Over the past decade, Churchill Swim Fins seemed to drop off the market due to the change in materials. But I honestly think they have nailed this new Churchill Pro Makapuu Model and here is why…
For years Churchill was the brand when it came to Swim Fins and more so in the bodyboarding world when it came to boogie fins. In the early 2010s the company got bought out, moved factories and decided to change the material. Churchill moved from a rubber being used by the Malaysian factory to a China factory using a different material. From there we all saw a decline in the once loved, iconic “yellow and blue Churchills”, to a fin that was breaking, soft and people turned them down… but that all seems to have changed.
The old materials where a Malaysian Rubber that was stiff and rigid but the pocket, a soft and comfortable 100% floating gum rubber. (See the full history). Fast forward to the change in material and onto their first Chinese rubber and that’s when it all fell apart. Fins were too soft and very different, with many people absolutely hating this new rubber. As there was a major change in the sale of the company, to Wham-O taking over ownership at the same time as the rubber change, the product dropped down into a state of despair and nobody trusted these new fins!
Looking at the past few years and we have a seemingly new product on the market. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t the same material but it is damn near close to before. Churchill sourced the new gum rubber from a factory in China and ran with it. This has seen the company regain the trust of some customers and bodyboarders especially. The once hurt Churchill brand seems to be recuperating a hold on the market. Not just with the iconic yellow and blue Makapuu model but also with the 2 Pro Model fins (All Black and Orange and black).
Recently I went off the yellow and blue Makapuu fins to try out the pro models. I was blown away. The fin itself is made from two different density materials formed into a comfortable pocket and stiff blade fin. The material allow for a soft inner pocket which cushions the foot and a stiff blade that helps to propel you through the water. This comes with a padded inner neoprene fin lining which is soft and stops any rubbing inside the foot pocket to the top of the foot. In the box you will be stoked to see a mesh bag for carrying the fins as well as two foot straps with strings for ankle ties already on the fins themselves.
When I took them into the water they felt great. The power that you get when kicking into waves feels commanding and controlled. It is exactly what I need to get into and out of the toughest places. I tried them while riding dropknee, and again, no complaints there. The fins just seem to work. No matter how hard you are being on them or what you try to do.
For me I am wearing a medium fin and really like the tight fit it has around my foot. This fit is seemingly tighter due to the neoprene insert within. In saying this I also appreciate little to no chafing around my ankles or on the tops of my feet. The rubber inner linings keep the fins from shifting around too much when kicking onto waves. This allows for a tighter and more comfortable space around the foot.
The conclusion for the fins is that Churchill Swim Fins are back, and in a big way. The materials are not what they used to but they are very close. The feeling of being propelled through the water is somewhat similar to the old fins. And the comfort, well I’ll let you decide that for yourself. But in my opinion, the best on the market. My advice to you would be simple, try them out and see if you draw the same conclusion. But trust me when I say, “You won’t be disappointed!”
Buy these fins online: https://churchillswimfins.com/shop/