle without suffering intense pain. Glass half-full view is I can still get in the water and ride waves and the gear is cheaper and more portable. I have swim fins but they fit my bare feet, what about with booties, do you buy a bigger size for winter? Also, I need a board. Any advice at all on anything? PS How do you duck dive on one? Thanks in advance
1. you'll probably need to get a bigger sized set of fins to go over your booties. I use viper's in the summer because they are super comfortable due to the neoprene pad built into them and in the winter i use my churchill makapuus because they have a larger foot pocket. Either will do if you just go a size up but i cannot since i already wear a 13 so im already wearing xl http://www.atlanticbodyboards.com/ch...-swimfins.html
That being said i would try (literally i really want to!) the Hubbard makapuu's fin. they combine the neoprene footpocket like the vipers however they are a version of the super popular makapuus so you can't go wrong.
2. board choice- try and find friends that will let you feel theres out, depending on your height and weight etc you might like different boards. I was a die hard fan of no 6. boards and continue to be but i tried my brothers Bz board and liked a lot more things about it then my current no 6. it all comes to personal reference, in the winter some people like flexy boards because they still manage to flex in the frigid temperatures.
3. for me duck diving is all about grabbing both rails pushing the front of the board down with my body slightly elevated off the board ( helled up by one of my knees) throwing my wait forward at the angle of the nose and then kicking once im diving under the wave. Most importantly is to keep pushing the board angle down through the wave so it does all the work for you then yanking back on the board when you feel you have punched through to safety ha.
I wear the same size fins both seasons, but if your feet start to cramp, then your fins are too tight with your boots so you'll have to go a size up. My churchills were too tight with boots.
My only advise on boards is to stay away from Morey's Mach 7 (grid stringer tech), I had one that lasted all of two sessions before it creased and started to fold. There's alot of good boards for cheap though. BZ's are great, so are Custom X.
I'm in the opposite position as you... I'm going all stand up due to disc issues in my back.
I got 7mm socks from a dive shot, not a surfing boot, and still (just) fit into my fins summer and/or winter, though most people have to go up a fin size. I always wear a sock from a 1mm to a 3mm to a 5mm to the 7mm, depending on season.
I have Pod II fins, they are extremely comfortable and I have delicate feet , and I've gotten most of my stuff from Bob at atlanticbodyboard.com or else ebodyboarding also, as said above. Read and look at boards, you will get the feel for one, that is what I did and love my No. 6 as well...the height is based upon your own height, basically should come to or just above your navel... there should be a chart for size recommendations.
Hope that helps as well. Enjoy, I bodyboard due to injuries as well, and actually love it!!!!! can really tuck in!
How tall and heavy you are will dictate the proper board for you.
Ebodyboarding.com has a board finder that will match your size to board options. Duck diving is the same as on a short board but you can use your fins to help propel.
As for find in the winter, there are some boots that work better. H2Os boots are good, but not as warm as some of the heavier boots. Either way you might find yourself with 2 different fins in summer then winter.
Ideally, you will use both arms and legs to paddle, but hopefully you'll be able to get by with not straining your one arm.