Viper fins have been around forever. They have a long history with bodyboarding and a longer history with bodysurfing. They were iconic for bodysurfers at The Wedge in Newport, California decades ago.
**Update: to see the new Viper Vectors (current line of Vipers) view this page.
Nowadays, they are a common surf fin for bodyboarders and bodysurfers. Mike Stewart endorses and stands behind these fins, as well as many other top bodyboards. Jeff Hubbard wore them for many years until switching fins with his signature Hubb fins.
Viper’s are one of the most powerful and toughest fins. Consequently, they are tough on many surfers feet and many opt for a more comfortable fin. The rubber heel strap and foot pocket can rub on your foot and give you cuts. Also, because they are very powerful they can strain feet and tendons between your shin and top of foot. All Vipers now come with a foot pad on the roof of the fin pocket to help cushion and comfort your feet better. Many wear fin socks for additional comfort with this fin. They are too rough for my feet but ultimately it comes down to personal preference so they could work great for you.
“We believe Vipers to be the strongest, most durable and best performing surfing fins available.” -Mike Stewart and Fred Simpson
Over the years they have developed several different types of fins. Here is their complete line:
Viper V5 Fins
Viper V5 is the most common and iconic of the product line. The fin blade is 5 inches long and they are a powerful, durable fin.
Some swear by this fin while others switch to other fins because they are too rough on their feet. I have found this fin to be a strong stylish yet a bit clunky while maneuvering.
Viper V5 Flex Fins
The V5 FLEX is the softer version of the V5 with its same 5 inch fin blade. The orange symbolizes a softer blade which has less power but is more comfortable. This was in response to a good amount of riders that liked Vipers but needed a fin that would be less rough and nicer to their feet.
Viper V7 Fins
The V7 model has the same design as the V5 except it has a longer 7 inch fin blade. This produces more power with each thrust but a slower acceleration from a dead stop.
If you are bodyboarding I would not get this fin. It is too big of a fin to bodyboard with. You need a smaller more maneuverable one.
This works great if you are just swimming around out in the water like, for example, bodysurfing, snorkeling, or shooting video/picture in the surf. Its strong 7 inch fin blades come in handy when you are swimming long distances in a consistant motion or treading water.
Mike Stewart MS Viper Fins
The newest addition is the Mike Stewart line dubbed MS Viper Fins. He’s been wearing Vipers for a long time and is considered to be the king of bodyboarding.
There are three changes I consider to be an improvement. First are the V-shaped heels, they naturally fit your heel better. Second, the drain for water and sand and rocks has been moved to the toe section of the foot pocket. Everything can be drained out much better this way. Lastly, the fin shape comes down to a wider base with a ridge for strength on each side. This and the heels make it very similar to Churchill’s.
The studs on the bottom of the foot pocket and W-shaped fin arc and two additional changes.
Mike Stewart MS Flex Viper Fins
This MS version is just like the yellows with a softer fin blade. They use a more flexible material which results in more comfort and less power. If you are interested in getting a pair of Viper Fins my recommendation would be to get the regular MS fins (yellow dot) because they have the shape and features of a more optimal fin (more similar to Churchill fins than the original Vipers) and if they are too rough on your feet then get the MS Flex.
If you are interested in purchasing these fins, you can buy them here.