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Thread: Dol-fin monofin review

  1. #1

    Dol-fin monofin review

    Hey guys, as of recently I purchased a dol-fin monofin from http://www.dol-fin.net/

    For some reason I can't upload photos so I'll just link them.

    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin2.png
    The first thing you should know about this monofin is that it is made from a very hard/thick rubber. It doesn't really bend at all besides when you are actually kicking in it and it's pretty sturdy so hitting the bottom of the pool or a wall isn't a big deal. The monofin itself is very large, as the picture shows, it is 27" wide and weighs I'd say around 6-7 lbs out of the water, but it is pretty neutral when submerged.
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin1.png
    Compared to the wave monofin, it's probably around half as long but nearly twice as wide. The width is great when it comes to catching a lot of water under a kick, but swimming in the dol-fin is a chore compared to swimming in the wave. While it may not be as wide, the wave's longer surface area rolls water through it and basically continues your body movement for you. In a way, the wave fin is much more forgiving when it comes to using your legs rather than your entire body to swim. The dol-fin has a nice kick to it, but to really get it up to speed you need to move your entire body and keep a tight, fast motion rather than a loose, flowy one. This of course, makes it rather tiring to swim in it correctly. It's great practice, though, and it really worked my abs more than my finis ever did. If you're a beginner when it comes to monofins the dol-fin may not be your best choice since I'd say it requires twice the effort to swim in and will probably have you running out of breath a lot faster than you would be in a wave or rapid.


    One thing I did like about the dol-fin was the stiffness of the blade. While the fluke DOES move a bit when you're kicking, it doesn't flow like the longer monofins tend to. I found this made maneuvering in it to be a little easier if you go about doing it correctly. Whereas the softer or more mobile blades of longer monofins tend to bend and curl around when you try to change direction and push you ways that you perhaps didn't want to go, the dol-fin's blade doesn't move at all, so changing direction rapidly is actually a bit easier. One thing that does make it a bit harder, though, is that if you don't plan your movements correctly, sometimes the monofin blade will simply cut through the water rather than push it and you won't go anywhere.
    (I'll make a swim video soon xD)


    Something interesting that I found out is that the dol-fin was a monofin that I actually found MAY be reversible depending on the size of your feet.
    As shown on the website and generally following common sense when it comes to monofins (I suppose), this is the way you're supposed to wear the dol-fin.
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin3.png
    HOWEVER, I found that when looking at the monofin from another angle, you can see there is a VERY steep angle to this monofin in the sense that it slopes DOWNWARD (when laying on stomach/normal swimming position). While a lot of monofins are this way and it's not too noticeable, the dol-fin's short and thick blade makes this slope VERY noticeable.
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin6.png
    Now, while this isn't a very major flaw, it is a bit strange to swim in if you don't alter your swimming style up a bit. Since the blade slops at such a downward angle, the monofin is essentially minimizing the power on kicks in the upward direction and highly emphasizing the power on downward kicks. If you try to swim while applying the same amount of force to the upward kicks as to the downward ones, you're going to tire yourself out pretty fast while only getting half the distance. I found swimming while wearing the monofin in the correct fashion was fine, just so long as you remembered to put more power into your downward kicks and relax when going up, then you could swim a lot easier.

    On the reverse size, and to my preference, I found you can get away with wearing the monofin upside down.
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin4.png
    I'm not sure if the dol-fin automatically comes with them, but mine brought a pair of neoprene socks. These help a lot when it comes to making the monofin fit snugly, but if you do happen to wear them upside down they become pretty essential. I was able to swim for a while WITHOUT the socks, however, the thicker surface of the "bottom" of the monofin doesn't support your arch nearly as well, so you have to consider that. The socks helped me out, but I also have pretty small feet so that may come into play at some point.
    http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l7..._/Monofin5.png
    Anyway, when worn upside down the monofin actually becomes a lot easier (in my opinion). The blade becomes level and lies in parallel to your body when your toes are pointed. Wearing the monofin upside down actually BALANCES your upward and downward kicks so that they provide the same amount of force. This means that you can get more power from keeping a continuous movement throughout your body that you just wouldn't be able to get with the monofin on correctly since half your power would be lost or underplayed in the upward motion.

