What type of fins should you choose? And in particular, which fins are most suitable for your activity?
This article was originally published here.
The choice of your diving fins is primarily based upon your activity: Snorkeling, Scuba diving, Underwater hunting or Freediving.
EACH UNDERWATER ACTIVITY HAS ITS OWN TYPE OF FINS
There are different types of diving fins, and for optimal usage, they must be suitable for your activity. You must, therefore, choose between:
- Snorkeling Fins (photo 1): these fins are flexible and light. Ideal for beginners, they’ll provide you with enough power so that you can get around easily in the water, without too much muscular effort required from your legs
- Scuba Diving Fins (photo 2): given the fairly heavy equipment needed for scuba diving, your fins must provide you with enough power to get around in the water. Fins of this type, therefore, have a wider blade. As such, you’ll be able to choose between full-foot fins or adjustable fins.
- Fins for Freediving (photo 3): these fins are generally versatile thanks to their interchangeable blades. Fins for underwater hunting and freediving are longer and of medium to high rigidity in order to make your dive easier and to provide you with the power needed to get back to the surface.
2. TECHNICAL CRITERIA FOR CORRECTLY CHOOSING YOUR DIVING FINS
Two types of fins are available: full-foot fins or adjustable fins. If using fins with an adjustable strap, you’ll have to use diving booties, which is not the case with full-foot fins. A full-foot fin, for its part, is entirely closed.
EASE OF USE
Depending on the fin’s blade, it will cut through the water more or less easily.
The fin’s power comes from its blade. The longer and/or harder it is, the more the fin will be powerful. Inversely, if the fin is short and flexible, you’ll end up with less power.
3. FULL-FOOT OR ADJUSTABLE FINS FOR SCUBA DIVING?
Diving fins of this type are perfect for warm water dives, or for use with thin socks. They’re generally more flexible and comfortable than adjustable fins. Thanks to the socks, they also stay on your feet better. On the other hand, they’re harder to put on and often more fragile.
Unlike full-foot fins, adjustable fins are much more rigid, not as comfortable, but nevertheless very easy to put on! With fins of this type, you’re necessarily going to have to wear suitable booties.
4. CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR DIVING FINS
Here’s a little hint for checking that the fins are the right size for you. Once you’ve selected the model, put on the fins and stand up. Now stand on your toes. At this point, the fin should stay with your heel as you lift your foot from the floor. If not, and your heel comes up by itself, your fin is too big. If you feel any discomfort or if the fins are too tight, don’t hesitate to move up to the next size. You can always wear fairly thin socks in order to adjust how your foot fits in the fin, if necessary. If you’re diving in cold water with full-foot fins or adjustable fins, you going to need neoprene socks or booties, so take this into consideration when choosing the size of your fins, and remember to select at least one size bigger than what you would normally wear!