Part of the challenge of bodyboarding is generating the speed and the power to catch a wave. Beyond that, there can be some paddling to be done first just to get to the breakers. With fins especially designed for the purpose, you can save some time and energy and much more effectively go about having a hellish good time.
There are many varieties of fins on the market today. Many you would use for swimming, snorkeling, freediving, or scuba would be unlikely to crossover to bodyboarding very well. To help in your selection process of finding the right fins for your style of bodyboarding, ten of the best with a variety of features are reviewed below. They are accompanied by photos and videos and followed by a comparison table and buying guide.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom.
For reviews on bodyboards and other exciting board sports, please check out the following posts:
Best Fins for Bodyboarding
- Churchill Makapuu Pro Bodyboard Fins
- Hydro Tech 2 Ocean Swim Bodyboard Fins
- DaFin “Black” Swim Bodyboard Fins
- Voit Duck Feet Swim Bodyboard Fins
- Cressi Agua Short Light Bodyboarding Fins
- Ally ERS4 Swim Bodyboard Fins
- U.S. Divers Shredder II Surf Bodyboard Fins
- DMC Repellor Bodyboarding Fins
- Kpaloa Pro Model Waterman Bodysurfing Fins
- Mike Stewart Viper Flex Bodyboard Fins
The Churchill Makapuu Pro fins are short with a stiff blade and side rails and the classic patented dolphin tail design, all of which combine for powerful acceleration. Made of 100% gum rubber they are especially buoyant in saltwater and the flexible heel strap and pocket fit comfortably around your feet for a day of paddling and surfing. Comfort is enhanced in the Pro model by the inclusion of neoprene padding in the roof of the foot pocket. Note that it decreases the listed size by about one measure.
- 100% natural floating gum rubber construction
- Stiff blade and side rails for power and acceleration
- Dolphin tail shape (of the two fins together)
- Neoprene padding in the roof of the foot pockets
- Velcro heel pads with string fin tethers
- Drainage hole – lets water, sand, and rocks out
- Thick, flexible heel strap
- Come in blue/yellow
- 5 sizes from S to XL
The Hydro Tech 2 fins are made of soft silicone and have a foot cavity that is asymmetrical in the shape of your foot for a comfortable fit and more efficient distribution when force is exerted. The blade too is fairly flexible but has a V-rail design for an increased surface area, a firmer rail, and more power. Acceleration is good while not the fastest but the design is very effective for paddling out. There is non-slip tread on the bottom and the blades are short, so they work well in the drop-knee position. The silicone does not float making fin-tethers a good idea. Otherwise, the Tech 2 fins come highly recommended as a great all-around pair of bodyboarding fins.
- Soft silicone construction
- V-rail design (increases surface area for increased power)
- Asymmetric ergonomic foot cavity (shaped like the foot)
- Small heel strap
- Non-slip tread on the bottom
- Center drainage at the toe end of the foot pocket
- Come in 7 colors and combinations
- Large range of men’s and women’s sizes
The DaFin “Black” fins are actually available in a wide range of colors and combinations and are a classic model designed by several top boarders from Hawaii and Australia. Made of rubber they have a soft comfortable pocket suitable for either foot and a stiff blade and vertical edges along with a center spine for control. With a fairly good performance in both acceleration and extended paddling, these fins will work well for body surfing, swimming, and snorkeling, as well. In fact, as a favorite of beach lifeguards, the United States Lifesaving Organization has endorsed them. They have a ribbed bottom for traction, multiple drainage holes, come in a wide range of sizes, and float.
- Rubber construction (floating)
- Soft rubber foot pocket
- Stiff blade with vertical edges and a center spine
- Symmetrical design – fits either foot
- Ribbed bottom
- 3 small drain holes at the toe end and 1 large one in the center
- Come in at least 9 colors and combinations
- Sizes from XS to XL
Voit developed these Duck Feet fins in 1953 and they have been extensively used by watermen in several categories ever since. Constructed of dual-density rubber, they have a soft comfortable pocket and stiff blade with vertical edges and a center spine to channel and control the water. The blades are fairly long for bodyboarding and not as stiff as some, but provide pretty good all-around performance in paddling and acceleration. Two large holes keep the pocket clear of water and sand. Available at the moment only in the attractive green/blue design, they come in a wide range of sizes.
- Dual-density rubber construction (floating)
- Soft rubber foot pocket
- Stiff blade with vertical edges and a center spine
- 2 large drain holes
- Come in green/blue
- Sizes from XXS to XXL
The Cressi Agua Short Light Fins are a down-sized version of the Cressi Agua model. While shorter, for use as bodyboard fins they still can be considered long-bladed. With a comfortable self-adjusting rubber foot pocket, they have a fairly flexible lightweight plastic blade that is great for paddling but not so much for acceleration. This is an all-rounder sort of fin you can take along for swimming and snorkeling that can also be used for bodyboarding. The rubber foot pocket makes them buoyant and there’s a large hole in the toe for drainage. Durable and flexible they come in a large range of sizes, 5 color schemes, and have a limited 2-year warranty.
- Lightweight plastic blade and rubber foot pocket
- Self-adjusting foot pocket
- Heel grip tab for easy on and off
- Large drain hole in the toe
- Come in 5 colors and combos
- Range of sizes (men – 1/2 to 13/14, women – 2/3 to 14/15)
- 2-year limited warranty
The Ally ERS4 Fins have a short blade with an asymmetrical vector design and high rails great for channeling water and explosive acceleration. Made of lightweight floating rubber, they have a comfortable foot pocket and ankle strap (an improvement from an earlier version), two drainage holes for sand, water, and debris, and a traction bottom great for slip-free walking and drop-knee riding. Popular with professional bodyboarders and bodysurfers, they come in a range of sizes.
