Bodyboarding is the more approachable and less intimidating surfing!
There is no tricky standing up involved, no balancing precariously beneath a 7 foot churner, and no sharp blade or dense board to contend with.
Yet bodyboarding gives you all the thrills and adrenaline you could hope for.
You get to feel the drive of the waves, the cool, refreshing splash of the ocean and the ecstatic beating of your heart.
Now throw some bodyboarding fins into the equation and you suddenly double all the fun and all the possibilities!
Bodyboarding fins are specifically designed to make you streamlined and supersonic in the water.
They are shorter and stiffer than diving flippers, and once you master the use of them they open up amazing possibilities in terms of cool bodyboarding tricks and stunts.
They also maximize your power and speed whilst minimizing the energy you have to use, allowing you to stay in the water for longer.
So if you want to swim like a mermaid or merman then read on for our top picks of bodyboarding fins available today.
OUR TOP PICK
Let’s start with these incredible fins that have been designed by two giant brands teaming up to share their expertise.
Slyde Handboards have partnered with DaFin to create the ultimate bodyboarding fin, that is lightweight and compact so you can easily carry them along the beach with you and they fit easily in any kit bag.
They are made from top quality Malaysian rubber that floats in water, so they won’t sink if they fall off in a big wave.
However, the real innovation with these fins is the ultra comfy foot pocket that actually moulds to your foot shape, allowing you to stay in the water for longer without experiencing cramps and tired toes.
The specially designed ‘strakes’ at the edge of these fins cut and carve the water so that you can stay in control even in tough conditions, and to top it all off they come in fantastic vibrant yellow or black and yellow color combos so you will look awesome on the waves.
- Lightweight - only 2 pounds
- Quality approved by Hawaiian Lifeguard and US Lifeguard Associations
- Float in water
- Comfy, soft rubber foot pocket
- Amazing fin design for power and control
- A Pricey option for beginners
In terms of top bodyboarding fin brands, Mike Stewart just about takes the crown, and these Viper Flex fins are a huge favorite with bodyboarders everywhere.
The distinct orange dot design differentiates this Viper FLEX fin from the earlier yellow dot model.
These orange dot fins have been made with a softer rubber on the foot pocket for more comfort in and out of the water, and the riveted tread on the underfoot helps you grip when walking on slippery rocks.
The foot pocket is also quick draining so excess water and pebbles fall out instantly. The orange dot also aids visibility so you can grab your flipper if it comes off and floats on the waves.
The beveled walls on these short, sharp fins channel the waterflow so that you can turn and carve through the water with maximum speed and control.
They really do make bodyboarding more fun! And best of all, all Mike Stewart fins are made from 100% organic rubber and packaged in 100% recyclable packaging, meaning that you aren’t damaging the oceans you so love to bodyboard in by buying them.
- Soft, FLEX rubber foot pocket
- Short, strong fin with bevelled edge for speed and control
- Wide pocket for easy drainage
- Floats in water, and visibility aided by orange dot
- Rivet grip prevents slippage on rocks
- 100% organic rubber
- These are also quite pricey fins
- Slightly heavier than other models at 3lbs
Kpaloa are a Brazilian brand who really know what they are doing when it comes to bodyboarding.
Their Pro Model swim fins are made of vacuumized rubber that is strong and resilient against the water, so that you can maximize propulsion and perform all the tricks and turns you have always wanted to try.
This rubber also floats in salt water so you won’t need to go diving for your fin if it slips off. It shouldn’t slip however, due to the accurate sizing and many different sizes available.
These fins are short and have a medium stiffness to aid surface kicks and acceleration.
They are great for anyone from beginners to experts, and they are used by water rescue teams as well as bodyboarders.
The UV blue streaked design is sleek and attractive, and best of all, these fins come with a mesh pouch which is great for storage, transport and also for allowing them to dry.
- Vacuumized rubber floats in salt water
- Soft foot pocket for comfort
- Medium stiff rubber fin for power and acceleration
- UV Blue design is eye catching
- Mesh pouch for drying, transporting and storing
- These fins will be expensive for some
Churchill have been making swim fins since 1936, and are a highly respected and reputable brand in the industry.
