/*23 Breaths: Fins*/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fins

No, the kind you put on your feet.

Lots of people discuss fins on the Internet.

This one's good, these have turbo ridges, this one is faster because its red.

Hogwash!

Which fin is best?

There is no one BEST fin, but there are categories. Which I will, unfortunately over simplify.

Short and wide like these



Or long like these



The short ones are generally easier to kick with but produce less total forward propulsion due to a smaller surface area.

The long ones have a larger surface area and you get more forward propulsion but they have been described as strapping 2 by 4's to your feet.

Which one is best depends on several things the most important of which is you.

First the fins you use MUST fit and be comfortable or at least tolerable.
If you have wide feet you need fins with a wide foot box. Vipers while not very wide have a model that includes neoprene lining. A very good idea and one that can be used to customize any fin. Some break in of your feet is to be expected get over it.

Second you need to look in the mirror at your legs.


If you see tree trunks growing out of your body you can use long powerful leg movements and long fins to rocket thru the water.

If you see wispy thin legs try the wide short fins. You can use the short fast kicks to provide bursts of speed to rocket you thru the water.

So try all your friends fins and find some that are comfortable.

Hint if you wear Duck Feet upside down you get another half size up.
I am not sure why but I think it has to do with some sort of fin magic.

Hint number two there are those that will take a big fin (see the UDT's above) and carve them up to fit them better and change the flex characteristics. Thinning the blades increase their flex. Carve the straps to accommodate your ankle bones. Go nuts with it. It will do you good. See Swaylocks or Surfmatz for several discussion about fin mods.

Here are some Duck Feet that have had the blades shortened and thinned out.



These are commercially available so you don't get rubber bits all over the garden.


So even if you are not of the mat or boogie board persuasion get a pair of fins for the summer. Body surfing is a blast and it one of the things we lost when "Leashes Ruined Surfing

Let me know what kinds of fins you use.


I am starting a personal collection and hope to, one day, be the Imelda Marcos of swim fins...


5 comments:

kaser_one said...

great post prana. appreciated the leg shape info relative to fin size. i've had vipers for years, and just recently interested in shorter/wider blades that i've seen the boogers using at wedge. i think your post would validate my need for a different fin shape.

seamouse said...

I love orange redleys!!
Super hard so you got to have feet made of steel but it you can handle it you'll be well rewarded.

Eef said...

I use loooooooong dive fins. Not really usefull for short sprints, but great for swimming aound with a non-float paipo. Just like you said, whatever feels good to your feet :)

Glenn said...

I have Da Fin for no other reason other than Mark Cunningham uses them. Before that Churchill Makapuu's.

nsdlibrarian said...

By gum, you are one timely blogger. Just this morning, I meant to count the breaths needed to blow up my 4GF. It's been bugging me to know if it is actually 23 breaths. But, I digress. On a wave today, my right fin got pulled off my, you guessed it, right foot. The heel part is all dry rotted, so I've got to get some new fins. Very timely info!