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by Steve Watts February 14, 2019 3 min read

Let's be real, a pair of swimfins can drastically change your bodysurfing/handboarding experience for the better or worse.

The Slyde Team has tested them all and here's our 5 Favorites based on personal preferences &  4 core features: Fin Sizing/ Comfort, Materials, Fin Drive & Flow, Good for Surf Traveling

1. DaFins

DaFins Bodysurf Fin

DaFins are light + compact and are great for easily throwing in your backpack on for a quick session. The Slyde lifestyle is all about traveling and we don't want a heavy fin to lug around. Also, the natural rubber is very smooth and soft, unlike a lot of other chunkier fins. 

Dafins are one of our favorite fins as they're well refined for bodysurfing, tested and proven in some of the most critical situations in the world from the North Shore Hawaii to Teahupoo, Fiji.

What impressed us most about Dafin's is the incredible comfort of the foot pocket. Bodysurfing fins are essentially doing the same things fins on a surfboard do, they steer you. The Dafin's rigid fin and contoured edge is a perfect balance of propulsion and steering. Dafin are also designed specifically for swimming, body surfing and handboarding, the fins are a perfect length for thrust and kick and not for flow outside the water like many fins designed for bodyboarding.

2. Leblon Fins

Leblon Fins Body surf

The biggest benefit that Leblon fins have over any of their competition is the propulsion that they provide. We have never used a pair of fins with this much speed with very little effort. The foot pocket is built from a very soft natural rubber and the blade starts next to the foot pocket which is designed to maximize energy conversion on thrust with minimum effort.

The lateral rails are completely separated from the foot pocket, allowing the water to flow between them, eliminating drag. The side rails really are quite high and more pronounced and you do feel like you have a lot of control on the face of the wave. 

One thing I will note is these are heavy fins and bulky and would probably not be a travelers first fin option. These are a pair of fins I would recommend to anyone who wants to make sure they get into the pocket on big days over 5-8 foot. They give you a lot of confidence, dropping into sets waves and not head over the falls.

They also really fun doing underwater takeoffs popping out at the last second to get pitted, super fun. They do take a little getting used to.

3. MS Viper

Viper Bodysurf Fins

The Ms Viper are designed for bodysurfing, and quick acceleration.  As performance driven fins, they are best suited for a strong swimmer. Mike Stewart has said they are his favorite and he has a number of world Championships under his belt, so they come with great backing. The also have a wider blade that really help with thrust.

I found that the MS Viper are great when you need a really sharp burst of speed and I really liked them in shore break. I felt I had considerable amount of control.

The MS Vipers are a great choice for wave-riders in powerful surf. Sizing can be a bit difficult, I personally had a problem with the foot pocket being a bit constrictive on my foot. Maybe I needed a bigger pair but, I felt like the rubber was a bit too hard for my liking.

4. DMC Fins

DMC Bodysurfing Fins

With the Repellor swim fins, the first thing you will notice about is how well they made, truly the best made fins we have seen. The reverse VEE rails really do what they say and channel lots of water and has the effect of stabilizing your ride. The spaceship like folded up rails fold out flat when you are kicking effectively making the fin a third bigger and really giving you a huge boost when you need it most and steering when you are on the wave. An ingenious piece of engineering. 

These might be a a bit flexible and although that generally means more comfort it means less propulsion, for us anyway.

5. Churchhill Swimfins

Churchill Swim Fins

The Makapu fins are probably one of the oldest fin shapes in the world and have had amazing success. So much in fact that they are ripped off by a lot of different companies. What sets the Makapu fins apart is they where designed off the shape of a dolphin fin and allow you a lot of thrust especially when you place both feet together and kick together.

These classic fins have been around a long time. They achieve very good drive and control. Great for the all round waterman or woman.  They did quiet have the propulsion a traditional bodysurfing fin has, but they were very adequate. 

Read more How To's→

Steve Watts
Steve Watts



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