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Underwater fin surfing...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Wow, I knew there had to be other people into this kind of surfing! In one of my visits to Australia (my mum lives there) I got to see exactly the same as Noa in Kalbarri. Dolphins were actually surfing the pointbreak underwater. I was stuned as well, and was thinking about the possibility for humans to surf waves in the same way.

Unfortunatly back then I hadn't heared of monofins. I tried it with a normal swimming dolphinkick, but I didn't get enough trust to "catch" the wave. I also didn't like the feel of bi-fins.

As I will get my monofin very soon, I am looking to experiment on this further. I go surfing every year to France in summer, so it's going to be a while, but still I'm ... well eum stoked you could say.
Once I saw a wave containing a girl thrashing by and passing along. She wore a mono and her entire body seemed to describe an angle of some 120 degrees (butts up, ya know). Her arms should have been at eight o´clock end her legs at four o´clock. I think that her entire body probabely mached the shape of the wave pretty closely.
Some footage about the topic can be found in a movie named "TO´day of days", available at amazone.com
I know this thread is old thread but I figured someone who has participated in this thread before might appreciate this idea. Dolphins and seals have deen known to ride waves like what has been described in these 14 pages. Dolphins also ride the bow wave in front of a boat. With that in mind, is it possible a human could ride the bow wave in front of boat just as a dolphin? Just a thought...

Yes, I think that it should be possible for a human to
ride a wave the way dolphins do.

The Trick, as far as I´ve been able to discern, seems to be the folowing.

1) You need to describe an angle shape, where the middle of your bulk should describe the highest point.
2) Both ends should point down (meaning arms at one end and legs at the other) in such a fashion that You describe a general angle of some 120 degs.
3) Your main Buoyancy should be located as near to the highest point as possible (You see, Your human lungs ar too far up to the front)

So, it seems that You´ll need to add weight to your chest and buoyancy to your hip.

im not sure if this has been compared but if anyone has heard of hydrofoil surfing i assume this has the same type of hydrodynamics as using a monofin. essentially its a arrow shaped metal plane that is attached to a surf board via a hydrodynamic colomn. and it just as most have said it uses the energy of the wave to push it through the water. they used a hydrofoil because of the nearly frictionless efects of being able to hover on the surface of teh water and the board is never really touching the waters surface. this is shown in a surf video im not sure which on either step into liquid or riding giants. check it out both are really good. and i think this would best compare the under water fin surfing ideas
ahofbauer, that makes sense to me, I see the dolphins take a similar arched body shape when riding a bow wave. Good idea pointing out where the bouyancy should be centered for this to be effective (or even possible). I did not think of that.
It´s eventually not only the buoyancy center but
also the fusiform shape.
Or the other way around: its just curious how exactly
the shape of the dolphin matches the wave.

So, if Dolphins use to get towed around by us,
we should do the same...we´re paying passengers

It´s as You were trying to fit into the wave´s shape
as closely as possible.

I´ve always been wondering about the reason for those
dorsal fins, because a shark needs them (remember that
it´s tailfin moves from side to side), so it needs a kind of
reaction surface.

But the Dolphin´s....

Now that we are at it, a horizontally fixed reaction surface
at the hips improves the functioning of a monofin.

...and the Dolphin??

I wonder how would the shape of a boat bow wave be measured since the back side of the wave is being pushed under by the bow? Would it be the same as the shape of the underside of the boat?

I think the dorsal fin on both sharks and dolphins helps control roll (left and right rolling along a horizontal axis in the direction of travel) in the water where as percoral fins control pitch (up and down). Sharks turn without rolling like car wher dolphins seem more like jet planes and roll into the turn. A shark can turn directly left or right (Yaw) by use of its tail because its tail is verticaly oriented but a dophins tail is horizontal.
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hello to everyone,
this is now a very old thread which is none the less still current. although i have been absent from this forum and even from regular freediving (persueing a few other aquatic interests), i have still been subsurfing.
there are new developments, new monofin prototypes being tested (possibly also a Lunocet) and lots of exciting directions.
just wanted to touch base with this site again and see if people here are still as enthousiastic about this as the last time around.
have a look at the Lunocet blog, Lunoblog. they are starting to get interested in subsurfing. for those who are wondering what this is, read the first post on page one of this thread. hope to get some feedback from you all. all the best till then...
Kinda off topic but a week ago or so I dreamt I could swim fast enough to breach completely out of the water, it was awesome!
Hi Ironlung,
not so off topic actually. breaching dreams are like flying dreams for me, i wake up feeling like i took a peak into another domension.
besides that, i do breach (only partialy, till about my knees) when i subsurf. it's much easier when using the waves momentum and thrust.
a full breach is only a matter of time. the right equipment (possibly a Lunocet)with the proper technique will make breaching move from the realm of dreams to attainable reality.
Actually, I'm certain a full breach is possible without fins. When heading back out to the waves, have you ever dove under an incoming wave and pushed off the bottom and had it pull you upwards and rocket you out the back? With correct timing and big enough waves, I'm certain I could get completely clear of the water. Just something to think about...
Wassup Noa and team - Been a while - Few years actually. I was googling looking for some pics/movies of underwater bodysurfing, and this forum is still top of the list!