These Makapuu swim and Surf fins are based on their original dolph
in inspired design so that you can emulate the speed and energy of our flippered friends. At half the price of other top brands these fins are not only affordable but also multi-purpose.
They are advertised as swim and surf fins, and they have a slanted diagonal tip to maximize your agility in the water.
These fins are great for bodyboarders because of their high blend line between the hard and soft rubber sections which give you more power with each kick.
They also have a handy drainage hole so excess water and stones slip straight out, and are made of 100% gum rubber that is durable and floats on the water.
The heel strap has been thickened to ensure your foot is nicely locked into the pocket, but be sure to consult the size chart as discrepancies have been noted by some customers.
- Churchill brand have been operating since 1936
- Original dolphin fin design is tried and tested
- 100% gum rubber is durable and floats
- Affordable at half price of other brands
- Drainage hole allows excess water to escape
- Multi-purpose - great for snorkeling, swimming and bodyboarding
- Size chart has some discrepancies
If you don’t want to spend much on your bodyboarding fins then these U.S. Divers Shredder Surf II fins are an excellent value option that give top dollar results.
They have a dual composite blade which is specifically designed to cup and channel the water so that your bodyboarding moves can be quick, clean and confident.
The short, stiff blade helps you to gain power and speed whilst conserving energy, so you won’t tire too quickly in the waves and will be able to play in the surf for longer.
These fins have a soft and comfortable foot pocket, and better still, the heel strap is adjustable so you can get a custom fit that suits you, and you can share these fins with others of a similar size to you.
There is an in-built leash system on these fins which prevents them from floating away on the waves and the metallic red design makes them easily visible in the water.
At 3.04 lbs, they are on the heavy side but these sturdy and reliable fins really are an excellent and affordable choice.
- Value price for excellent quality
- Dual composite blade channels water
- Stiff rubber provides acceleration and power
- Adjustable heel strap and soft foot pocket
- In-built leash system
- Eye-catching red color scheme
- 3.04 lbs - slightly heavier than other brands
Dorsal’s Phantom fins are a mid-range price but deliver incredibly high quality performance results.
These neat and compact fins come in three attractive and energetic color combinations, and are available in a full range of men’s and women’s sizes, so there is something for everyone.
Their design has been inspired by the tail of an orca whale and the slanted blade creates an awesome amount of thrust through the water, maximizing your kicking power and allowing you to go faster and harder for longer on the waves.
The gum rubber foot pocket is comfortable, and the slide-on design is easy and quick so you
can get in and out of these fins quickly and with minimal effort.
The three blade rail ridges create perfect balance across the fin so that you experience stability in the water, even in tough conditions.
Plus, the new and improved blowholes allow excess water to escape more efficiently so that you don’t become weighed down.
- 100% gum rubber floats and is supple
- Three blade ridges create balance and stability
- Slanted blade edge maximizes thrust and speed
- Easy slide-on design saves time and energy
- New improved blowhole lets excess water escape efficiently
- Sizing comes up small - so size up
Wow, these Hydro Tech 2 bodyboard fins were voted winner of the Australian Design Award and they really do deserve that title.
The asymmetrical blade works with the movement of the body to create a balanced and stable motion through the water that will give you great speed and confidence.
The shortness of the blade enables bodyboarders to get to a drop knee position without their fin snagging and catching on the board, and the contoured heel strap provides a snug fit that locks the fin into place on your foot, as well as providing lots of comfort and preventing blisters from forming at the back of the heel.
Better still, these fins have three, precisely positioned drainage holes so that excess water flows out of them evenly and encourages a more balanced motion in the water.
The only downside to these fins is that they are a little on the heavy side and so don’t float well if they come off in the water.
- Winner of the Australian Design Award
- 3 drainage holes for balance drainage
- Asymmetric fin balanced natural body movement
- Short blade allows drop knee position without catching
- Contoured heel strap is comfortable and secure
- Heavy weight and non buoyant
If you are an intermediate or advanced bodyboarder and want a seriously honed fin that will allow you to perform all the tricks and stunts possible, then the Mike Stewart Delta Vipers are where it's at.
