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How To Buy Fins

Whether you want to play around or dive amidst coral reefs, your fins will increase your ability to move quickly and efficiently through the water. There are numerous options to consider to increase your enjoyment of the sport based on your needs and ability.

What to Consider in Fins

Ability Level

  • Size and stiffness largely dictate a fin's efficiency
  • Other factors include skill level and conditioning
  • An experienced diver with strong leg and hip muscles should opt for a bigger, stiffer fin
  • Smaller or less experienced divers, as well as divers not in good condition, should purchase a smaller, more flexible fin

Stiffness

  • The stiffer the fin usually provides better efficiency for experienced, conditioned divers
  • More flexible fins will help you if you are smaller or need more time to build up your leg muscles

Construction

  • Paddle fins
    • Paddle technology is by far the most common and conventional
    • The one piece construction works like a paddle as you kick through the water
    • Manufacturers have refined this construction with rails and ribs to help channel water and increase your efficiency, the fin's stability and power
  • Propeller fins
    • Propeller technology simulates a propeller slicking through the water
    • These new split fins slice through the water to decrease turbulence and increase power
    • Ultimately, this design requires less energy and provides for an easier kick

Heels

  • Full-foot style
    • These can be worn without dive booties and are great for warmer waters
  • Open-heel fins
    • When you wear open-heel fins with booties, you also have built-in protection and comfort. The strap is adjustable to fit your foot to desired tightness and comfort level.
    • You can adjust open-heel fins for different diving conditions that require thinner or thicker booties
    • You can share them with friends or family members
    • These are usually easier to put on, especially if a pull-tab comes with the strap

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