Discussion in 'Global Bodyboarding Talk' started by Spongah, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Spongah

    Spongah Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    I have a fin question for ya'll.

    I hate fins. I tore the ATF/CF ligaments in my right ankle 3 times, and my ankle flips over a lot. I tried wearing an ankle brace in the water, but the current usually tears the straps right off, and it's useless. I get a lot of foot/ankle cramps in regular fins, and when I go to put my foot down - I end up on my face. I don't have to tell you the scenario.

    I've been through a lot of fins - Neofins, Vipers, Churchills.

    I make up for it by having a decent arm paddle, and paddling with my legs like a crazy person.

    Anyway, I was reading these reviews of fins online, and some people were writing about "ShinFins", which are fins that fit over the lower part of your leg. Your foot and ankle are still free to walk (for me, to crack :eek: ). Supposedly they lift your legs and you can use your hips and quads to kick, and they give you decent propulsion.

    Has anyone else heard of them? I ordered a pair. The inventor offers a money back guarantee. :cool: I don't mind being without fins in 2-3 foot waves, but in 5-7 foot waves, I'm going to be a little irked without them.
  2. fin issues

    We have had our share of fin issues too. The surf shops showed us how to cut the fins to fit your foot without getting hurt. I still don't like wearing fins even with them customized. They hold me back from getting past the break, esp in low tide, and I've almost broke my ankles several times... But in a large surf day, you are dead without em.
    I would definately try shin fins, where can you get them?

  3. Spongah

    Spongah Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Ehhhh FINS

    Well, I found Kicks and Laguna Neofins. They seemed to be the least offensive to my injured ankle.

    But any time over 30 minutes in fins, and my ankle ends up completely huge down to the toes and I get really bad foot cramps. I really enjoy boarding without fins, but I am realllllly limited as to when I can go out - waist high and less.

    I even tried carrying them out to the break, and then slipping them on - but that's a pain in the ass when the surf is high, choppy, etc.

    I am due to have a full reconstruction of the 3 damaged ligaments after some pre-surgical therapy. Then, NO FINS at all post-surgery. My surgeon said that I can still do some snorkeling and diving on occasion, mainly because the fins are much longer and kicking is less "frenetic" and stressful on the ankle.

    I've tried to use my diving fins bodyboarding (sucked) and I've tried to use a true diving kick for boarding (not enough propulsion, too slow).

    Now that I'm wearing 7mm boots, I am only going out in small surf. I can't imagine jamming a fin over a thick boot. I think my foot will fall off.

    I tried the Shin Fins. They are a great idea - but the blades aren't thick enough, and the strap system isn't strong enough. The fins twist on your legs, and when they do stay in place, you get as much propulsion as bare feet. It's sad, because it's really a great idea.
  4. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Have you tried paddling your bodyboard without fins?

    I don't like the fins much to start with. I'm bodyboarding in mostly small waves and shorebreak--shallow water. I catch a wave with the fins, then when the ride's over, I go to stand up and fall down. Real cool. And I'm having problem with the arches in my feet and the fins sometimes cause foot cramps.

    So then I get my first wetsuit and neoprene booties, and the fins don't fit on over the booties, and since I don't even like them I don't want to buy fins in a larger size.

    So I'm experimenting with catching waves by paddling with my arms and legs(no fins), and it seems to work just as well as paddling with legs only with the fins. You have to get farther forward on the board than usual. Also, since I'm an older (51) woman, my shoulder muscles tend to get fatigued before long, but I can work on that by paddling more when I'm in the water and by doing exercises like upright rows and delt lifts and such with dumbbells when I'm out of the water.
  5. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    the bodyboarding fins are necessary. maybe stand-up surfing is the next thing to approach.
  6. Spongah

    Spongah Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Fins, revisited

    I guess it all depends on what kind of bodyboarding you're doing. I have had plenty of very fun days in small surf (ankle to waist high) without fins, all year round, just jumping into the tiny swells, arm paddling, and either riding the waves to shore, or riding the whitewater left or right. There are plenty of folks out there who have a good time on bodyboards this way - unfortunately they clog up the beaches during the summer and then you never see them after that. It takes away from the credibility of bodyboarding.

    HOWEVER, if you want to progress in your bodyboarding - you need fins to stall, you need them for maneuvers, you need them to get on the wave early so that you can ride the wave face and bottom turn, trim, etc. You also need them for waves stomach high and bigger, and any day with strong winds, crosshores, onshores, etc.

    I kneeboard in addition to bodyboarding. There's a big debate amongst kneeboarders about wearing fins, also. Fins make it easier to get out to the break because a kneeboard is so small, but a lot of kneelos feel that fins take away from kneeboarding's credibility as a surfing sport, they drag in the water, etc etc etc. I arm paddle when kneeboarding, because of my ankle injuries.

    I think that the bottom line is that if you're perfectly happy playing in knee high surf, staying at low key beaches and not venturing too far from shore, it's okay to be finless. But if you want to get major tube time, learn maneuvers, and visit sick spots - fins are the way to go. It's all a matter of what we are comfortable with.
  7. Viper fins

    Well it doesnt seem like shin fins are the answer to the foot-fin issue.
    I am kind of surprised that you had such an issue with Viper fins, because I've noticed that the more advanced to pro riders wear them and I've seen them walk straight out in low tide with themon b/c they seem to bend easier than others at the arch of the foot. Right now we have churchills they took some time to get used to.

    Yesterday we went to BraveNW to try and get some vipers and they were sold out :mad:
    Then we tried to ride at Jenks... and well lets just say its wasn't the ideal riding conditions:confused:

    I think we are going to have to hunt down some Viper fins to help handle the larger surf through the winter. I need the better fins more than my GF, I need more leg power, she is a runner and very athletic and does great with the chuchlls we already have. She really doesnt need fins at all even in some fo rthe 3-5 foot surf days. If you have strong leg kicking powers, you can do all right :D
  8. Spongah

    Spongah Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007

    I hated Churchills! LOL! Kicks are the ****, but they don't come wide enough to jam a 7mm boot into, so for the winter I use Laguna Neofins, which have a neoprene foot pocket and strap. Kicks have a rounded blade and a lot more snap and power, but what am I gonna do?

    I also kneeboard. A lot of guys use Voit duckfeet for kneeboarding to help get them out to the break, but I use arm paddling only because I hate the fins dragging in the water behind me.

    Sometimes when I'm bodyboarding I'll arm paddle and drag my legs and end up stalling myself. Duuuuuuh. I have to remind myself what board I'm riding!
  9. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    I went out today and caught a few waves by '4-limb' paddling (no fins). Which works as well for me as paddling with fins and no arms...but I might be interested in these Viper fins. I looked at them at and they come in two 5" styles, V-5 and V-5 flex. I wonder if it's the flex style that you saw people walking out in?

    The surf shops around here only sell Churchill fins, so I'd have to order the Vipers online and hope they fit me...does anyone know how their sizes compare to Churchills?

    I've got a fallen arch in my left foot and need arch support. I can walk in the Churchill fins in the sand and they do support my arch fairly well..but as you know when you try to walk in the water with them on you fall on your face (unless you walk backwards but I don't like doing that--was doing it once and got knocked down by a wave I didn't see coming:eek: ).For now I'm wearing orthotics inside of my neoprene boots for arch support and going finless. It would be nice if I could get fins that I could walk in in & out of the water and that would provide some arch support...I prefer to wade out into the surf and save my paddling strength for catching the waves.
  10. ustael

    ustael New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
  11. Viper fins vs. Churchills

  12. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Well, both the Viper fins and the webbed gloves look like options to consider.

    thanks, guys.
  13. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2007