Their sharp, asymmetric design is ideal for bodyboarding as it counteracts the natural asymmetry of the body, thus creating a highly balanced and powerful forward thrust.
These fins are very fast in the water as they create minimal drag, meaning that you will get more out of every kick.
The pointed corner of the blade allows water to fly off the fin in a direct and channelled way that doesn’t deplete your effort, and you will be able to cut and carve up the waves with grace and ease, which is great for turns and spins on the board.
These really are the pinnacle of bodyboarding technology, the only downside is that they come at an advanced price too!
- New, asymmetric design encourages balance and stability
- Pointed blades create minimal drag and increase speed
- Extreme width lets you get more out of every kick
- Specifically designed for bodyboarding
- Made from natural rubber compounds
- High price tag
- 4 lbs so pretty heavy
And finally, if you are looking for some fins for your kid, to encourage them in the water and help them to get the most fun possible out of bodyboarding, then these fishtail fins from Finis are a great choice.
They are lightweight at only 1.1lbs, so won’t weigh young legs down but will increase their strength and confidence instead.
They have an adjustable strap which means your child will be able to get a good fit on their heel, and also means that they won’t grow out of these fins too fast (like they do with everything else!).
These fins are short and easy to carry, and the short blade makes them great for bodyboarding and swim training as well.
The soft, supple rubber is comfortable and prevents blisters from forming on the feet and toes, and the open heel and toe sections allow water to pass through these fins effortlessly without slowing your little one down.
These Finis fins are affordable, adaptable and effective so we highly recommend them as a first time fin for kids and toddlers.
- Extremely lightweight for little legs
- Adjustable strap for snug fit and room to grow
- Soft, supple rubber helps with floatation and is comfy
- Open heel and toe lets water pass through easily
- Wide, short blade will give kids confidence and fun in the water
- Not available in adult sizes
Best Bodyboarding Fins Buying Guide
Hopefully you have been inspired by our top picks of bodyboarding fins and are eager to get a pair yourself so you can swim like a shark and throw tricks like a dolphin.
However, before you make your final choice, here are a few key things that you should consider to ensure you get the best pair of fins for you.
Blade Shape And Size
A really important consideration when picking bodyboarding fins is their shape, particularly in relation to the blade. Bodyboarding fins tend to have a blade that is shorter and wider than snorkeling, swimming or diving fins.
This is because the blade is specifically designed to enhance surface kicks, the kind that you will perform on a bodyboard, as opposed to underwater kicks, like you would use when diving.
A long, supple flipper will actually show you down at the surface of the water as it will sag and drag in the air. A short, wide fin will keep its structure and minimize drag, allowing you to get the most out of your surface kicks.
An asymmetrical blade edge is a great feature to look out for because it will balance out the natural asymmetry of the body’s movement in the water.
By complimenting and counterbalancing this bodily asymmetry a bodyboarding fin can stabilize you in the water and thus allow you to move more confidently and economically.
Blade ridges are used on bodyboarding fins to help channel water in a clean and streamlined way, minimizing drag and maximizing speed and agility. Some brands have two or three of these ridges to really help you cut and carve up the water exactly as you wish.
This will allow you to twist and turn on your board more efficiently and will also help you accelerate quickly when you need to paddle for a wave.
The short, compact design of bodyboarding fins also makes them more lightweight than diving and snorkeling fins which is crucial if you don’t want your legs to tire too quickly whilst you're having fun.
The compact design also helps outside the water as these fins are easier to walk in than long flippers and so you will be able to make your way in and out of the water on foot far more easily than with a full length pair.
An average adult pair of bodyboarding fins should weigh between 2.8lbs - 4lbs. The lighter the fins the easier they are to carry up and down the beach in your bag, and the less they will tire your legs in the water.
Of course, a heavier fin will tend to be more sturdy and durable so you should consider how strong your legs are and decide what you value more.
