Scuba Diving Fins



Scuba Diving Fins – the Variety of Scuba Fins

If a scuba mask is necessary to see anything underwater then scuba diving fins are certainly required to get you to where you can see it. The human foot is a very poor method of propelling you along underwater. It simply cannot displace sufficient water to build up enough momentum to push you through the water at any great speed.

 This has been recognised for a long time and the first scuba diving fins were actually patented back in the 1930’s. Although the materials they are made from and the efficiency of the fins has improved they still follow the same basic idea. That is they all have a large flared out area on the fin to increase the amount of water displaced with each kick so as to increase momentum for the scuba diver.

 Nowadays there are basically 2 main types of scuba diving fins in 2 different styles.

 The 2 styles of fins are basically with heels or without heels moulded into the scuba fins. This means you can either have a fully moulded fin that fits to your foot like a shoe or you can have an open fin where the adjustable strap hooks around behind your heel. The strap variety is usually used when a scuba diver wears a pair of scuba boots which then fit into the scuba fins.Scuba boots are made of a similar material to wetsuits and aid in keeping the scuba diver warm under water.

They are also handy for walking around the dive boat and down to the beach on shore dives.

 They are not the greatest way to wear scuba diving fins if you are just going snorkelling . They tend to float a bit and are a little harder to kick with when you are on the surface of a water body. If I am scuba diving in a tropical location I tend to see both open and closed heel varieties. If the water is colder then I tend to see a lot more of the open variety that require scuba boots.

 The other main way to separate scuba diving fins is by their type. That is you either have a solid paddle style of fin or you have what is called a split fin.

 Paddle fins are basically what the name says they are. They consist of a large surface area not unlike a paddle that fits to your foot. They are made of a stiff material that creates sufficient momentum on the downward thrust to move you through the water. The negative side to this is that on the upward movement of the kick a lot of strength is required and it can become exhausting work for some scuba divers.

 The latest style of fins coming onto the market are said to reduce this problem. These split fins are basically exactly what they are called. Take a paddle fin and split it into 2 halves kind of like a fish tail and you have created a split fin. These fins are said to have been designed to give about the same thrust on the down motion of your legs with less stress created on the upward motion because water is able to pass between the split.

 There is another type of scuba diving fin or the market that is less commonly available. There called force fins and are basically a smaller paddle fin but with the ability to reduce the pressure on the upward motion in a way similar to split fins. They are not as readily available in scuba shops because they are a much smaller private company unaligned to any of the major scuba diving equipment brands.

 I have not tried these scuba fins yet but hope to at some stage so I can compare them for myself. If someone has tried then I would love to hear how they performed for you while scuba diving.

 For new divers nowadays looking to buy scuba diving fins I would probably say to go for the split fins over the paddle fins.