The Progressive Bodysurfing & Finswimming Project

While we love bodysurfing in real waves, the beach is not always the best training spot. Sometimes there are no waves at all or beaches crowded, leaving us land-locked for weeks on end.

Even when conditions are great, bodysurfing training in a pool should be part of your bodysurfing routine too. It allows you to train, experiment, work on form, and practice safety and fitness in a safe, controlled environment; plus, the conditions never change, so it’s easy to mark progress.

At LeblonFins Progressive Bodysurfing & Finswimming Project, we believe that specificity is the cornerstone of modern sports science . We  recreate the exact motor pattern you are trying to improve and bring up several way to overload it. At the moment we are looking to integrate existing bodysurfing, finswimming, underwater rugby (only the infight training for dynamic apnea purpose) and acrobatic trampolim (for improve manuelvers ability) knowledge into one structured and organized system.

One of the great challenges for sports professionals is to observe an athlete's performance and to deciding where a particular technique needs correction and how to improve it. In the ocean this challenge is even more complicated as generally most of a  bodysurfer´s body is covered by the wave's foam. We're working in our pool with top bodysurfers and swimmers to identify, acquire, improve, and automate the fundamental skills that come together in bodysurfing.

Detailed and immediate feedback from videoing movements eliminates the doubts and guessing that plague efforts to coach athletes in natural environments. And, of course, it save lots of time and energy to spend on specific training techniques, instead of using that energy crossing the surf repeatedly.

Our program uses mixed modality training that includes techniques and tactics drawn from diving,  finswimming and underwater rugby (only the underwater infighting, and underwater Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in order to improve dynamic apnea) is also creating new techniques). It is implemented by top professional coaches of Botafogo F.R., one of the premier sports clubs in Brazil, and LeblonFins founder JSC Mauricio, a CMAS certified finswimming coach.

Deal with drag and energy consumption

Usually, bodysurfers deal with energy consumptions and drag during all phases of catching a wave and surfing its line by developing stronger kicks and strokes. Bigger lungs and muscles can be a partial solution, but fitness training only solves a small part of the problem. It’s not enough to bridge the gap in advantages that surfers and bodyboarders enjoy.This is where finswimming enters the picture.

Speed and Thrust

Finswimming plays a big role in the program. It’s essentially considered the “Formula 1” of the swimming world.  Traditional finswimmers use monofins, that don't lend themselves to bodysurfing practice. But it´s their undulatory body motion principle that has allowed our bodysurfers to reach fantastic speeds. You may say that apnea finswimming needs a monofin, and you are correct. But we are bodysurfers, and so we use special bi-fins (Leblonfins) that can come close to the propulsion of a monofin.

Note that in the image is a 57yo bodysurfer, JSC Mauricio during a routine training,.

Catch any wave you choose

While most bodysurfers seem to accept their limitations and the fact that they will be always swallowed by white foam and rarely get out of tubes, we are pushing the limits. With progressive bodysurfing speed, there is no reason to content yourself with the junk waves that surfers and bodyboarders pass up.

Kick-offs

Unlike swimmers, bodysurfers can’t rely on the edge of the pool or starting blocks. Speeding up from inertia is much harder. That´s why a part of your swimming training is dedicated to perfecting entries into waves that help one develop “momentum.”

Setting yourself up for a perfect start is not easy, but practice will help you dramatically improve your technique and speed.

 

Apnea

How fast and how long can you swim or hold your breath underwater during a bodysurfing session or during a wipeout? At our facility, intense apnea-handling sessions are incorporated into our training, helping you to develop extra breath for wipe-outs, or when you need to cross a series of waves in a rough sea and get out to the lineup.

We aren't trainning for slow freediving or spearfishing. We are trainnig for big waves bodysurfing situations, when swimming underwater as fast as possible to cross huge waves is the only way to be safe.

 

Physically well-conditioned bodysurfers use adjustable ankle-wrist weights for advance dynamic apnea.

Progressive spinner.

Through the biomechanical analysis of movements specific to bodysurf practice, it became possible to suggest necessary changes to this maneuver in order to create less drag and have more speed.


Watching JC Rodrigues' first attempt to perform the progressive spinner, it's possible to glimpse how much progress can be made in a short time.

Echoes

The peculiarity of the elements of our training routine awaken the attention of everyone present at the facility, whether they are swimmers, coaches, or visitors. 

Swimmers of all styles approach us, interested by our technical skills in underwater dolphin and by the speeds we reach. As a result, excellent swimmers are becoming interested in practicing bodysurfing and finswimming as real sports and not just as playful activities.

Our finswimmers have been invited to represent Brazil in the COLOMBIA NATIONAL UNIVERSITY INTERCLUBES SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP in October, one of the most important events of the Colombian Federation of Underwater Activities - FEDECAS. Colombian finswimmer are some of the strongest in the world. Three atletes will travel to Colombia supported by  YachtAid Global, an ONG that supported the World Bodysurfing Cup in Itacoatiara where our team members competed and won 2nd and 3rd places showing that the fusion of bodysurfing with finswimming can benefit the growth of both sports.

In the US, the first finswimming clinic for bodysurfers is being planned. John Hoskins, development director of Finswimming Underwater Society of America, offered to go to Encinitas, California, on a pre-planned date to do a clinic for all interested bodysurfers. How great is that -  a top American Finswimming coach cooperating to help bodysurfers to be faster than ever before in the lineup, providing the opportunity for new people to practice and enjoy bodysurfing and finswimming in US pools. We can´t wait for the incredible input that will be arriving.

If you live in Rio de Janeiro or come for a visit, we would love to have you join us. But if not, don’t despair! Take advantage of this course no matter where you live. We are excited to share our insights with you through our website and social media. Soon we will offer an online finswimming course recognized by Sportalsub - CMAS.

If you are a bodysurfer or a swimmer interested in taking part of this project, just reach us by email.

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2 comments

  • Bodysurfing is my passion and I´m willing to learn finswimming techniques. Hugs, Alex. @alexxsj

    Alex de Jesus
  • I’m a bodysurfer interested in learning your techniques. I’ve met Mark and live close to Encinitas; please keep me posted on John’s clinic….

    rick

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