Kyle has a lot of fun stand up surfing with shinfinTM fins on his shortboard. With shinfinTM fins, he can still stand on his shortboard. They help him catch waves more easily and also let him rest his arms going back out. He really enjoys the balanced workout, kicking with his legs and paddling with his arms. Furthermore, they stop his lower back getting sore. (This used to happen when he just paddled just with his arms, without fins.) So he can stay out longer to catch more waves and have more fun. He also finds them great fins for body surfing and swimming, especially the way they encourage kicking from his hips. What’s more, because they are so adjustable, his seven year old son can also use them to enjoy himself more in the water.
Kyle’s review from Ventura, USA
“I rode my surfboard with your shinfinTM fins twice last weekend and had a lot of fun. Really enjoyed the balanced, full body workout. My body felt better after surfing, whereas previously, often my lower back would be sore after surfing for a long time. Although I didn’t surf for a long time, the way my back felt after surfing with your shinfinTM fins makes me expect to not be sore after surfing for hours. I also appreciated the chance to rest my arms while paddling back out. My 5’10” fish needs repair, so I rode my 6’8″ and duck diving it was no problem. I’m very happy with the purchase. Oh and I do believe they helped me catch waves more easily!”
“I really enjoy them body surfing and swimming. I love how much water I can move through when swimming out through the waves by dolphin kicking underwater. Thank you for creating such fun and high performance vehicles”
Kyle’s review: Fins for shortboard stand up surfing
“I’m planning on using them stand up surfing a shortboard. I’m 6’1″ and I have a 5’10” fish I think will give my feet enough room in the water to work. Have you gotten any feedback from people trying them out surfing?”
Yes, we have had some feedback from stand up surfers and more from kneeboarders and bodyboarders. I recommend getting used to the streamlined kick first with normal freestyle swimming. It is a proper swimmers’ kick with power from your thighs, buttocks and torso. Without bending your knees too much like people do with foot flippers. It can take a while to strengthen for this kick.
Then transfer this technique to your shortboard. The trick is to keep your legs horizontal, which may mean adjusting your balance position on the board. Your thighs should be at the back of your shortboard. Lie horizontal on the board and kick and paddle at the same time. Once you get the hang of that, you can share the power between your arms and legs and go faster to catch the waves.
“I am anticipating that I may not be able to use them effectively to catch waves at first, or maybe ever. (Note that later, Kyle did find they helped him to catch waves more easily – see below.) But I hope to use my feet to paddle back out, saving my arms for catching waves, and to get a more full body work out with them.”
Perhaps you could let me know how you get on with the fins for your stand up surfing on your shortboard please.
“I received the shinfinTM fins in the mail today! I’m looking forward to taking them to the beach tomorrow 🙂 I’m planning on bringing some silicone based lubricant to apply to the tops of my toes and feet to keep the shinfinTM fins from catching on them when I stand up on my board (although that may not be an issue once they’re wet).”
Thanks for letting me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
“Hey Marc, I didn’t make it to the beach on Saturday but I did yesterday and body surfed some small waves with my 5 year old and realized how out of shape I am! They definitely encourage you to kick from the hip in a way that feels great. I am looking forward to using them again soon and building up my hip flexors and core muscles and finding out how they work with a board!”
Yes, the kick from the hip does feel good and will also strengthen you for a proper swimming kick and speed up your swimming. But it can take a little while to strengthen. I’m looking forward to hearing how you go with them on your board. Any questions just ask, I’m here to help.
“I rode my surfboard with your shinfinTM fins twice last weekend and had a lot of fun. Really enjoyed the balanced, full body workout. My body felt better after surfing, whereas previously, often my lower back would be sore after surfing for a long time. Although I didn’t surf for a long time, the way my back felt after surfing with your shinfinTM fins makes me expect to not be sore after surfing for hours.”
“I also appreciated the chance to rest my arms while paddling back out. My 5’10” fish needs repair, so I rode my 6’8″ and duck diving it was no problem. Except for when a fin would periodically get twisted around my shin. Standing up was a little tricky, as the fins made my feet resist flexing a bit. And I remember standing on the fin a couple times, but was able to adjust. Maybe it was the one that got twisted? I was surfing 3′ semi mushy waves, but I think that with practice I’ll be able to use them to my advantage in bigger, more hollow surf.”
“I’m very happy with the purchase.”
“Oh and I do believe they helped me catch waves more easily!”
