There is no denying that having a good pair of scuba fins make diving a lot easier. When you are in the water, they increase the efficiency of your kicks so that you don’t have to work as hard.
This is why you need to be so careful when choosing a pair – you need the best scuba fins to ensure the greatest productivity.
We have decided to outline all the elements you need to know about when it comes to choosing this piece of gear.
We also offered our own recommendations for fins that we believe will work well for you.
- Our Best Scuba Fins
- The Best Scuba Fins
- Best Scuba Fins – Wrapping It Up
Our Best Scuba Fins
Which Type of Scuba Fins Are Right for You?
Before going any further, I want to talk about the various types and styles of fins so that you can decide which option is right for you:
Open Heel or Full-Foot Fins
The first thing you will need to determine is whether you want an open-heel styled fin or a full-foot fin. Now, in most instances, an open-heel fin is used for cooler waters. This is because it lets you wear insulated booties under them, offering more protection from the cold. The other benefit is that they are easily adjustable, making it easy to find a pair that fit you.
If you are diving in tropical waters and want to keep things as light as possible, the full-foot fins are your best option. This is because they are lighter than the open heel style. Also, since there are no dangling straps or similar features, these fins create less drag as well. Of course, you should keep in mind that fit is of the utmost importance with this kind of fin. As there are no adjustable elements, you will need the right fit to ensure that the fins can be comfortably worn.
Paddle Fins or Split Fins
You will next need to decide whether you want paddle fins or split fins. Paddle fins are a more traditional option, used to propel divers forward at a faster velocity. They are also great for when you want to dive into a current as these fins will help you swim against it. However, they aren’t suitable for all divers. Since they are made from stiffer rubber, they actually require a great deal more kicking power. So, if you aren’t a very strong swimmer, these fins may prove to be a hindrance.
Split fins are a newer design that rely on a different mechanism compared to paddle fins. While paddle fins require you to generate a certain amount of force, split fins work with the speed of your kicks. Thus, the faster you kick, the more you are able to swim forward. These fins are typically used for longer dives as you don’t need to use as much power and can conserve your energy. The disadvantage with these fins though is that they don’t work well for tech divers. This is because it is very difficult to maneuver with them.
To understand a little bit more about how the different styles of scuba fins function, check out this video:
All About the Fit
In addition to the type and style of the scuba fin, you also need to pay attention to the size of your fins. For instance, if the fins are too small, you could end up with blisters and bruises at the end of your dive. On the other hand, if the fins are too large, they will keep slipping and perhaps, even fall off.
If you are getting open heel fins, always wear dive boots before trying them on. Once the fins are on, you should be able to see at least a few inches of the back of the boot extending out of the fin. With a full-foot fin, there should be a snug fit all around.
You will need to test the fit of the fins by raising your leg up and moving it around. You should also try flexing the fin as you would underwater. If the fins don’t fall off despite all this movement, then it’s a good fit.
Strap and Buckle Features
If you decide to go with open heel fins, you need to think about the adjustment features. The two most common options are straps and buckles, but there are various other designs as well.
For instance, buckles make it easy for you to adjust the fit of your fin. It is simply a matter of unlocking the strap and tightening it by tugging on the strap.
With the quick release buckle, you get the advantage of the quick adjust feature and are able to slip the fin off by disengaging the strap on one side.
Last but not least, there is the spring strap. Here, it is a matter of slipping the fins on and ensuring that the spring strap will keep the fin in place while you are diving.
The Best Scuba Fins
Here are the scuba fins We found to be the most useful when diving:
IST Deep Sea Scuba Diving Military Fins
As the name suggests, these fins are actually used by numerous military and law enforcement agencies, with good reason.
For one thing, they work incredibly well in rugged environments and so if you are swimming in caves or other enclosed areas, these fins will do a great job.
Of course, this does come with a disadvantage as it also makes the fins quite heavy.
The other feature that stands out is their design – the curved blade increases the power of your kicks. To add to this, the hydrodynamic ribs channel the water effectively so that you get to experience a spring-like energy return.
The other feature of note on these fins is the deep vents. These vents force the water backward, causing an accelerating force that propels you forward even faster.
The length of the fins also contributes to its overall efficiency. It is just long enough to reduce fatigue, especially when you are headed out on longer dives. At the same, it is short enough so that you are still able to maneuver yourself, especially when you don’t have a lot of room to move about.
Finally, the fins are compatible both with traditional straps and spring straps. So, you can make your choice depending on which option is best for you.
Cressi Pro Light Scuba Fins
One of the first things that you will notice about these fins is that they have a dual-material blade. They contain a soft rubber center panel that is bordered by thermoplastic stiffeners.
This combination is so useful is because it provides you with great blade flex. So, regardless of your preferred kicking style – scissor, frog-style, or flutter – you can maintain your stability throughout.
The full-length side rails are useful when using a scissor kick as they let you track through the water easily.
Yet another great thing about this dual-material blade is that while you are afforded stiffness and durability, the fins are also rather lightweight.