Most bodyboarding fins are made from rubber, but the quality and rigidity of that rubber can differ.
Look out for fins made from 100% organic gum rubber as this is not only durable and buoyant, but it is also more environmentally friendly so you will be helping the oceans that you so love to swim and play in.
Whether rubber or plastic, it is best if your bodyboarding fins are made of a buoyant material that will float in salt water if your fin happens to come off.
This will save you the waste of time and energy that can otherwise be spent diving for sunken fins on the ocean floor.
The buoyancy also helps to make your legs feel lighter in the water so you can swim with energy and ease.
Ideally, your bodyboarding fins should have a medium to strong stiffness in the rubber blade. This is because you want the blade to push against the water and thus propel you forward with maximum thrust.
A supple fin will give against the water and will make you sluggish which is not at all the desired effect.
This stiff rubber should extend to the midfoot area, however the foot pocket itself should be made of a softer and more supple rubber for comfort.
If the rubber foot pocket is too stiff your poor feet and toes will sustain blisters and soreness.
If you want to get the most out of your bodyboarding fins then they need to be comfortable otherwise you will find yourself leaving the waves prematurely due to cramps and blisters.
A contoured heel strap will hug your achilles better than a standard strap and will prevent slippage which can lead to blistering.
However, a heel pad is an even better way to ensure that the sensitive skin around your heel and ankle is protected.
A neoprene foot pocket liner is a very effective feature when it comes to increasing comfort.
Your toes and the tops of your feet can experience chafing and rubbing inside the fins due to all the kicking and the water flow, so a neoprene lining will cushion those sensitive areas beautifully.
Of course, the best way to ensure that your bodyboarding fins don’t rub is not to wear them with bare feet.
Surf socks or booties are an excellent idea and will not only protect your skin but will keep your toes lovely and warm at the same time!
Size And Fit
Sizing is one of the most tricky features to get right when buying any bodyboarding fins, but it can be the difference between a brilliant experience and a very disappointing one.
Most fins come in a range of sizes, but be sure to consult the brands own sizing chart because these sizes might not necessarily align with standard shoe sizes.
Be sure to measure your feet with string and then line the sting up alongside a ruler to get an accurate measurement. Then correlate this measurement with the brand’s fin sizing chart before you place your order.
Of course, it is important to consider whether you will be wearing surf socks or booties under your fins because this will impact the size you choose.
Surf socks are made of thick, wetsuit material and will increase your foot by half a size, so be sure to size up if you intend to wear them.
If you are not intending to wear socks or booties then sizing up is not a good idea because there is nothing so frustrating as having fins that are too big and slip off in the water.
A loose fin is also likely to cause more rubbing and blistering than a tight fin too because it will slip about more on your foot, so be as accurate as possible.
Most diving and snorkeling fins have adjustable heel straps, so you may be wondering why more bodyboarding fins don’t have them.
The reason is that bodyboarding requires a streamlined design to achieve best results, whereas snorkeling and diving don’t need speed and agility as much.
Adjustable straps are bulky and non-streamlined and that is why most bodyboarding fins don’t have them.
Those that do are pretty handy because they allow you to fit the heel strap to your foot and make sure you get a snug hug around the achilles no matter what shape your feet may be.
They also allow you to grow with your fins, so adjustable straps are great for teenagers and kids, however you will lose a little performance quality if you decide to go with them.
Bodyboarding fins come in some spectacular designs and colors.
Rubber can be dyed really vividly which is excellent for aesthetic reasons and means that you can really find a pair of fins which reflect your personality and compliment your swim gear.
But the colorful designs on these fins are not just for show, they also have a practical use. Choosing a bright, neon or vibrant color will make your fins easier to spot in the water.
This is very handy if and when they fall off because you will be able to retrieve them more easily. A dark grey, black or blue fin without any colorful accents will blend into the ocean and get lost much more easily.
Bodyboarding fins may feel like an accessory and a luxury that will increase your bodyboarding experience, but these accessories also come with some optional accessories themselves!
As aforementioned, surf socks or booties are a really great related purchase because they will insulate your feet against the cold and also they will prevent your fins from rubbing and blistering your skin.