That’s good that you got on so well during your first two goes with your surfboard. Yes, using your arms and legs together (i.e. doing full-stroke freestyle on your surfboard) balances the effort between your arms and legs. It also reduces the bend and strain in your lower back, as you found. Giving your arms a rest by just kicking for a while also gives your back a rest. All this can help you to stay out longer and catch more waves.
You’re right, standing up with the fins can take a bit of practice. It sounds like you are already nearly there.
The twisting of one of your fins should be easy to fix. I suspect it just needs to be strapped on your leg symmetrically. It is important to buckle the outside strap to the correct length for your leg. Then you just leave it buckled. Then put the fin on and buckle the inside strap to the same length. If the two strap lengths are too different then the fin can twist sideways, regardless of how much you tighten the inside strap. In other words, both halves of the strap need to be buckled to about the same length.
Also, the straps should cross over just above your ankle so they are secure around the narrow part of your leg. Then the fins can’t slide up or down and loosen. The fins are designed to pull away from your leg on the up-kick. But the fins and straps should not slide around your leg when they are set securely. They can twist a bit if you get seriously dumped by a wave. But you can quickly yank them back into position with your hands.
“Thank you for the tips. Yes, you have my permission to use my words on your website.”
Thank you for your kind permission Kyle. Personal recommendation is very important to help a new product like this along, so I really appreciate it. The shinfinTM word is spreading well thanks to people like you.
Kyle (2 years later)
“I have really been enjoying my fins over the last couple of years. I have also really been enjoying my skateboards as well, so I haven’t been surfing as much as I had when I bought them. But the majority of the time I’ve surfed (average once a month) I’ve used one fin on my back foot. Not that using two fins is that much more difficult but it provides psychological benefit and more importantly, I have a hip flexor issue with my lead leg that gets aggravated when I lose control of myself and kick too vigorously trying to catch a wave.”
“For really fast barrelling waves, the benefits and disadvantages seem to cancel each other out. Increased speed and reduced arm strain vs reduced maneuverability (increased turning radius) and reduced foot dexterity when popping up (almost negligible). With my long legs I struggle getting to my feet anyway, so it would be better if someone who was really competent at getting to their feet on fast barrelling waves would try them and provide feedback.”
“Besides, my back is much happier with me after surfing with even one fin because of the core and leg engagement. They help me save my arms while paddling back out and duck diving. And for covering distance and catching waves that aren’t fast and barrelling, they do help me catch waves and more of them.”
Body surfing and swimming
“I really enjoy them body surfing and swimming. I love how much water I can move through when swimming out through the waves by dolphin kicking underwater. And I like dolphin kicking while back stroking, both arms at the same time or keeping my arms by my side. It’s fun doing corkscrews underwater and at the water surface with them too!”
“I’d be curious what ideas you might have for bringing them to specific customers. Have you considered pitching them to the US Navy SEALs? Have you considered making children’s sizes? My seven year old son was really having to work at treading water and with them he was able to enjoy himself much more. I’d imagine he’d want to swim with them even when he can’t touch the bottom if they fit him.”
Thank you for creating such fun and high performance vehicles.
Thank you for your kind and interesting email. Yes, many people find shinfin™ fins cause less back strain when paddling on boards, due to using core muscles more. Also saving your arms when paddling and duck diving, as you say.
I’m glad to hear how you are also enjoying them for body surfing and swimming, including backstroke, dolphin kicks and corkscrews. People often say that they have a natural feel moving through the water.
Do they fit your seven year old son reasonably well? I do have customers his age and even a bit younger. I’ve been using the pages on the website to describe them for specific customers, rather than heavy selling. Yes, some pairs have gone to the US Navy Seals.
You can have a lot of fun stand up surfing with shinfinTM fins on your shortboard. They help you catch waves more easily and also let you rest your arms going back out. Enjoy the balanced workout, paddling with your arms and kicking with your legs. What’s more, they will probably stop your lower back getting sore, which often happens when paddling surfboards just with your arms. So, with shinfinTM fins, you can still stand on your shortboard, stay out longer, catch more waves and have more fun.
Especially as they encourage kicking from your hips, you will also find them powerful for swimming and body surfing. This is demonstrated by these body surfing reviews showing easier walking, standing and manoeuvring and easier standing on sandbars. Another review illustrates their faster paddling and wave catching when used as bodyboarding fins. Furthermore, because they are so adjustable, you can also share them with others, including children.