I’m a bit of a fin hoarder… er um, collector… and earlier this year I added a pair of Da Fin surf fins to my collection. Da Fins come out of Hawaii and are really popular with Lifeguards and bodysurfers. They’re the fin of choice for one of my favorites, Mark Cunningham. I had prior experience with Da Fin when I borrowed a pair from my friend Jason last year. The good news was I really liked kicking with them, the bad news was that they chewed up the top of my foot. The edge of the foot pocket on top of my foot ate me up and I still have some fun scars on both feet from that. Undeterred I impulsively bought a pair for myself at a surf shop in Pismo one day. This pair was either much kinder to my feet, or my feet were much tougher from all the abuse they’d take since the last time I used a pair of Da Fins.

Jason at work with his Da Fins

After playing with them for a while they became my go to fins for bodysurfing. I like how they kick, they’re comfortable on me, I can walk fairly easily in them and I catch waves when I wear them. Da Fin has managed to make a really rigid fin with a nice foot pocket, not the easiest thing to do. I don’t like them as much for bodyboarding however. They work but I feel that my Churchills and Redleys do a better job with that sport. The one thing I would change if I could is the location of the draining holes on the bottom. You get one big hole and 3 small one which is good, but they’re at about the middle of the foot pocket. I prefer the holes to be closer to the front of the pocket like they are on Toobs Bluntcut fins.

If you like to bodysurf definitely give these a look, they run $60+ but I think they’re worth it. Check out DaFin.com or ask your local surf shop if they have any hidden in the store somewhere.

4 Responses to “Review Week: Da Fin Surf Fins”

  1. chris134711 says:

    Looks like someone miht be doing some flutter kicks with those fins on and elevated. Boy, I remember flutter kicks with fins from the Navy. (The old Navy)

  2. Vince Wood says:

    I bought a pair of DaFins online, they fit pretty well, but I did suffer some cutting in the top of the right foot. I smoothed out the edges with my Dremel Tool , but have not had enough time time for healing to try them without socks.
    I was interested in the variation in speed with the DaFin vs the Aquasphire light weight blue fin that I own. I tried them out in a fifty meter pool (Los Banos del Mar), and I seem to be about 6-10 seconds faster per 100 meters with the DaFin, but the kicking takes more effort with the DaFin.
    Rob; since you a re swim fin garu,what is your opinion of using the DaFin vs Aquasphere fin for general ocean swimming? I realize you prefer the DaFin for body surfing.

    Vince Wood

  3. Rob D says:

    Vince – sorry for the late reply! My site wasn’t alerting me to new comments for some reason…

    I’ve swum with both Da Fin and Aquasphere fins in the ocean and Da Fin wins that battle for me. I really don’t like the aquasphere fins, they just don’t provide enough propulsion for me. I used them once to try and pace a faster swimmer and it was a total disaster. The other fins that have been good for swimming faster in the ocean for me are duck feet. They’re big and heavy and take a lot of work to move but they push a lot of water and get you going pretty fast.

  4. Vince Wood says:

    Thank’s for the reply. I guess the reason I like the Aquasphere for a long swim, is the bouncy they provide even when doing minimal kicking. Something like swimming with a pull buoy.
    Today (2/25/13) is my 76th birthday. I guess I will go to Goleta Beach and do a mile swim without a wet suit (I hope). We have had temperatures around 55-56F lately.