LeblonFins’ bodysurfer qualifies Brazil for the Finswimming World Championship


JSC Mauricio, Bruno Frazão, Julio Galofren and Moises Marrugo

LeblonFins’ progressive bodysurfing team takes speed seriously. After facing the Beast of Guanabara Bay, we accepted another challenge: bodysurfing at the National Speed Finswimming Competition in Cartagena del Mar – Colombia against some of the fastest humans on the planet in the water—faster than Phelps and Cesar Cielo, the Olympic champions!

Its sounds wird but thats is exactly what means. We use to say that, we finswimming on the wave line and bodysurfing on the pool. 😀 So we accepted the challenge and headed to Colombia.😀

As a selection for the World Finswimming Championships in the Servia 2018, the contest counted on Pan-American and South American world record holders. The LeblonsFin team excitedly accepted the adrenaline rush of challenging these top-notch swimmers.

Finswimming is a modality of swimming that uses regular flippers and the huge monofins and has become the new sensation in Europe because of the incredible speed achieved With  the monofins they are up to 50% faster than the current Olympic records of conventional swimming and are being called the Formula 1 of swimming!

Finswimming It's just one modality of our bodysurfing mixed modality training and we take it really seriously, training hard in each modality. LeblonFins pack a speed of a monofin into a bi-fins (the way they call regular flippers). A couple weeks before the contest JSC Mauricio shared a video of our bodysurfers reaching impressive speeds underwater, into an international group of finswimming coaches on WhatsApp. Days later he was invited by CMAS (the world governing authority for finswimming) to take LeblonFins bodysurfers to represent de debut of Brazil in the international finswimming circuit.

Brazil had never participated in a finswimming competition before. Actually, LeblonFins is the first and only finswimming team in Brazil, and with no experience in competitions, which added a little more flavor to the challenge.


With the support of YachtAid Global we were able to fly to Colombia and put our team to the test in the competition. And last weekend the 29-year-old bodysurfer from Rio de Janeiro, Sports Science instructor Bruno Frazão,  won silver medals in the 50 and 100 meter free style with bi-fins (regular flippers) and the coach JSC Mauricio take home one silver medal for the team.

This was Brazil/LeblonFins’ outstanding debut on this modality’s international circuit of and guaranteed the team a place in the world championships in Servia in 2018.

A feat to put Brazil and LeblonFins into the history of this sport!

But more than anything, this bodysurfing has started to attract the attention of hundreds of coaches and dozen of thousands of finswimming practitioners who have enormous potential for bodysurfing and just do not know about finswimming’s existence. Bringing this talented and super-fit group of watermen and waterwomen into the world of bodysurfing is an old goal of JSC Mauricio’s, LeblonFins’ team coordinator and founder of the Facebook group Finswimmers meet Bodysurfers.

JSC Mauricio says that another benefit is that into finswimming there are lots of bodysurfing related product manufacturers that have no idea about the existence of bodysurfing! These companies can profit from supporting and investing in bodysurfing as bodysurfing companies can also benefit by getting into the finswimming universe.

It’s a win win situation.

Bruno Frazão said, “The finswimming is just part of our Progressive Bodysurfing training that takes place at Botafogo F.R. in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. When JSC told us about the invitation, we thought it was a joke. We had never participated in any competition and facing a selective to the World Cup was unthinkable. When we realized that he was serious, I confess that I was frightened of the responsibility to defend the Brazilian flag without ever having participated in any contests of this modality. Conquering these two silver medals was wonderful and made me very enthusiastic about the possibility of participating in the World Cup.” 

   

 

 

 
 


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Effortless thrust

My feet are slightly too large for size M, but size L is loose enough for fins to pop off when hit by a lip, so a tether is essential, and probably a bit of padding, socks, or booties. This will be worked out. For me, sizing is rather similar to DaFin, which also pop off and require tethers. I can fit a size M with DMC Repellor, L in MS Viper, and 10-11 in POD Fins 3-PF3 Evolution, all with less risk of fins popping off.

The Leblon Flex fins are comfortable and have caused almost no fatigue in the first few days of use, which follows a summer with a lot of inactivity, including a recent, bad cold or sinus infection.

