Choosing the right fins

Jan 11, 2021 | 0 comments

One of the first things a diver needs to master when starting out is right buoyancy and minimum air consumption. These skills come with time and the right fins play an important role.

 

A basic condition for low air consumption is spending as little energy as possible. An experienced diver only needs to give a small push using his fins to move forward. The right fins will definitely help you; however there are no right and wrong choices, just different types to suit different people or different types of dives.

 

CLOSED HEEL OR OPEN HEEL

Although there are closed heel fins that give enough propulsion, we would suggest avoiding this category, since open heel fins designed to be worn with boots, give greater flexibility and safety. Boots are necessary when walking on a rocky beach, as well as when entering the sea, in order to avoid injuries from sea urchins or sharp stones.

 

STIFFNESS

We can classify fins into 3 categories depending on stiffness: soft, medium and hard. As a general rule stiffness is determined by the weight of the diver, the heavier the diver the stiffer the fins. A woman of normal weight can wear soft fins, while a man usually needs medium or hard.

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Single blade (Paddle fins)

The most common model on the market has a single blade and satisfactory propulsion proportional to the force exerted by the diver.

 

Split Fin

This category was created in the late 90’s and mimics the tail of a fish. The fins have a split in the middle that creates a small vortex with each stroke and this way the diver gets optimal propulsion. These particular fins have their supporters and according to their “fans” they also help a lot in any delicate maneuvers that one may need to do. On the downside these fins do not respond proportionally to the push you give, as from one point onwards you do not gain any speed regardless of your effort.

 

Force Fins

This is another category of fins that mimics the fish tail and specifically tuna’s, known for the tremendous speed it develops. These fins promise to give you a quick boost and although it is relatively small and different, it is definitely effective.

 

BUOYANCY

Most fins are made with positive buoyancy to be light in the water and help you avoid unnecessary kicks at the bottom, while some stiff fins have negative buoyancy. These fins are usually used with drysuits to help the foot stay low and no air to be trapped in the drysuit.

 

BUCKLES OR SPRING STRAPS

Finally, the open heel fins secure the boot either with a plastic buckle that allows you to adjust the strap to the desired length, or with a stainless steel spring strap that has the necessary elasticity to secure your foot. The second option is usually preferable, as it has less wear and easier application, but is more expensive.

The most popular fins on the market are the medium single blade fins. These are the fins most beginners buy and use for many dives until their needs change.

 

See our detailed guide regarding each piece of equipment!

 

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