The fastest bodysurfing take-off

A quick start is vital for a human to reach maximum speed in any short race, either in the water or on the ground. And usually is done with one breath.

Being able to rely on the momentum generated by the legs against a solid body, makes the start time and turns on swimming competitions account for up to 26% of the total race time!

A magicseaweed article tells that “the most important part of surfing, isn't actually what you do on the wave, it’s more to do with how you get into that wave. The take-off sets the entire tone to that ride. Put simply, a solid start leads to a solid finish!”

Could not be more correct. However, bodysurfers can’t rely on the edge of the pool or starting blocks. Also, unlike surfers and bodyboarders, bodysurfers don't have a board to minimize drag. Speeding up from inertia is really hard.  The video on the left presenting the performance of Mauricio Fernandez a finswimming champion, shows that if he can speed up from inertia vertically, reach fantastic propulsion and jump out of the water surface.

Bodysurfers by the underwater body undulation plus dolphin kick using LeblonFins in a streamlined body position, already achieve astonishing fast acceleration from the inertia, that can blow your mind.

We already can dispute and win the wave' priority in the lineup. For decades the bodysurfers have to settle for the remains of the party and stick with the waves abandoned by surfers and bodyboarders.This reality has already changed.  In this video to the right, the swimmer with LeblonFins without using the LeblonFins kick-off, wins easy from the bodyboarder who is also a professional lifeguard.

Who came first, the egg or the chicken?

As bodysurfing was just a playful activity, it seems that people have only limited themselves to imitating what has been considered correct. Front crawl have been the number one choice for starts and take-off.

But front crawl is really outdated and inefficient. The turbulence and drag generated delays the start and disrupts the take-off in such a way that the bodysurfer can not advance to the point where the whole body is free from the foam. But even so, it have been the swim technique used by 99% of bodysurfers. As a result, today's collective visualization regarding bodysurfing is built by thousands of images where only the head, and upper body of the bodysurfer appears. The rest is swallowed by the wave' foam. 

The bodysurfing starts

We broke down the bodysurfing swim-start/take-off into its component phases, and it has been fun to develop techniques that allow bodysurfer to acquire the so necessary propulsion from the inertia.

We believe that "starts" it’s the moment when preparation for catch a wave begins to the moment when the arms and head break out the wave surface (the take-off) when the bodysurfing pattern starts.

A good swim-start are going to positively influence your coordination after take-off, into the wave line. Also, swim-start velocity its related with the speed of your body displacement on the wave line. During the swim-start, bodysurfers need to accelerate and traveling the maximum distance in the shortest time. Also, must following the wave's momentum, at a correct angle to be able to make a clean take-off.

Swim-start is classified in accord:

With or without fins.

On the surface or underwater.

Strokes styles.

Kicking style.

With or without a hand board, and so on.

The last video is about a powerful entry that combines front crawl arms and fish kick. This drill improves arm technique and coordination, and it is one of the fastest ways to catch a wave generating low turbulence.

Keep in mind that it is very important to maintain the arm (shoulder) that goes forward attached to the ear.

The point here is that by using this side dolphin kick, you avoid your fins breaking out the water' surface and lose propulsion. Also, you are close to the surface and can fast visualizing what is going on.

To be continue...

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Read the Reviews

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29 reviews
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.


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 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