The minute you decide you want to try some water sports, you also need to ask yourself what you are planning to do exactly. Even though diving gear might seem all the same to the unexperienced diver, you get to learn that specific sports require a certain type of fins. And that’s not the only thing that counts when choosing your diving fins. You need to know the temperatures of the water or how much propulsion you want when diving.
Don’t fall into the trap that bigger is better. Fins are sport-specific gear and they have a major say on your performance underwater.
The main differences
Get a better idea of what you really need for your scuba diving, by knowing a bit about the main types of diving fins. This helps you understand why you need a certain type of diving fins and how to get the best of them.
If you only go swimming or snorkeling, your diving fins don’t need to be sophisticated. They are typically basic models and most of them are shorter than the fins used by the scuba divers. The minute you feel like fighting your fins, it means you already got yourself too meatier fins. The final line is, that you are planning to swim or snorkel, a simple model of diving fins is the best option.
The longest diving fins are those designed for the free diving. A person submerges to big depths without any air supply and needs to get to the surface. They need to get the best out of each kick and this is why the free diving fins are the longest. They are more durable than all other types of fins.
The scuba diving fins sit in the middle as they come with more features, but they are not as long as the free diving fins. Scuba diving fins are meant to give great propulsion power and may be the same or a bit longer than the swimming/snorkeling fins.
What’s also important
Any diver knows by now that water may have a big word on the performance of your diving gear. For instance, when you dive in cold water, you wear boots and you need fins with open-foot design. The open-foot pocket is comfortable when wearing boots as the heel strap wasps around the back of your boot and is also adjustable for the perfect fit.
Rigid boot soles and heels are a good option as they keep the fin strap tight and don’t let it slide off of your heel.
When you go diving in warm waters, it’s most likely you won’t be wearing any gear to protect you from the elements. So, you’re not going to be wearing boots either. So you can get yourself closed-foot fins. You know you got a too big model or the wrong design for your foot if the fin rubs against your ankle bone. And, if your feet start to tingle, you definitely got diving fins that are too small for you.
Propulsion is very important for any scuba diving fins. You can find nowadays diver fins with special features like channels and split designs, that have a big say on the propulsion.
Channels make the water move across or through the fin and so the diver moves through the water pretty fast. The channels give in fact less surface area resistance in the water, thus increasing the speed of divers. Even more, channels give fins more flexibility so they bent and move more water with each kick cycle.
The split fin design is efficient as the water channels through the split and creates a spring-like action that is more powerful and more efficient, minimizing effort just as well. This design is a relief for the divers with knee pain as the design lowers the amount of resistance felt by the diver joints.
The rings and bells
There are many accessories that count when we talk about the efficiency of the scuba diving fins.
For instance, the spring straps are efficient when it comes to reinforcing the rubber fin straps, whereas the utility straps keep the fins connected to your BCD.
A waterproof permanent marker is the tool to use to write down all your info on your scuba gear and a fin bag is useful for organizing your scuba gear, protecting it at the same time.
Sometimes the fin straps break or wear out, so you need replacement straps to avoid this.
And, if this isn’t enough, don’t forget about the save-a-dive kit. Carrying one means you can enjoy your scuba dive at all time, no matter the problem that might appear!