Can You Bodyboard Without Fins? (7 Reasons Why You Should)

No matter what it is that you are trying to do in life if you don’t have the correct tools, the job becomes significantly harder.

So Can You Bodyboard Without Fins?

Although you can bodyboard without fins, doing so will be much more challenging, you will be limited to shallow water and small waves, and your progression will be slowed.

That being said, there are times when bodyboarding with no fins is necessary.

Let’s take a look at what bodyboarding without fins would be like, as well as why bodyboarding fins are so important.

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Can You Bodyboard Without Fins?

Is It Possible to Bodyboard Without Fins?

Just as you should use wax on your bodyboard but don’t need it, neither do you need fins, although they still remain an essential part of your bodyboarding gear.

Although you can bodyboard without fins, it is not recommended as it can be dangerous and limit what you can do in the water.

If you don’t have bodyboarding fins, you can use snorkeling fins to bodyboard, or any other swim fin, although nothing will perform as well as bodyboarding fins.

How to Bodyboard Without Fins

When you bodyboard without fins, you’re going to need to put a lot more effort in to get the same results.

This means that using the ideal equipment and sticking to some helpful advice will be in your best interest.

As you don’t have fins, the following are important:

  • Strong arms, legs, and endurance
  • Perfect bodyboard (slick, grip channels, crescent tail, and the perfect size)
  • Stick to smaller waves
  • Remain close to shore
  • Superior balance

More Power

As you don’t have fins, you’ll need to put in a lot more effort for the same result. 

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This means your arms and legs will be working double-time to create enough power to make it onto a wave or to get through the break.

The first thing you should start doing is training up your limbs to work harder than ever before. 

You’re going to need it.

Perfect Board

As you don’t have fins to assist you, you will want to make up for their loss by using a bodyboard that is perfect for you and the waves you will be surfing.

Boards that are slick will reduce friction, and grip channels will help you remain secure and stable.

It’s also a good idea to use a tail that generates a lot of speed, such as a “crescent tail”.

Furthermore, a board that is perfectly sized for you will be easier to control without fins.

Wave Size

As you won’t be able to generate as much power without fins, nor will you have as much stability, it is best to stick to smaller waves.

If you paddle into a surf that is too large without fins, you could find yourself in a dangerous situation by being caught in the impact zone without enough power to paddle out.

Furthermore, without fins, you will find yourself sliding on large waves.

Instead, stick to smaller waves and adopt different riding styles such as drop knee or stand-up bodyboarding.

Stay Close to Shore

Just as it’s dangerous to surf in large swells, neither should you paddle too far from shore.

If you find yourself caught in a current or exhausted, you may not have the energy to paddle back to land without fins.

If you are going to bodyboard without fins, it’s best to stick to shore breaks.

Master Your Balance

Using fins helps us remain stable and balanced on our boards, especially in large or choppy surf.

When you don’t have fins, you will need to put extra effort into not only remaining on your board but in keeping your board straight and free from slipping.

Luckily, you can practice your balance while bodyboarding, as well as throughout your daily activities.

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7 Reasons You Should Wear Fins While Bodyboarding

Unless you are planning on doing some stand-up bodyboarding, you should always consider wearing fins.

Using fins will not only keep you safer, but it will help you use less energy, bodyboard longer, and catch more waves.

1. Surf Larger Waves

Small waves will become boring after a while, and big waves aren’t surfable if you don’t have fins.

If you use bodyboarding fins, you will have enough control and power to catch the larger waves without draining your energy.

Without fins, you will miss out on some of the best waves for bodyboarding and will only be experiencing a fraction of what the sport has to offer.

2. Bigger Diversity of Tricks

Although there are many tricks, you can perform on smaller waves, without fins, having fins will give you access to a bigger diversity.

Some tricks such as large airs and 360 spins are difficult to perform without your fins changing your direction.

3. Better Stability

Using fins creates stability when we are on a wave. Not only for us on our boards but for the board on the wave.

When you surf larger or steeper waves, your board will slide on the face if you don’t have fins.

When you ride a wave, your fins act as a sort of rudder, keeping your bodyboard straight and allowing you to turn when needed.

Furthermore, the pressure from your fins on the surface of the water will push you down on your board, keeping you stable and secure.

4. Bodyboard Longer

The less energy you use, the longer you’ll be able to bodyboard.

As fins make paddling easier, you will be able to save more energy as you move around the pay and paddle into waves.

This simply means it’ll take longer for you to get tired, which means more time in the water and, ultimately, more waves.

5. Catch More Waves

Fins not only save you energy, but they help you paddle faster, paddle further, and take off with greater acceleration.

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The faster you paddle, the more chance you have of catching a wave, not to mention the shortened time it will take for you to get back to the takeoff area.

The faster you get back, the more opportunities you have to catch more waves.

6. Improve Faster

Although you wouldn’t think of it at first, using fins while bodyboarding will help you improve faster.

If you are struggling to improve and no beginner bodyboarding tips seem to be helping, it may be because you are not using fins or your fins are not ideal.

Because fins ultimately help you bodyboard more and catch more waves, you have more chances to improve your skills in the water.

7. Safety First

Not using fins can be dangerous not only for you but for others in the water.

If you find yourself caught in the impact zone or in a strong current, you may not have the power or energy to get yourself out.

In this case, other surfers and swimmers may get involved to help you and thus put their own safety in jeopardy.

If you don’t have fins, you should be very cautious of the type of conditions you paddle out into.

When Should I Not Use Fins While Bodyboarding?

If you are wondering if there are any appropriate times to bodyboard without fins, the answer is yes, but there are not many.

When you are brand new to bodyboarding, it could be a good idea to play in the small waves that are only knee to hip high.

In this case, you can stand on the ocean floor and jump onto the waves in order to get a feel for how your board works.

The only other time you will want to be bodyboarding without fins is when you plan on standing up on your bodyboard.

Although this is a mostly forgotten practice, when the waves suit it, and you’re feeling adventuresome, leave your fins in the car and try standing on your bodyboard.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to use fins when you bodyboard, especially if you plan on doing some crazy stand-up maneuvers or are just messing around in the small waves near shore.

That being said, not using fins while bodyboarding will require more energy and will limit you to smaller surf in shallower water.

After all, there is a reason bodyboarding fins were invented.

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