Playing basketball? You need some sneakers. Going hiking? You’ll need some boots. Going diving? You will definitely need some fins. Just like any pair of shoes assisting in the activity you’re doing, fins are a key necessity. When selecting the right pair for you, there are a few factors to consider.
Every diver can probably give you a story about how their fins have “rubbed them the wrong way” both symbolically and literally. Blisters can ruin any experience so finding fins that fit properly and comfortably is important. One method to resolve this issue is dive boots or dive socks. Sliding these on before fitting into your fins can make the world of a difference, leaving you blister free and protected from other various potentially dangerous aspects of the deep blue sea.
Top brands for dive boots or socks that we recommend include Aqualung, Tilos or Mares.
Open heel or closed heel
If you decide that dive boots are the best option for you, I highly suggest purchasing a pair of open heel fins along with them. With the adjustable backs, sliding on your fins over the boots makes your dive much easier and more time efficient. Open heel fins are designed to be wider and larger in the foot pockets, allowing more space for your booties. On the other hand, many divers are loyal to the close heel fins due to their simplicity and lack of need for boots. If you are planning for a quick, tropical water dive, closed heel might be the choice for you.
Blades or split fins?
Split fins are a relatively new invention in the scuba world as blade fins have been around since the get go. I like to think of fins as the engine on a boat. There are different boat engines but the end goal is always to get to a certain place. Blade fins provide a very powerful thrust which in turn is valuable when taking part in more technical dives that involve current. Split fins provide a diver with the right amount of force and energy needed for an easy, oxygen conservative, casual dive. Both have equal advantages but it is up to you to decide what specifically works four you.
How much to spend?
The term applies when they say “you get what you pay for”. Quality comes with a price when you’re talking about fins. If you’re a beginner diver looking for the good ole basic starter fins, plastic scuba fins will do the job. Advancing in the scuba world and picking up more advanced fins will usually steer you into the direction of rubber fins. You don’t need to sell your car for a pair of fins that will serve you right but it is always a good idea to invest in what you will be using for all of your upcoming underwater adventures.
The holy trinity (mask, snorkel, and fins) are the essentials for any beginner diver. Unlike any local shoe store, you can’t just try on fins and give them a test run in the store. Make sure to read the reviews, ask for recommendations, and invest some time in deciding what will be best for you as a diver and the specific kind of diving you are wanting to giant stride into (or backwards roll). Owning your own fins, like any other diving gear, will become personal to you and allow you to feel more comfortable and confident on your dives. Make sure your personal gear is what’s comforting and appealing to you. You’ll be a pro in no time!