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