Here is a question that pops up from time to time. Unfortunately this is one of those where there is no simple direct answer. Which are the best fins for Surf Photography.
You see the problem lies in that all our feet are different widths, shapes and sizes. What may be horribly uncomfortable to one may be the best feeling footwear on someone else. In saying that I will give my opinion on some that I have used over the years. Telling you which I found to be the best fins and why. Hopefully this will help you decide on what will work best for you.
Which fins are best?
First up I will touch on the Churchill Makapuu fins. This design apparently came about in around 1936. Tried and trusted fin, personally I didn’t feel it provided enough propulsion for my liking. They were, however, very comfortable. There are quite a few alternate manufacturers that have very similar fins on offer. These fins almost have a cult following and a lot choose them as the best fins for them.
The brand Hydro Techs have been around forever and have gone through three changes up to date, I used the version pictured above and to date have been the most comfortable fin for my fat feet, unfortunately these aren’t too easy for me to find here in South Africa. For me perhaps these are the best fins.
These are very stiff fins with a very narrow foot pocket, mine were probably a bit too small but they really destroyed my feet, cramped up in minutes but they give a very direct and fast propulsion which I really enjoyed, they are now used by a friend of mine and I haven’t heard any complaints.
Viper Orange Dot
My current mode of transport. This model follow the same old design as the standard Vipers (yellow dot), but they are made from a softer compound. They are longer than standard surf fins making you kick a lot slower, this took some getting used to. Better suited for people with narrow feet, I manage to use them, but I do cramp up after a while in the water. Also available with an even longer blade which some swimmers love.
What about the others?
So there you have it a whole lot of useless information. Basically your best bet is to try a few different brands until you find your fit, hopefully you have a few body boarding buddies who will lend you their fins to try out. If your local surf shop is well stoked go try some on in store and wiggle your feet around You can get a good feel for comfort even when not in the water.
If you want more info on equipment for surf photography click here.