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Are your feet size 12 and webbed like a frogs? If not, you’ll probably need a pair of fins when you go scuba diving. In this guide, we’ll show you the best scuba diving fins on the market and point out some things to consider when purchasing a pair of diving fins.
Scuba diving fins are the main proponent of underwater motion. Sure, on land, they’re a bit funky to walk around with. Underwater, they’ll help you carry yourself and all of your gear effortlessly. With the availability of new materials and innovative designs, scuba diving fins have generally evolved from bulky and heavy to lightweight and efficient. This means that every kick is converted to the greatest distance possible. Having a solid pair of scuba diving fins will not just maximize your distance travelled underwater, but will also conserve air in general.
If you are looking for power, maneuverability, and underwater acceleration, the the Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins are a top pick. This hybrid fin combines classic fin technology with the latest in hydrodynamic innovation.
With balanced hardness and flexibility, the fin blades have variable geometrical wings that arc upward. This innovative fin arch supplements every kick with more power and stability. The foot pocket is oversized, allowing easy donning and doffing–even if you are using large or thick-soled booties. The straps are made from a highly elastic, self-adjusting marine-grade bungee which has a soft heel pad at the center and an large finger loop. What’s best with this fin is that it only weighs 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) and also has an open heel version. Comes in multiple colors like black, white, teal, pink, and blue.
The Mares Avanti Quattro is one of the most popular scuba diving fins. Just about every diver seems to have tried them on at one point or another. Restyled from that bestselling scuba diving fin, the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus still retains its non-vented design but is made from a new composite material that is more flexible and durable than the original version.
This fins still has the open heel design but the foot pocket is highly improved. Each kick transfers more leg power going to the main blade, which now has stabilizers that eliminates ankle twist. The straps are made from bungee. The Mares Avanti Quattro Plus also comes with two plastic bolts and threads to use as a strap extension. If the strap is too tight when fitting, all you need to do is unscrew the strap and screw in the extension into the fin. This set of diving fins comes in black, white, red, yellow, green, and blue.
At 1.9 kilograms (4.2 pounds), the Scubapro GO Sport fin is one of the most lightweight yet high-performance fins in the market. It is made from ultra-strong monprene rubber that is rigidly constructed to avoid delamination, blade breaking, and foot pocket ripping off.
Using a new boot-fin design, the foot pockets have a profile that gives you maximum foot comfort and transfer of leg power that is further amplified with the blades’ 25º pre-angled inclination. This means that you will get the most conversion of leg power to underwater motion, allowing you to dive further with less energy.
The fin blades have skegs that minimize sideslip when walking in shallow water. The blades are installed with power bars to prevent over-flexing and this is very important when you make a sudden power kick. The fin straps are made from a replaceable self-adjusting bungee heel strap that allows for a versatile fit. Donning and doffing is very easy.
Overall, this fin will give you power, maneuverability, speed, and agility. It is also recommended for frequent travellers. This fin can easily fit on any IATA carry-on compliant scuba dry bag, making it easy to store along with your other equipment and personal belongings. These scuba diving fins come in black, white, yellow, teal, and blue.
While it looks heavy and rigid, the Sherwood Triton Fin is in fact lightweight (at 1.77 kilograms or 3.9 pounds) and highly flexible. It combines the elements of a classic vent-type fin but with a new light yet strong material–thermoplastic polyurethane. It has a TPR construction mold which is also buoyant and guarantees to float at the surface during accidental dislodge.
While it has a new and optimized foot pocket, the straps are traditional via the adjustable rubber straps attached to a quick release buckle that we all know. When it comes to the fin blades, this scuba diving fin has 3 large vents that provide additional thrust during a down kick and decrease drag during the recovery up-kick. This design alone allows you to perform any fin stroke without exerting more leg power. Available in blue and black.
With a progressive approach to underwater propulsion, the Atomic Aquatics Split is a high performance scuba diving fin that is made of high-quality rubber with a rigid and flexible finish.
Its foot pocket has an internal power plate sole which provides a rigid base for your diving booties. This creates an increased power transfer towards the fin blades which has a slit at the center splitting the blades into two. When you kick, the fin blade will separate and form a wing that slices through the water. The straps are made from rubber that is attached to an EZ lock buckle system that allows you to quickly release it with one hand.
While these fins seem to be the perfect scuba diving fins, take note that it is not as lightweight as many other diving fins on the market (weighing 2.9 kilograms/6.5 pounds). Comes in blue, black, pink, and smoke colors.