    Anyway, just thought that was my opinion on the matter! I plan on making some comparison videos in the future so I can actually see if there is a difference in speed or not.

    So for my review, the dol-fin is certainly a great monofin! I really love the stiffness and weight of it, but it does take a bit more effort and skill to master. I wouldn't recommend it as a beginner monofin, but if you're looking to really add some power to your swim, this will work you out in all the right ways.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    Nice review, I've been swimming with this monofin for sometime now, and never been able to compare it to others as I don't have any. Funny thing is, that if you what you say is true, then I have been wearing my monofin upside down the whole time, lol. I always thought that the logo should be visible to the wearer so I placed that side up.

    I love how you can outswim with a few good kicks someone who is doing breastcrawl (sp?)
    Your imagination is your only limit

  3. #3
    Haha really? Then that's cool! Maybe it was designed so that you could wear it either way.
    All I know is that in the photos on the website it looks like you're supposed to wear it in the
    way that makes the monofin slope downward but then again the pictures aren't entirely clear
    so there could be some ambiguity.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    The girl laying on the deck shows that the flat side of the fin goes to the front, so that's how I made up that the marking is the topside of the fin. Maybe I will try it the other way around sometime
    Your imagination is your only limit

  5. #5
    Very nice review. I might end up getting one of these someday. They're just so... correct looking.
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  6. #6
    @ Azurin - Hmm I'm not sure!
    I just compared it to other monofins and the picture on the website showed the side with the feet pockets
    showing so I assumed that's how you wear it!
    Either way, doesn't really matter, however works for you is how you should wear it!
    I just found it interesting is all so I thought I would mention it incase people didn't catch it :')

    @ Lorelei - Yea it's really nice looking, just takes some getting used to~
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  7. #7
    Hello, I'm new here, and I am thinking of getting a Dol-fin Monofin because it is the shape I want for my tail.

    But I read it is rather hard to swim in? How long can you swim in it before you feel the need to have a break? The other monofins are too big in size, like they aren't really suited to create a whale tail type shape if you know what I mean?

    Amazing review though!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    I swam with mine for six hours in a pool, cause I didn't want to break the magic for a little girl who could barely swim. It is doable, but I took a long break afterwards
    Your imagination is your only limit

  9. #9
    Thanks for this review Kanti, and your comments Azurin Luna!

    I've gotten the Dol-Fin, but have only been able to try it a couple of times so far, but now I'll know better what to do.

    I do like the fact that it looks like a real pair of dolphin flukes.

    Do you think the Dol-Fin will be your main fin from now on?

  10. #10
    Thanks for the info Azurin Lunar! Would it be worth the $80 would you say? ^_^

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pod of Cali spottedcatfish's Avatar
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    I love the shape, and it actually looks more logical to wear it backwards. I think that's how it was supposed to be worn if it's easier to swim in that way. Have you tried it in open water (i.e. oceans or lake) conditions? How does it compare?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    I've swam with it in the ocean when I was on vacation in curaçao. It worked pretty well, but I have no idea how it will work in strong currents, they only had long waves there. I took it on a snorkel trip there while all the others had normal fins and I easily out swam them without much trouble.

    I defenately think it was worth my money
    Your imagination is your only limit

  13. #13
    Today after my swim (nearly 7-years from when I got it) the sides of the fin along the foot pockets have major cracking .

    I emailed the company to inquire purchasing a new one, hopefully I'll hear back soon. Im heartbroken
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    I got the exact same problem, the glue I tried didn't hold in the water, so I'm going to try a different glue. Mine is about the same age as yours.
    Your imagination is your only limit

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    Note on angle: Most people cannot point their toes very well. As a result, some monofin makers and producing angled monofins. A basic monofin has the blade parallel to the bottom, or sole of your foot. An angled monofin has the blade more closely aligned to the top of your foot. That way it does exactly what you describe in your review: Aligns well with your body when you coast underwater.
    Wear the Dol-fin that way.
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  16. #16
    An update:

    The email and phone number on dol-fin.net do not work. I was able to find a phone number on this site https://domainlistings.directory/dolphin-tails.html, which connected me directly to the owner.

    I should have a new fin on the way tomorrow!
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