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Tips | Fitting Your Fins

Putting them on. Tightening. Taking them off. Positioning your fins on your legs. Adjusting for best results.

Fitting Your Fins: put on, tighten, take off

shinfin: put on 2shinfin: put on 1shinfin: set up 2shinfin: set up 1Both fins are identical. Each fin has two identical buckles at the knee end. These buckles are integrally moulded as part of the fin (there are no separate buckles).

There is one long strap for each fin. The strap exits symmetrically from two slots at the back of the ankle part of the fin. Each half of the strap goes diagonally around the back of your leg and up to the opposite buckle. So the two halves of the strap cross over at the back of your leg, just above your ankle.

I designed them to fit a wide range of leg sizes/shapes securely, to stretch with muscle expansion and with no extra buckles/Velcro to jam or release unexpectedly. With practice, each fin usually takes about 30 seconds to put on and about 10 seconds to take off. It takes about 10 seconds to tighten or loosen each fin whilst it is on.

How to put on your fins

shinfin: set up 4shinfin: set up 3Only use the buckle on the inside of your leg to put the fins on and take them off. The inside buckle is easier to reach than the outside buckle (especially if you sit down and cross that leg over the other one). Leave the outside buckle permanently strapped. That means one fin is set up for your left leg and the other for your right leg.

1. Permanently strap outside buckle to fit your leg

First adjust the outside buckle strap to fit your leg securely, by doing steps 6 and 7 below for the outside strap. Then leave the outside buckle permanently strapped. Important: if the outside buckle strap is too loose, tightening the inside buckle strap will not compensate and the fin will feel loose on your leg.

2. Wet fins and straps before putting them on

shinfin: pull strap over footWetting the fins and straps makes them much easier to put on. Wetting makes them fit more securely, as it helps the strap tension to spread evenly around your leg. Wetting makes it easier to thread the strap through the buckle.

3. Turn fin sideways and push foot through strap looping to outside buckle

Turn fin sideways across your foot, with fin tip towards your other foot. Push your foot right through the strap looping to the outside buckle. Pull the strap loop over your heel. Then turn the fin back to the correct position on your leg, with the fin tip at your toes.

4. Position fin tip centre near your second toenail

shinfin: leg side 3shinfin: fin front 1shinfin: toe front 1With your toes pointed, the fin tip centre should be near your second toenail. The fin should be flat across the direction of your kick. If you point your toes inward when you kick, then try centring the fin tip on your third toenail. If you point your toes outward when you kick, then try centring the fin tip on your big toenail. The fin can be a bit lower to optimise power (e.g. with the fin just hiding your toes). Experiment to find the most comfortable fit for your kick direction and power.

5. Strap cross-over is just behind your ankle

The strap cross-over is just behind your ankle so it is secure around the narrowest part of your leg. Then the fin can’t slide up or down, or loosen. On your backward kick, the fin is designed to flex away from your leg and the straps are designed to stretch. But the fin and strap should not slide around your leg.

6. Thread strap securely up outer slot of inside buckle

shinfin: buckle 1shinfin: push strap into outer slotFollowing the buckle arrow, push the strap up through the outer (larger) slot of the inside buckle. Then pull the strap so the fin feels secure but not too tight.

7. Bend inside buckle forward and thread strap down inner slot

shinfin: buckle 2shinfin: push strap into inner slotWhilst holding the strap in the outer slot with your fingers, bend the inside buckle away from your leg with your thumb until you can see behind it. Then push the strap down the inner slot and pull tight. Tidy the strap tail under the rest of the strap to stop it flapping in the water.

How to tighten the straps (quick tightening)

If necessary, you can tighten the strap after it is buckled. This quick tightening method works easiest for the inner buckle. It also works for the outer buckle which you then leave permanently strapped.

1. Wet fins and straps

Wetting the fins and straps is essential for the strap to slide through the buckle slots easier.

2. Tighten by pushing strap into buckle whilst pulling strap tail

shinfin: push and pull strap to tightenPush the strap into the outer slot at the same time as firmly pulling the strap tail. The strap will slide through both buckle slots together and tighten.

3. Tighten the straps for optimum power

The straps need to be comfortably tight to hold the fin securely on your leg, especially in the surf. For optimum power, tighten both halves of the strap equally, as much as is comfortable. Also keep the fins as low on your leg as possible. For less power you can fit the fins a bit higher on your legs.

How to take off your fins (quick release)

Only undo the inside buckle to take the fin off. The quick release method takes about 10 seconds per fin.

1. Wet fins and straps

Wetting the fins and straps makes the strap slide out of the buckle easier.

2. Pull out the strap tail from under the rest of the strap

Make sure strap tail is free from its tidy position under the rest of the strap.

3. Keep pressing arrowhead gently to unlock buckle

Keep pressing your finger gently on the arrowhead to unlock the buckle. But make sure you don’t press the other side of your finger against the strap.

4. Pull strap firmly out of both buckle slots together

Keeping the arrowhead pressed, firmly pull the strap until it slides through both buckle slots at the same time and quickly releases. Alternatively you can pull the strap out of the inner slot first, and then out of the outer slot.
shinfin: buckle 3shinfin: buckle 4shinfin: buckle 5shinfin: buckle 6

5. Turn fin sideways and slide off foot

Turn the fin sideways across your foot, with the fin tip towards your other foot. Pull your foot right out of the strap looping to the outside buckle. Leave the outside buckle permanently strapped (to put the fin on quickly next time).