- 100% lightweight natural rubber compound construction (floating)
- Comfortable ankle strap
- Traction foot pocket
- Asymmetrical vector blades with high rails
- 2 large drain holes in the bottom toe
- Come in black/blue
- 5 Sizes from S to XL
The U.S. Divers Shredder II fins are designed with the atypical (for bodyboarding fins) adjustable strap along with a comfortable soft rubber foot pocket that can be used barefoot or with booties. There is also a built-in leash attached at the ankles to avoid losing track of them in a wipe-out. The blades are long and relatively firm with stiff rails that channel the water and provide power for effective paddling, though they are not as good at quick acceleration. As such they are suitable for swimming and snorkeling, as well, and with the adjustable strap come in 3 sizes that will accommodate all. With the durable design, U.S. Divers has provided a limited 2-year warranty.
- Dual composite blade and rubber foot pocket
- Adjustable strap with a built-in leash
- Soft comfortable foot pocket
- Stiff rails and channels on the blade
- 2 water vents in the blade at the edge of the foot pocket
- Large drainage hole in the toe
- Come with a red blade and black rubber
- Come in S, M, and L
- 2-year limited warranty
The DMC Repellor Fins utilize soft and flexible silicone and a fantastic design to create these top-flight bodyboarding fins. The silicone is comfortable in the universal fitting foot pocket and works perfectly in the unique V-Rail blades that provide excellent paddling power and fairly good acceleration. They have a shoot from the end of the base of the toe to efficiently drain sand, water, and debris, and a molded traction foot pocket bottom for non-slip walking or drop-knee surfing. Silicone doesn’t float, so a leash is advised. Available in a range of sizes, they come in bright combinations of green and orange, in combination with black.
- Soft, flexible, comfortable silicone construction
- Universal fit (fits either foot)
- Reverse V-Rail design for finning efficiency
- Traction foot pocket bottom
- Drain shoot on the bottom
- Comes in 3 electric color combinations
- 6 Sizes from XS to XL
The Kpaloa Pro Model Waterman fins are made of two grades of rubber, one that is soft, flexible, and comfortable for the foot pocket, which is blended in with the second that is harder for the medium-stiff short blades. 3 drain holes on the base of the foot pocket effectively eliminate water, sand, and debris and the rails efficiently channel water for these fins that accelerate quickly for wave performance. Suitable for all ages and levels, these fins are available in a range of sizes and a mesh carry bag is included.
- Vulcanized rubber construction (floating)
- Soft, flexible rubber foot pocket
- Symmetrical medium-hard rubber blade with rails
- 3 drainage holes in the bottom of the foot pocket
- Mesh bag included
- 5 Sizes from XS to XL
The Mike Stewart Viper fins come in stiff or flex blade models. This is the medium-stiff flex version. The bodyboarding innovator has created a short powerful fin with a delta tail design for minimal drag and beveled sidewalls that are great for acceleration. The foot pocket has 3 holes in the toe for drainage but the rubber is not too soft which adds to the power transfer in the kick. There is rivet-grip tread on the base of the foot pocket for traction and a flat top that lays down well on the board for drop-knee surfing. Many top watermen like the Mike Stewart designs.
- 100% rubber construction (floating)
- Delta tail design
- Beveled sidewalls
- Medium stiff flat blades
- Foot pocket rubber is not super soft
- Triple-hole drainage from the toe of the foot pocket
- Rivet-grip tread
- Black with an orange spot
- 7 Sizes from XS to 2XL
Best Fins for Bodyboarding Comparison Table
Best Fins for Bodyboarding Buying Guide
Acceleration is a primary factor in using fins for bodyboarding. When you get into the position to catch a wave you want to step on the gas to make sure you get there. Smaller fins are usually the quickest accelerating.
Paddling – A second major reason for fins is to decrease considerably the time and effort in paddling out to the surf break. Larger fins are generally more powerful and effective for this. Unfortunately, with increased length acceleration and agility is sacrificed, so you will probably have a trade-off to consider between acceleration and paddling efficiency.
Comfort – A foot pocket that fits properly is a key factor. Too tight and you get cramps, blisters and potentially decrease circulation. Too loose and you can still end up with blisters and lose power as your fins flop around. They could even come off in the turmoil of movement in the wave and be lost which would be a harsh lesson.
Soft foot pocket materials like silicone and rubber designed for a soft flexible feel can add greatly to a comfortable fit. For some models a sock or booty can be used and others have adjustable straps to aid in the process.
Additionally, good drainage can keep the foot pocket more comfortable. Sometimes under the arch of the foot and/or in the toe of the foot pocket, fins are designed with drain holes that allow excess water, sand, pebbles or debris to exit which otherwise could be very uncomfortable.
Materials – Rubber is the most commonly used material in bodyboarding fins. It can be fabricated to be softer for the foot pocket and harder or stiffer for the blade. Silicone is also used and is usually soft and flexible. Some bodyboarding fins are constructed more like many popular scuba fins with a pocket of rubber or silicone and a blade of some kind of plastic. A key feature of rubber that the other materials don’t usually have is buoyancy. A floating fin has a much better chance of washing to shore and being found.
Leash – Some models have a built-in leash system to avoid loss of fins. Otherwise, there are leashes you can buy and add on.
Safety – If you find yourself thoroughly bowled over by a monster wave and pounded to the bottom and need to fight to get yourself back to the surface again, fins can perhaps give you the added power to get there.
For additional advice, check out this article: How to Use Swim Fins for Bodyboarding
For other reviews regarding fins for scuba, snorkeling, and freediving, please check these:
Feedback and Comments
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