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One of the best things about freediving is how easy it is to do with minimal equipment. With one breath, you can explore depths never imagined. A mask, snorkel, and fins are all you need to truly get started.
Freediving fins differ from scuba and snorkeling fins. Freediving fins tend to be about a meter long and are meant to propel the diver in a straight line in the most efficient way. In this guide, we’ll swim you through the different types of freediving fins, reveal what to look for, and show you the best freediving fin options on the market.
Table of Contents
Types of Freediving Fins
Freediving fins have two main components, the foot pocket and the blade. The foot pocket tends to be made of silicone while the blade can be made from other materials like plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
At first glance, freediving fins might all look the same. However, the blades freediving fins vary in material and each material used has its own characteristics. Some manufacturers also produce freediving fins in varying stiffness levels. Beginner freedivers or those with less leg power might want a softer fin, while experienced freedivers might opt for a stiffer blade.
Plastic freediving fins tend to be durable and affordable, a great option for travelers and freedivers who are focused on more recreational freediving and reef exploration. The downside of plastic freediving fins is that it doesn’t tend to be as efficient or responsive as carbon fiber or fiberglass fins. Plastic freediving fins are also a bit heavier than other types of fins, requiring a bit more leg power to propel.
In terms of flexibility, responsiveness, motion efficiency, material quality, weight and price, fiberglass freediving fins fall in between the plastic and carbon fins when it comes to value for money. When compared to carbon fins, fiberglass fins are less expensive, but more durable. On the other hand, when compared to the plastic type, fiberglass fins are more responsive, more flexible and tend to be lighter.
Carbon fiber freediving fins are often more high performance than their plastic and fiberglass counterparts–and this is reflected in the price. Carbon fiber fins tend to require minimal leg power and every kick is converted to maximum underwater motion. As a downside, carbon fiber freediving fins can be quite fragile and costly to replace.
Here’s a table comparison on the different materials used in freediving fins:
A popular pick for freediving schools and new freedivers, XS Hypos freediving fins are great for those perfecting their kick.
The freediving fin is made from two kinds of materials: a comfortable thermoplastic rubber foot pocket and a flexible polymer blade. The blades have a fishtail edge and central channels that run the entire blade length. This helps with water traction and significantly reduces lateral movement. Overall, this is an efficient, stable and lightweight fin ideal for beginners and casual freedivers.
Aside from being great value for money, one of the features that makes the Onyx freediving fins popular with freedivers is its snapping capabilities. Every time you kick, the fin bends to create forward thrust. The blade is made from non-vented composite polypropylene. While the blades are flexible, the foot pocket of this fin is stiff and is designed for maximum leg energy transfer. Con: The Onyx is a bit heavier than many other fins on the market.
Material: Plastic Length: blade only – 55cm (22 inches)
The Seac Sub Motus freediving fins are one of the more high-performance plastic freediving fins on the market. The blades are interchangeable, allowing you to upgrade or swap blades as needed. For maximum leg power conversion, the foot pocket is made from 2 different materials: a hard thermoplastic in the outer sole and a soft rubber in the inner sole. Regardless of which color and design you choose, the techno-polymer blades are highly flexible and responsive with an edge rail that directs water towards the tip, converting every kick into maximum motion.
The Cressi Gara 3000 LD is one of the most popular freediving fin models around the world. Durable, affordable, and high-performance, these fins are a great ‘one size fits all’ option for regular freedivers. The blades are made from a soft plastic elastomer that only requires less muscle effort. This blade feature allows you to use the fin for an extended period without suffering from leg cramps or fatigue. Overall, this fin is made from a sturdy construction that is designed for frequent and extended use, even in cold water conditions.
Often used by professional freedivers and freediving instructors, the Mako Pro Fiberglass is a lightweight, durable and powerful fin. It has advanced construction like hydrodynamic stability rails that allows water channeling and flexible blades that can bend up to 20 degrees.