Good to hear your still at it. I'm just starting a summer of sub surfing, getting a few moves back already. Pretty close to the full breach. I'm pretty sure I've done it already, (I've been out enough to see my fins) want to get some stuff on camera this year.

Loving the look of those lunocet fins. Pricey, but should be worth it. Not sure they've got the technique right though looking at those movies. I find the less I move, and the straighter I can keep my body, the faster I go. Watch a Tuna or Marlin for example, they dont swim like snakes, their front half stays streamlined, and their powerful tail does the work. Just a thought. I'm no aquadynamist!
Hi guys,

I'm entering the monofin business and have access to some good fin shapers that can help us (if needed) develop a fin specifically designed for subsurfing.

Do you guys have any thoughts on what an ideal fin would be like?

Some of my thoughts initially:
-smaller surface area
-rails for setting an edge in a wave face should you decide to pop out the front
-good leading edge (foil)
-neutrally buoyant or even slightly negative
-adjustable ankle straps
-vertical fin for steering left and right)
-different shape (high aspect ratio vs. low aspect ratio for different waves, speeds, maneuverability, etc...

I'd love to know what fins you are currently using (those of you who get the chance to do this more regularly).

One thing for sure, is a monofin cannot be buoyant in the surf! In the Bahamas I tried getting through a moderately large close-out zone and found that in my wetsuit and new hyperfin (postively buoyant), it could barely duck dive. :duh I had totally forgotten about that. It wasn't a place for body/sub surfing, unfortunately, but I got to dive with some reef sharks so that was worth the drubbing I got on the way out. ;)

I tried the Lunocet in the Bahamas. Not good for subsurfing in its present form. Way too much drag! Ted hopefully will refine it again.

I also wanted to know if any of you are in Hawaii at the moment or forsee a trip there. I would really like to get some subsurfing on film and spend some time working on technique with some small to mid-sized surf. Given that we can use less powerful waves, it shouldn't be too hard to find waves.

I have a friend in Kona that I'd like to visit in early Feb (money permitting) and I could stop by if any of you are on any of the other islands, but if that's too short notice, I'd be in to organizing something for later in the year. Subsurfing contest or festival?

And a chance to test out fin prototypes...

Oh, and Happy Holidays everyone!

Pete :friday
Greetings to All in this Forum,

I was following links to gain more knowledge about the super-expensive Lunocet fin to see if anyone had tried bodysurfing with one and fortunately
stumbled upon this discussion. As far as I can tell I'm one of the last remaining committed pure bodysurfers on Nantucket. I have never had any use for any sort of board. Fins (and wetsuit if needed) are my only necessity in the water. I've bodysurfed just about every hurricane swell that has rolled through here. Last year, a skim boarder friend showed me how to "underwater bodysurf"! It was awesome! and we we're just messing around in small shore break but it was enough to feel the dynamics and start me dreaming of trying it when the storm swells roll in. Now to the point. I am in a constant search for the untimate bodysurfing fins and have yet to find them. I currently use Neofins which are great for quick bursts and excellent once you are "locked in". They lack in larger surf when you need to generate speed over distance, which I imagine would be necessary when trying to underwater surf. ANY links to good fins would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to sharing my experience about this developing sport and hearing from others as it evolves.


Hi guys,

-vertical fin for steering left and right)
-different shape (high aspect ratio vs. low aspect ratio for different waves, speeds, maneuverability, etc...

Pete :friday

Hi Pete,

Just a thought about a vertical stabilizer (keel fin basically) People have experimented with vertical stabilizer fins, but usually on their back

A back fin feels really good. You can kind of turn around it, and lean into it. Seems to make you feel more maneouverable. I don't know whether the small bit of extra drag makes it worth wearing, though, unless you're into having fun zooming around in all directions like a stunt plane.

I think you would find it a bit destabilizing if you had one on or near your feet, though. 'Centre of gravity" doesn't really apply in the water, but IME, it should be near what I call your 'hydrodynamic centre' if you want to use it as a pivot or stabilizing point.

Thinking of an aircraft, or a fish, with a vertical fin at the rear, if the fin is fixed, it will act as an impediment to turning, and in rough water you might find it throwing you into yaw motions. At least part of it has to be rotatable or capable of flexing under control. Since people's legs, much as in cetaceans, don't have the ability to move very much laterally, I think you would need a complicated mechanism to turn it, perhaps with your ankles, but that gets into weight & bulk. I haven't experimented with a vertical fin at the feet, though.

Just my thoughts- would like to see feeedback from others . . .
Sross only feedback i can think of it watch what you add on the waves as you know only to well are so powerful i would expect lots of pulled twisted ligiments/tendons etc in knees and or ankles. A fin on the back sounds kinda cool but watch out for shark fishermen.
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