If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to get more barrels – even on the tiniest of days – take up body surfing.
Bodysurfing is a great way to not only enjoy more ways, but to improve your surfing too.
It’s one of the purest forms of wave riding, that really requires you to develop a good eye and sense for waves if you want to get the most out of it – that’s probably the biggest benefit it will have for your surfing.
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How can bodysurfing help your surfing?
Body surfing allows you to get some waves in any conditions, and it’ll help you improve your surfing too. Not a bad deal.
Bodysurfing can help improve your surfing in 3 main ways:
- It’s going to build your paddle strength, improve your breathing, and improve how you manage a wipeout.
- It will give you a better eye for waves. Even more so than surfing in many ways, bodysurfing really requires you to be in the most optimal spot of a wave to get the most out of it.
- You’ll be spending more time in the ocean, which goes with point number 2, but stands on its own as you’ll develop your read of conditions, breaks, etc.
How to Bodysurf
Body surfing is one of the simplest ways to enjoy a variety of waves. When the conditions seem unsurfable – either too small, too close to shore, or too heavy of a closeout – bodysurfing is a viable option. It allows you to get barrels you probably couldn’t on a surfboard and gives you a whole new perspective on wave riding.
You can bodysurf with nothing at all, or you can make it a little easier and get yourself a pair of fins and a handplane.
Bodysurfing fins will allow you to catch waves more easily, and a handplane will give you some more lift and control. The combination of fins and a handplane can lengthen your ride significantly.
It doesn’t take much to bodysurf.
Find some waves, spot the peak, and kick and paddle into them as they begin to break. Use your leading hand (and handplane) to guide your line on the face of the wave, and adjust the tension/position of your body to manage speed and position.
What are the best fins for body surfing?
The best swim fins for body surfing are ones that will allow you to get into waves quickly without getting in your way, causing drag while you surf, or causing leg strain when you kick.
Something with a smaller length and channels to direct the water is ideal.
You’ll want a strap and fit that won’t hurt your feet and cause blisters.
A swim fin designed for the ocean and body surfing is a bit different than what you’d use in a lap pool.
DaFin’s body surfing fins were developed with ocean use in mind.
How to Size Your Body Surfing Fins
Refer to the swim fin manufacturer’s sizing chart to properly size your fins, but in general you’ll want a snug fit around your foot. Not so snug that it hurts, but tight enough that the fin won’t come lose or more around and cause blisters as you swim.
DaFin and Kicks body surfing fin sizes are based on US Men’s shoe sizes ranging from:
- XXS: US Men’s Size 1-2 (Women’s 2.5 – 3.5)
- XS: Men’s Size 3-4.5 (Women’s 4.5 – 6)
- SM: Men’s Size 5-6.5 (Women’s 6.5 – 8)
- MD: Men’s Size 7-8.5 (Women’s 8.5 – 10)
- ML: Men’s Size 9-10.5 (Women’s 10.5 – 12)
- LG: Men’s Size 11-12.5 (Women’s 12.5 – 14)
- XL: Men’s Size 13-14.5 (Women’s 14.5 – 15.5)
- XXL: Men’s Size 15-16
Each fin comes in standard with as the foot pocket is designed to stretch comfortably to your foot.
If you use a fin sock or bootie with your surf fins, you’ll want to go for a larger size.
Body Surfing Fins = Guaranteed Tube Time
If you don’t have some swim fins for body surfing yet, you’re missing out.
When the waves are small, dumpy, or you just want to mix things up, body surfing is the way to go.
A good swim fin will get you into waves more easily and keep you in them longer.
Get some DaFins, get barreled, go home happy.