Choosing a Dive Fin

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Choosing a Dive Fin

Choosing a Dive Fin


Hi everyone,


Today we are gonna have a chat about Scuba Diving fins and the differences between the style to help you out if your not too sure which ones to get. There are many fins to choose from so knowing a little about the styles can give you more knowledge to make your own mind up of what you want. A dive fin can also be used for snorkelling so dont feel like you need to own 2 pairs as these will also suit your up and coming snorkel session. 


The Foot Pocket:


There are 2 different types of foot pockets that include open heel and closed heel. Both are suitable for diving, however it’s a personal preference on which one to go for.


A closed heel is also called a full foot fin and is designed to be worn with your bare foot in the rubber foot pocket which is sized to suit your US shoe size. These are a fully enclosed heel that mean when you stand in them, the bottom of your feet are protected by the rubber pocket. A closed heel fin is a popular choice for divers who are diving straight off the boat and in calmer waters as they tend to be a slight shorter length. They are most popular to be worn with a 3mm neoprene sock which will prevent blisters, chaffing and give warmth. The closed heel fins and the less common style when scuba diving. 


Pro's of a Closed Heel Fin


Pro's -

  • Easier to pul on and take off
  • Protected Heel


An open heel has an adjustable rubber strap that is held in place by plastic buckles. They are designed to be worn with a 5mm dive boot as the foot pockets are wider and stiffer for durability. This style is the most popular type when scuba diving as the boots will give warmth and protection when both in the water and whilst walking around. They are generally longer and suitable for strong currents which makes them perfect for scuba. 


Pro's of a Open Heel Fin


Pro's -

  • More Comfortable
  • Elimates Blisters when wearing a boot
  • More Propulsion


The Blade:


There are 2 different types of blades including a paddle and a split.


The paddle is the most commonly used and universal when it comes to different environments. It is a one-piece blade that is strong and holds water when kicking to give maximum propulsion. A paddle blade can be used in strong currents without any issues of having enough power. All new divers are recommended to start with a paddle blade. This style is the most common blade and what you will find in most dive companies.

The split fin has a split down the centre of the blade from the end to approx. half way up. These use a different kicking style that is from the knees. If they are kicked with too much propulsion from the thigh, the spilt will open and you will go nowhere. A split fin conserves energy and air consumption when used correctly but are not great in strong currents.

The Length:


The length of the blade will slightly change from brand to brand but most are approx. 30-35cm (blade only). The longer the blade is, the more propulsion you will get and less effort will be needed. There are a few shorter scuba diving blades on the market and these are perfect for travelling or cave diving as they are lighter and less chunky.


The Sizing:


Closed heel fins are generally sized by US or EU shoe sizing’s that go up in 2’s. E.G, US 8-9, US10-11 and so on. These need to be fitted snug as if they are too loose, your feet will move and blisters will occur.


Open heel fins come in Small, Regular and X-Large. Approx. Men’s sizing is Small (US6-8) Regular (US9-10) X-Large (US 11+). Approx. Female sizing is Small (US 5-8) Regular (US9-11) X-large (12+).







The Straps:


There are 2 different types of straps that you will fins on the open heel adjustable fins and these include a standard strap and a bungee strap. The standard one is a durable rubber strap that threads through plastic buckles that are connected to the fin pocket. These can be adjusted using the buckles to change the tightness of the strap to suit your boot. The Bungee straps are a thicker, more durable strap that is made of a 14mm rubber that stretches over your boot. These are not adjustable, however due to the bungee, it will always be firm on your boot and is easy to snap on and off. 




The Brands:


The brands that we stock here at Dive Warehouse include Mares, Cressi, Oceanic, Tusa and Aqualung. No brand is better than the other with quality, it all comes down to what you prefer with price, look and style. 


Happy Diving!



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