These fins have also been designed to improve thrust. For example, you will see that the blade extends from the top of the fin. This increases the surface area of the fin, directing water flow more efficiently and increasing the thrust of your kicks. This thrust is also maintained all the way through every kick so that you reduce the amount of energy you have to expend while diving.
While the performance of these fins is top-notch, my main point of contention is the fit. As a whole, the fins tend towards larger sizes. Even those labeled as smaller are a bit bigger than usual. This can make it difficult to find the right fit the first time.
Atomic Full Foot Split Fins
These are definitely some of the lighter fins you will come across, and this is largely thanks to the fact that they are composed of composite plastic polymer materials.
So, if you want to head out on a longer dive and avoid getting tired too soon, these are the fins you need.
Now, these aren’t the only benefits offered. One of the more important features of these fins are the power rails. What they do is store energy and then release it every time you kick. This way, there is more power being released and your thrust increases without much of an effort on your end.
The other feature to consider is the elastomeric blade and the semi-ridged flex battens embedded in it. Not only do these increase the thrust of your kicks, they also work to reduce the drag.
So, once again, you don’t have to put in as much energy when you have these fins on.
The only issue I found with these fins is that they aren’t very versatile. Now, if you tend to utilize only butterfly or scissor kicks, these fins will work well.
However, they aren’t as forgiving with other kick styles. So, they may not be suitable for all divers.
Mares Avanti Superchannel Full Foot Scuba Fins
As you can tell from the name, the design of these fins is largely focused on improving the channel trust.
There is a large, flexible central channel on the blade. As a result, the channeling of the water is greatly improved. So, you get to experience a lot more movement of the water, particularly when compared to other fins of a similar size. This is because the blade has been built to ensure that the water moves down the fin blade and doesn’t go over the sides. So, when you are diving, you get more thrust but don’t actually have to make too much of an effort.
These fins are also good at stabilizing your kicks. So, you don’t have to deal with that side-to-side wobbling effect you sometimes encounter.
What’s more, this feature also cuts down on the level of power loss incurred.
There is no denying that these scuba fins are incredibly comfortable. The thermoplastic rubber ensures that the pocket is very soft, so you don’t have to worry about blisters even after wearing these fins for a long time.
Now, speaking of softness, you will find that the blade is quite soft too. So, while it works quite well in some conditions, it might be a little too malleable when dealing with currents.
Jet Fins have been around for a while and even after so long, they are known for durability.
The rubber construction ensures that they work well in all kinds of environments and even improves the longevity of the fins.
So, if you are planning on doing any cave diving, you will find that these fins are quite useful. Of course, you should keep in mind that all this toughness does come with a downside – weight.
These are rather heavy fins and you do need some serious ankle strength to be able to swim with them for extended periods of time.
The weight of the fin is offset by its design – the vented feature.
What this does is ensure that your kick is being optimized, regardless of the phase. During the upwards stroke, this design helps to cut down the drag that you typically experience and during the downward stroke, the thrust increases.
So, all in all, you get to experience increased efficiency with every kick. To add to all of this, there is a spring strap included. This makes it a lot easier to ensure a snug and proper fit.
Oceanic Vortex V-6 Full Scuba Diving Fins
These are a great pair of fins to take with you if you are planning to go on a longer dive. They also work well for people who either don’t have a lot of power in their legs or tire out easily.
The fins are incredibly lightweight as they are made from an evaprene composite material. This means that you can wear them for longer without experiencing any tiredness. While this material is rather light, it is still incredibly durable and you don’t have to worry about these fins giving out.
The other feature that sets these fins apart is the design. They have been built to boost power, acceleration, and efficiency. As a result, you will experience an improved transfer of energy to the fins, ensuring that you don’t have to work as hard. Despite this, you will still be propelled forward further and faster, ensuring that you make the most out of any dive.
The only real downside with these diving fins is their size. They tend to be a bit bigger than usual so it can be tricky to figure out what size will actually fit you.
Best Scuba Fins – Wrapping It Up
If I had to recommend just one of these fins, I would have to say that the Cressi Pro Light Scuba Fins are the winner.
- Cressi is a REAL diving, snorkeling and swimming Italian brand, since 1946.
- Fins made in Italy are perfect both for beginners and for professionals and are very common amongst...
- Foot pocket placed beneath the blade for increased power and efficiency.
- Polypropylene blade provides a variable flex.
- Fin design adjusts during the kicking cycle.
These fins have been designed incredibly well, and they allow you to swim more efficiently and faster without having to expend as much energy.
Not to mention, they also help to stabilize your body, making it easier to get to your underwater destination.
However, what I like most about them is that they are suitable for a variety of divers.
While it can be a bit of a struggle to find a good fit, it is well worth the effort.
This concludes the guide on the search for the best scuba fins. If you pay attention to the tips We have mentioned here and focus on the recommendations, you should have no trouble finding a design that suits you the best.