The TUSA Liberator X-Ten Open Heel Fins bring a sense of nostalgia among dive professionals, and they’re still touted as a good, basic set of fins. Yes, this fin was one of the best-selling fins in the 90’s where open water divers at that time would do anything just to have it, like me.
This fin still has the non-vented fin blade that is known for its flexible bending force. A few innovations have been incorporated into the fin such as the dynamic stabilizers on the blade surface with an improved hydrodynamic design for maximum underwater motion. It still has a rubber strap with an EZ buckle system which allows you the same capability to adjust the tightness whether on dry land, surface water or underwater. This class diving fin comes in blue, black, and yellow.
Cheap, small, lightweight and extremely efficient: this is what you’ll get with the Aeris Velocity Full Foot Fins. It features a unique Power Enhancing Vents (or PEV’s) that reduces water drag in every kick as water flow is directly led towards the PEV’s.
It only weighs 1.13 kilograms (2.5 pounds) making it perfect if you are a frequent traveller and diving mostly in the shallow tropics. Plus, it’s a great first set of fins for scuba divers on a budget.
If you are into technical diving and want to upgrade your fins that fits into this field of specialty, then set your eyes on the Zeagle Recon Fins.
Simple, sleek, and efficient. This fin has no complicated design. Its material is made from premium natural rubber that is compressed and molded for just the right stiffness and rigidity. The blades are slightly bent with a 25° angle between the foot pocket and the blade. This fin bent angle gives you great thrust regardless of what fin stroke you use. It has a spring strap with an improved buckle design that uses a single screw and self-locking nut that allows strap length adjustments of up to 5 centimeters (2 inches). Aside from being lightweight (with weight ranging from 1.36 to 1.66 kilograms (3 to 3.65 pounds) depending on the fin size), this fin comes in many colors that can easily be spotted even in dark places like an underwater cave.
Combining the power of scuba diving fins and the flexibility of a snorkeling fin, the Aqua Lung Stratos 3 is considered one of the best all-around diving fins.
This scuba diving fin has a foot pocket that is reinforced with soft ergonomic material adding more comfort in your feet while maintaining direct contact. It has anti-slip rubber pads under the foot pocket which improves your stability while walking on shallow water. When it comes to the fin blades, 4-channel structures allow water to naturally flow towards the tip of the fins while the sides are ribbed with a strong material and molded in such a way that it has a bending point. This means you can do more powerful kicks with less leg power. While this fin is an open heel type, you can still add protection to your feet by wearing aqua socks.
If you are looking for a lightweight fin that is hydrodynamic and comfortable to use, consider the Oceanic Viper Open Heel Fins. Weighing only 1.81 kilograms (4 pounds), this is one of the most lightweight scuba fins in the market.
This fin is made from a blended composite material composed of thermal plastic rubber and polypropylene. The fin blades have water channels and side rails that lead water to the tips making every kick very soft and easy. The fin blade also has power vents that reduces leg stress especially when doing sudden power kicks. The straps are made from rubber that is attached to a squeeze style side-release buckles and a large pull tab holes for easy donning and doffing. The tabs also act as a hanger hole which comes in handy when doing the rinsing and drying process after the dive.
Same with other scuba equipment, comfort and fit should be always at the top of your consideration. After all, what good does a best-selling fin do to you when it is either too heavy, too light, too big or too small for you.
Aside from these, here are some considerations that you might look into when buying the best scuba diving fins for you.
Lightweight vs heavy fins
Leg power differs from diver to diver. With this, you may choose scuba diving fins that suit your leg power. For divers with strong leg power, heavy fins are ideal as it optimally converts energy to motion. For divers with less leg power or opts for a relaxing and comfortable dive without exerting too much leg power, lightweight fins are highly recommended.
Open heel vs full foot
If you’re diving in warm water or dive sites that are free from strong current, full foot fins are ideal. But if you’re exploring sites that are jagged, rugged, cold or doing shore entry, you may opt to choose open heel fins as it requires the use of booties. You should also know that wearing booties provides added foot protection when walking on rocks and provides warmth when exposed to cold water environments.
Rubber vs spring or bungee straps
While it may not be a big deal once the fins are worn, fins straps play a role in donning and doffing. Traditional rubber straps may require adjustment during donning, but on the other hand, allows you to adjust it while underwater in case the fin needs to be tightened. Spring and bungee straps are easy to don and doff. However, you should be aware that they are fixed straps (some of them can be adjusted but only up to +/- 2 inches or 5 centimeters) and further adjustments may not be possible. So if you choose fins that have spring or bungee straps, make sure the straps will give you just the right comfort and fit. Think like Goldilocks, not too tight and not too loose.
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