Another excellent accessory is an ankle strap and fin tethers. These nifty little things wrap around your ankle and are attached to the heel strap of your fin via a short, elasticated leash.
They are simple and affordable and will save you lots of time in the waves as you won’t have to go chasing after your fins when a big wave knocks them off.
Finally, a mesh bag or pouch for your fins will make them easier to carry and store when you are at home. Mesh is an excellent choice of material because it allows the fins to drip and dry and doesn’t become soggy or moldy itself.
Some of these bodyboarding fins come with a pretty hefty price tag and others are far cheaper.
In general these products range from the $80 - $25 mark and what you are able and willing to spend depends on your own personal circumstances and preference.
A top tip is to make sure that you are able to return your fins if they don’t fit, however, because it can be very frustrating to spend a lot of money on a pair of fins and then find that they are too small.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Swimming / Diving Fins And Bodyboarding Fins?
The main difference between ding and swimming fins and bodyboarding fins is length and rigidity. Diving fins (or flippers) are longer, more narrow and made from supple rubber that ripples through the water.
These fins are great for underwater swimming because they propel you through the ocean current with minimal effort and extend the length and strength of your own swimming motion.
Bodyboarding fins are shorter, wider and made from more stiff rubber. This is so that they cut through the surface water without dragging your energy down.
They are designed to channel the water expertly so as to maximize your acceleration, speed and power, and they allow you to twist and turn sharply so that you can perform fun tricks and stunts on the board.
Can I Wear Diving Fins For Bodyboarding?
It will actually really hinder your performance if you wear long diving flippers whilst bodyboarding and there are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, you spend a lot of time in the shallow, shore waters whilst bodyboarding as well as in the deeper offshore waters, this is because you swim out to catch the wave and then ride it into the shore.
As a result you need fins that are not too long and cumbersome as they are very difficult to walk in on sand and shallow water and will tire you out.
What is more, long diving flippers are not helpful when you are kicking at the water’s surface, as you do much of the time in bodyboarding. Their long, supple blade flop and sag and drag you down and you will not find that you are able to catch the waves like you usually can.
Can I Wear Bodyboarding Fins When Swimming And Snorkeling?
You can absolutely wear bodyboarding fins when swimming and snorkeling because they just give your gets that extra power and energy in the water.
These fins are very multi-functional which makes them a great investment, however, if you are diving you will require specialist diving fins.
Are Bodyboarding Fins Worth It?
Whether you think that bodyboarding fins are worth the money or not is a personal question that only you can answer, however here are some of the ways in which they can benefit your bodyboarding experience:
- They allow you to swim quicker and with more thrust and propulsion so you will have an amazing time on your board and be able to catch more waves than you usually can without fins.
- They are energy saving and so you will be able to enjoy the surf for longer as your legs won’t tire as easily.
- They are streamlined and specifically designed to give you stability and agility in the water, meaning you will be able to try out more tricks and stunts on your board.
- They are protective so you won’t need to worry about your feet getting cut or injured by rocks or pebbles underfoot.
Can I Wear Fins When Surfing?
It is not advisable to wear fins whilst surfing due to the fact that you have to stand up on a surfboard. Fins add a considerable length onto the front of your foot which alters the dimensions of your body.
The proportions and balance that you are used to are therefore thrown off and you will find it very difficult to stand up successfully without tripping on the fin blade as you do.
How Do I Catch A Wave On A Bodyboard?
When bodyboarding you should try to only kick when you know that you are going to attempt a ride a wave, because this way you preserve your energy more efficiently.
As you paddle out from shore it is best to lie with your chest flat on the board and use your arms, letting your legs relax behind the board.
When you see a wave that takes your fancy you should extend the board out in front of you and hold it with both hands like a float.
Now you will need to kick hard and fast at the surface of the water to swim towards the wave, and as the wave passes you you should push with both legs and feet to propel your body forward over the board and into the wave.
Then kick hard and fast to keep up with the swell and let it carry you to shore as it crashes!!!!