I am impressed at how easy it is to swim around the beach with the Leblon flex model. Just kicking while being on my back with perhaps a bit of backstroke was faster and more efficient than I'd been accustomed to. The Leblon has distinctly more thrust than MSViper, DaFin, or POD (right in the photo) that I've been using.

Being a large and heavy fin, the Leblon is a bit harder to walk with than the others, but the it's completely at home once in the water. The Leblon has ridges on the bottom of the foot pocket to help with traction. The drain holes, unusually on the top side, quickly clear out sand, which at our beach has a lot of shell fragments. Fins with round drainage holes clear slowly,

Catching little waves, no more that 1 meter, took a bit of re-learning. Wait farther back: It's easy to accelerate like a board rather than try to push off from the bottom as the wave is breaking. We should have 2-meter waves in a few days.

My guessing is that learning to use the Flex model to full effect will take a while. It means faster, better beach swimming. I haven't yet tried them with a camera, handplanes, bodyboards, or surf mats.

Night and day level of thrust compared to what you've grown used to.

I've used my fair share of swim fins (Churchill Makapuus, Slashers, DaFins, Voit Duck Feet, Viper V-5s, etc.) and these definitely produced the biggest shock factor when first kicking around with them. While the level of ankle/leg fatigue from 15 minutes of use is definitely increased, the amount of propulsion generated from a few short kicks is incredible. I spent a day in 3-4' sets switching between my Leblons and DaFins and couldn't stop commenting on how the DaFins felt laughably flexible and weak after using Leblons for awhile. A strong dolphin kick with these was allowing me to enter a wave ~3-5 yards sooner than with the Dafins. creating for some special lines.

A quick warning - don't overestimate your leg strength or experience level when choosing these. I am rocking the Originals and could barely see myself moving up to the Pros (and quite honestly wonder if the Flex line would have been more appropriate). That being said, no regrets at all with my purchase. I will likely get another pair of these in a size up to accommodate for booties in the winter season.

Powerful

I have been ridding waves for 5 decades . I have owned and used the following fins .
Churchill’s , Duck Feet UDT ,Reedly , Viper V7, Force Fins ,
Toobs blunt cut , Dafin ,
Leblon soft and mid flex .

I ordered the Leblon fins because the long side rails caught my attention .

After rideing waves with these fins I can say from expirence that the Side rails really help in holding in on a step wave face . I use them for body surfing and mat rideing .

They are very powerful equaling my
Duck feet UDT s . Which are the most powerful fins I have used . And yet they are much more comfortable than the UDTs.

I wear a size 12 shoe . I ordered the large size . They were a bit lose but I wear a 2 mm fin sock with them and they work fine . I do the same thing with my duck feet and duck feet UDTs.

Tried The Rest... Now I Have The Best

Before deciding on my first pair of Voit Duck Feet, I read countless reviews and online articles. Not long after that, a pair of DaFins showed up in my surf bag. Thinking I was done buying fins, I quit looking. Well, intentionally, anyway. Then somehow I happened across Leblon Fins. I saw an ad on UKMatSurfers.com for a pair of the Leblon "Original" model and was intrigued by the design.The more I read about them the more I had to see for myself if they really worked as well as the reviews were saying. I had to have a pair. But couldn't decide between the Flex Model and the Originals. Leblon recommended the Flex Model for those "new to the Leblon experience" due to the Originals extra stiffness which they said required a getting used to period, also mentioning they could be just too stiff for some.

Now what do I do? I want the Originals but don't want to find out I can't handle them. Or do I take the recommendation of the Leblon folks and order a pair of the Flex Model. Oh....wait a minute. They have a 10 day return policy. There you go, that settles it. I order a pair of each in size large.

I am a size 10.5 with a super wide toe box. The large were a tiny bit loose on my feet until I put my fin socks on. Then they were PERFECT! The foot pocket on these Leblons is one of the most, if not THE most comfortable foot pockets I have ever worn.

So now for the real test. How do they work? Simply put, these are some powerful fins. I didn't have to think too hard if these fins felt different. With only a few kicks, the difference in propulsion between these and my other fins was obvious. Getting out into the lineup, and getting into the waves earlier was a new experience with my new Leblon Originals. And the kicker was that my wife, Kathy, watching from the beach, could tell how well the fins worked for me.

After two hours was I sore? Yes, a little, mostly on my ankles. But it was a good sore...

They run big

The fins are great but they definitely run bigger than I thought