Bodyboarding fins: look for a snug fit | Photo: Pride

Every bodyboarder needs a good pair of fins. You need them to catch waves, and to control the board while trimming. So, don't save too much.

Quality swim fins are the best investment you'll make. Ideally, visit your local surf shop and try out different models, and get the one that you really feel comfortable with.

Two factors get into play when buying swim fins - comfort and size. Look for a snug fit and avoid ultra tight, or loose models. Brands produce two main shapes: symmetrical and asymmetrical designs. It's up to you to decide which one serves your purpose.

The most common sizes are XS, S, MS, M, ML, L, XL, and 2XL, and they vary from brand to brand. Natural rubber is always better than a synthetic rubber material.

Remember that fins for bodysurfing are not the same as fins for bodyboarding. There are subtle, yet relevant differences between them. Traditionally, swim fins tend to be more compact and symmetrical.

One thing's certain: the best bodyboarding fins are stiff in the blade and soft, comfortable and well-fitting in the foot pocket. They feature drainage holes on the bottom to drain water, sand, and small stones.

Swim fins: bodyboarders need them to catch waves | Photo: Shutterstock

Some riders opt for wearing neoprene fin socks. They'll keep you warm, but they will also protect your feet from rubbing.

If you prefer to feel the water and increase paddling power, you can leave socks on the beach. However, your feet your suffer if you don't apply, for instance, vaseline to the contact area.

The solution resides in heel shields and inserts. These neoprene strips and 2mm socks wrap around the most sensitive areas and protect your ankles and heels from rubbing.

Now, let's learn how to put your bodyboarding fins on:

1. Make sure the fins are the correct way up and the right, and left foot are in the right place;
2. Slide your foot all the way in right to the end;
3. Stand on one foot, and pull the heel strap around the back of your ankle;
4. Attach your fin-saver or tie-up your fin string;
5. Do the same with the other foot;

Finally, always rinse your swim fins with fresh water after each session and don't leave them in the sun. Otherwise, the UV rays will slowly degrade the core materials.

Have you never used bodyboarding fins? Learn how to walk in swim fins.