The blades of this fin come in multiple stiffness levels. For an effortless kick, the soft blades are solid choice. If you have a strong leg power, consider the medium stiffness where you can really feel the forward motion in every kick. The blades also come in multiple color options like black, blue camo and reef camo. Take extra care as the fin blades can easily be scratched. There is a female-specific version of this fin, available with smaller foot pockets.
Made from a collaborative effort between Dive, a leading fin blade manufacturer, the Riffe Composite Fiberglass Fins is one of the high end products in the industry. It uses a custom epoxy resin and an aerospace-grade fabric that helps a freediver progressively convert leg power to underwater motion.
While it comes with its own Veloc foot pocket, the medium-stiff fiberglass blades can be used with other foot pockets from other brands like Mares, Beuchat and especially the Omer Stingray foot pocket.
The Molchanovs Competition Bifins 2 is a high performance freediving fin that uses 100% UHC fiberglass pressed 50 times greater than other fiberglass fins. This fin is an upgraded version of its old predecessor where its new design includes a bottleneck shape which creates an efficient transition from leg power to forward water thrust. The fiberglass construction is also upgraded where it now has “waves” which is a layering structure that allows even stiffness all across the blade length. The foot pockets are also upgraded with the inclusion of a comfort lining and an increased space for toes.
Made from 100% carbon fiber, the Omer Stingray is a hot item for professional freedivers. Using infusion technology, the carbon fiber in the blade underwent a double vacuum process and has been reinforced at stress points. During manufacturing, the resin is significantly reduced which lessens the risk of forming micro bubbles which is foreseen to greatly affect the performance of the blades.
While its foot pocket still has a thermo rubber material, the carbon blades can be interchanged where you can change according to stiffness, as follows: carbon 20 is soft, carbon 25 is medium, and carbon 30 is hard.
The Red Fox is one the bestselling C4 carbon fins coming from the 300 line series which is a range of hydrodynamic fins that significantly reduces leg fatigue. The highlight of the Red Fox is their blade that is made from T700 high tensil carbon fiber which has a resistance rating 40% higher than other brands. This means that this fin is stronger to other fins when it comes to blade breakage, the usual problem with most carbon fins.
Instead of using fiber cloth as what most carbon fiber fins are using, the Red Fox uses large square fabrics which reduces friction as caused by fabric weaves. In general, this fin is lightweight and highly efficient where you can really feel the push in every kick you make.
Leaderfins offers a composite mix of epoxy resin, fiberglass and carbon fiber, offering a great middle-ground for those who want the durability of fiberglass with the flexibility of carbon fiber. Aside from being highly flexible, the efficiency of this fin is complimented by its side rails that concentrates the flow of water thereby maximizing thrust in every kick.
There are various blade stiffness levels and they are recommended for the freediver’s body weight variation. For freedivers weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds), we recommend the soft blades, while medium blades are for 90 kilograms (198 pounds) and hard blades for 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Blades are interchangeable.
Freediving fins allow the freediver to move in one direction efficiently. A long blade converts the energy of the kick through to the tip of the blade, propelling the freediver forward. Freediving fins tend to be less agile compared to scuba or snorkeling fins, as freedivers don’t tend to turn as much.
Can you use scuba diving fins for freediving?
Yes, freedivers can use any type of fin to freedive. Some freedivers use snorkeling fins, scuba diving fins, or even no fins! However, scuba diving fins are sturdy, heavy and these characteristics will hinder you to convert leg power into maximum underwater motion. Freediving fins are classified as long fins with an average length of 1 meter. They are lightweight and highly flexible wherein these features will aid you in a smooth and comfortable kick.
What is the difference betwen a monofin and bi fin freediving fins?
A monofin is a single fin where both feet are connected into one fin, almost like a mermaid tail. When each leg has its own fin, those are bi fins.
Want more information on the best freediving gear? We can help you choose the best masks, computers, and more.
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