Neumatic Matters: Force Fin?

Walrus, from what I’ve been able to find, they may be only UDTs of ANY size for awhile…

Concerning the force fins, although they are very comfortable they are not adjustable so you have to buy the proper size. I have a size 10.5 to 11 foot and use the large size with booties. Mine are the pro force model which is stiffer than the standard force fins. You can buy a spacer that fits inside so that you can go barefoot although I think you could make your own easily enough. I would also use a fin leash since they can be yanked off in the surf. I also wouldn’t pay full price either since you can buy them any time on E-bay for about half the price. Since they are practically indestructible that would be a better deal.

The test that dr. strange mentioned backs up the impression I got in that they seem to take a bit longer to get up to speed but do well once they get there. It is a problem for me mainly because I ride on typically gutless east coast waves that don’t have the wave energy to get me down the face easily. When the waves get more juice it seems to be easier to get going with less kicking.

   UncleD- the Flips are actually made by a guy up in Haleiwa so it would be easy to check them out yourself. His name is John Piatt and the phone # is 808-636-2055. I originally had the surf-flips model that has a smaller, more manuverable blade but I wasn't happy with the lack of power. But because I liked the comfort so much I decided to take a chance and order the original Flips which have a much bigger blade and more power. I like those a lot, especially the fact that I can wear them barefoot. Sand washes out of them immediately and I never get wear spots on my feet. Because of the adjustable straps you can wear them with just about any foot size, with or without booties. The biggest downside with them is that they are made out of a slick thermoplastic that makes getting out on rocks or hard surfaces kind of challenging.

Picking the right fins is a lot like picking the right surfboard. What works for one person might not work for someone else so you just have to experiment until you find some that suit your needs.
Concerning the force fins, although they are very comfortable they are not adjustable so you have to buy the proper size......Because of the adjustable straps you can wear them with just about any foot size, with or without booties. .

Say what?

DrStrange- The adjustable straps mentioned refer to the Flips strap fins. May have been some confusion because I couldn’t get the post to indent to indicate a new paragragh with the “UncleD” sentence.

Thanks for that.

I spend most of my water-time in gutless windslop as well. I think I might give the Force’s a miss for now (unless I get lucky on ebay perhaps) and see how I got on with something a bit cheaper. Liking the look of those Flips a lot though!


Hello Tomars- Glad I could help. If you get the flips( or any other fin) please send some feedback.

hey surfsensei,

i got my flips, the original larger blades, this past week. i had them out with my mat and they are pretty comfortable and really light. caught waves really well, little ones, and i didn’t feel like i had weights on my feet when it came to lifting them out of the water for that burst of speed. no blisters, they do work different parts of the foot and calf though which will take a bit of getting used to.

thanks for the recommendation. they’re a great addition to my fin quiver.

i also got a pair of xl duck feet that i chopped down an inch and a half, they were killing me. so i am using those too as a comparison.

Hello factorypond- Glad you like your Flips. I didn’t want to go too overboard recommending them since they are quite a bit different than most fins. However, I like mine a lot. I have tried several types of fins and the Flips are the only fins I use now for matting.

What a great idea! Flips seem almost too good to be true!

It would be very useful to compare the comfort and paddling power of Flips with Churchills, Vipers, UDT, Duckfeet, Force Fins, etc.

Just for fun I emailed the Flips folks and asked if they could give me any info on the comparison issue. I mentioned that obviously their flippers would be the most comfortable and many would trade some power for more comfort but it would be nice to have some idea of how much you were trading before plunking down money. If they come back with anything interesting I’ll post it. In the mean time…anybody here actually field tested both Flips and any of the other above mentioned brands? Forget controversy; we want data. Good, soft, subjective data.

Talked to the Flips maker on the tele. Nice guy. Makes them up to order (1 week turnaround) Price is now$59.95 plus shipping $6.95). The Original model is bigger blade/more power than ProSurf model. He reckons its faster than DuckFeet. Has never tried UDTs. I ordered a pair so will report at least compared to Ducks for me. I’ve never used UDT’s either.

His actual web addy is the other is old and out of date.

I’m not a matter or a bodyboarder or a kneelo, but I do use fins for bodysurfing, probably a good 20x a year. I’ve had the ubiquitous Churchills, the sporting-goods store Duck Feet, and Flips.

I have literally not put on full-foot rubber fins since I bought the Flips. Its probably been 5 years. Barefoot in HI and southern CA, or with booties on up where I live, same fins. Size 13 EEE feet are pretty hard to cram in a hard rubber pocket, and the f&%$#ing Churchills would make my feet cramp within about 15 minutes. They do take a bit of a modified kick, I guess I’d describe it as more knee & ankle and less calf, if that makes any sense at all. Not a problem - I’m a veteran of multiple knee surgeries - just a difference.

They are not good for slow, sustained kicking. Don’t buy Flips thinking they will be fine for all-day snorkeling or a 20-minute paddle out to Deadman’s. But they are great for the swim to the lineup and the 3-kick burst of speed required to catch a wave is very good.

I also like that they pack so flat. I occasionally have to go to LA, San Diego, or Ventura for meetings. Its great to be able to put the Flips & a pair of trunks in my laptop carry-on and get a little warm-water time via my rental car. I have the short-blade ones and they are plenty.

My wife can also use the same pair for bodyboarding. Or we each get one. Not too many fins fit a man’s 13 and a woman’s 9 at the same time.

Can you tell I like 'em? :slight_smile: Plus, mine are red with black straps and everyone knows red is faster.

Just checked out their new website…fits up to men’s size 16! Sounds like that should be a Saturday night movie on the Sci Fi Channel…

Maybe should be it’s own thread, but to you out there who already have them…

wondering what size you’re using, the Original or Surf (smaller one)? I phoned the guy and told him I’m using it for matting and he recommended the surf. Said it was easier to walk in and, when paddling/kicking out, you can spin a turn to catch a wave easier. I like the easier walking part but that’s only for the first minute and last minute, but the fin power inbetween seems like it should be maximized. So, what did you get that makes like them?

I ordered the Orig as he said definitely more thrust and I don’t generally quick spin my mat. I’m older and slower so its about planing and timing :wink:


Hello Tomars- Glad I could help. If you get the flips( or any other fin) please send some feedback.

Will do fella.

In the end I randomly spiraled off into a parallel universe and bought a pair of these: because they were cheap and readily available in the UK. I figured I’d have a go at modifying them as usage dictates. Unfortuntely I also picked up a really hectic work schedule around the same time, so decent feedback might take a while.

If the “comfortable foot pocket” turns out to be just too luxurious, I’ll have another look at Flips because they do look foot-friendly.


Hello Pcinsc- I originally bought the smaller Surf-flips and they did not have enough power for me (I weigh 180 lbs.). I later bought the original Flips and have very satisfied with them. If they are too much fin you can always trim them down but you can’t make a small fin bigger.