10 things you can do if you lose a bodyboarding fin

July 9, 2021 | Bodyboarding
Bodyboarding fins: it's easy to lose a flipper in the surf | Photo: Shutterstock

Fins are an essential piece of equipment for any bodyboarder. But what should you do if you lose your left or right flipper?

Bodyboarding fins help you paddle, move faster and get into waves that are usually inaccessible to, for instance, stand-up surfers.

There are premium, good, and average fins, but there's one thing that is common to all of them - flippers can all fall off after unexpected impacts, currents, and wipeouts.

Imagine you'd finally saved up some cash and bought your first pair of quality fins.

Then, after one ride, you stand up in a shallow area with a powerful rip. The water pulls one of your fins off, and it gets lost in the whitewash.

How frustrating can it be?

When buying a new pair of fins for bodyboarding, you should pay attention to several variables and characteristics.

Today, you can find fins that float, but not all good flippers will stay afloat.

Bodyboarding: fins often fall off after unexpected impacts, currents, and wipeouts | Photo: Shutterstock

Fins: Tethers and Sizes

If you're one of those who don't feel comfortable using fin tethers/savers - or even shoelaces - then you really need to find the right size flippers.

The only problem is that there is rarely a delicate and optimal balance between tightness and comfort.

Nobody can ride a bodyboard well and focus on reading the wave while wearing a pair of overly snug fins.

So, generally, for most riders, the option is to pick the slightly loose model, increasing the chances of losing one fin in the rough surf.

The most common issue is the heel strap sliding off.

Whatever your case is, if you lose a fin, you don't necessarily need to buy a new expensive pair of fins immediately.

There's still hope. And the scenario is brighter if you're on symmetrical fins. So here are a few things you can do:

1. Dive and Search for It

Can you swim with your eyes open in the ocean?

If so, take a deep breath, dive underwater, and search for the missing fin on the seafloor.

Take a careful look around and try to cover a reasonably large area.

2. Ask Other Fellow Wave Riders

Don't be shy. If you're in a crowded lineup, tell everyone you've lost a fin.

They might spot it floating in the next minutes and let you know.

3. Wait for the Low Tide

If you've lost your fin on the high, mid-high, or mid-low tide, it may appear lying on the sand during low tide.

If you've got time, it could be worth waiting for the tide to come out and then explore an extended area.

4. Ask the Lifeguards

Lifeguards spend a lot of time at the beach.

They're also constantly paying attention to the lineup, the currents, and the swimmers. Their job is to have their eyes on the ocean.

Lifeguards could very well find your lost fin. Talk to them and leave your contact. They might call you with good news.

5. Ask a Nearby Surf Club or Business

Have you lost hope? Don't despair.

The world has kind souls and, oftentimes, they know how it feels to lose something that means a lot to someone else.

Ask a local surf school, surf club, surf shop, or even coffee shop if someone handed in your right or left fin.

6. Get Back the Next Day

Sometimes, persistence pays off.

On the following day, get back to the spot where you lost your beloved fin and track the beach for an hour.

You could zero in on it floating near the shore or on a neighboring beach.

7. Ask Online for a Missing Fin

If you haven't still found your lost fin locally, try online.

Join a bodyboarding forum on social media and ask your fellow riders if they know someone who might have retrieved it.

Bodyboarders know how it feels to lose a fin and, if they find one, most of them will gladly return it to the owner.

8. Search for it on eBay

You're an honest person. You found a bodyboarding fin, tried everything but can't find its owner.

It's a legitimate thing to try and sell it on eBay. And if you're the one who lost it, you may find it there and even get it for free.

9. Buy a Single Fin

If you're into minimizing investment losses, why don't you try and buy the left or right fin that you've lost?

You will certainly find a good deal - no one wants to have a single fin at home. It's useless for many and useful for you.

10. Sell Your Fin

Have you thrown the towel in? Are you willing to put an end to the nightmare?

Consider selling your left or right fin and get a new pair of bodyboarding flippers.

The Summer Surf Gear Guide 2021