One of the most important pieces of your scuba equipment is your fins. All fins are not the same. If you want fins that will work well and last a long time there are certain things you should look for. Good dive fins should allow you to navigate well and be easy to use and control in the water. They should fit properly and feel comfortable. The fins should also have the features you need and be the appropriate size.
Fins are made of a shoe and a blade. Some blades have vents and ridges to improve performance. Some shoes cover the entire foot while others leave the heel exposed and are held in place with a strap. Neoprene boots are generally worn with fins held in place by straps. Be sure to take your boots with you if buying this type of fin. The thickness of the boot affects the size fin you will need. If you are a beginner, ask the staff at the dive shop for assistance. They can help you choose fins that fit you size, weight, and types of diving you will be doing.
Size and used materials
If your fins do not fit right or are too loose, they can make your ankles hurt and cause blisters and chaffing. They can also come off while you’re diving. Extra-long fins can make your leg muscles tired and cause cramps. You should also make sure the rubber out of which they are made is not too stiff. Contrary to popular opinion stiff rubber won’t make you go faster. Flexible fins enable you to do less work to get propulsion. This efficiency helps you save energy and allows you to stay under longer and giving you more time to enjoy your dive.
The blade or the fin is also very important. They can affect agility and thrust when you are under the water. Conventional fins have a single blade that’s fairly rigid and are good for beginners. Force fins are designed to minimize the amount of water turbulence you create and requires less effort when kicking. Pivoting fins have a flex point and softer plastic area shaped in a V. This provides more speed and traction. Split fins provide better flexibility. The type fin you choose should be dictated by your comfort, control, experience, and where you plan to dive.
- Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins
These fins are the best when it comes to all-around performance. They combine classic fin technology with the latest hydrodynamic design. This brand has won many awards for its ability to provide the power, acceleration, and maneuverability usually found in blade fins and the effortlessness and comfort of split fins. The Seawing Nova has an articulated joint enabling the blade to pivot and uses the entire blade to generate thrust. Made with premium elastomer and thermo plastic vulcanizate, this durable fin features a re-engineered heel and mid-sole pad and a rough surface which provides better traction on slippery surfaces.
- Mares Wave Fins
Mares Wave Fins deliver top-tier performance. The center of the blade has a big, soft rubberized insert. This improves speed. The foot pocket is molded from soft rubber for maximum comfort. The rest of the fin is rigid and strong and designed for superior propulsion. It uses tri-material (Thermoplastic Rubber/ Techno-Polymers) construction to meet the needs of different areas of the fin. The large superchannel offers unparalleled thrust. The fin is available in open heel or full foot, weighs less than 3 pounds, and comes in a range of colors.
- OMS Slipstream
These fins are made from durable, lightweight, monoprene and weigh 2 pounds, 6 ounces. The new material used in their construction makes Slipstreams neutrally buoyant. They’re very maneuverable and are great for cruising mode. Divers have the option to choose standard buckles or stainless steel spring straps. It has a roomy foot pocket and is very stiff. The fins are only available in black.
- Churchill Fins
Churchill Fins provide an excellent product at an affordable price. The fins are great in all the crucial areas (You can find a comparison between their most popular models over here). They have just the right balance of comfort and power. They offer good acceleration, an extremely comfortable, well-shaped, foot pocket, and a blade that offers good thrust without putting a lot of strain on your feet. Simply put, they work well. Plus they are both functional and stylish. Made from 100% natural gum rubber, the best material for swim fins, they offer a firm yet gentle fit.
Maintenance and Storage
Once you have purchased your fins, it’s important to store them properly. Dry them thoroughly, use plastic inserts or old socks to help foot pockets keep their shape. Be sure to store fins flat. Do these things and your fins will last a good, long time.