The 5 Best Free Diving Fins That Money Can Buy In 2018
The bulky scuba equipment is one of the biggest hindrances to oceanic freedom. That is why lots of people are instead turning to freediving with the help of the best free diving fins. Let me assure you, with these; you cannot imagine the level of depth you can achieve.
But which are the best freediving fins for you? Worry not as I am here to help you choose one that will make you glide effortlessly through water without exerting too much on yourself.
- Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Free Diving Fins
- Best Free Diving Fins Reviews
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Free Diving Fins
This buying guide helps you understand the various features/components of freediving fins. Having this knowledge is the surest way of selecting the best free diving fins for your needs.
Foot Pockets Design
Freediving fins come in two-foot pocket designs: Integrated and separate foot pockets. The separate foot pockets have screws or clips to be used for fastening the pockets onto the rest of the body (side rail). This design comes in handy when you need a compact gear for traveling.
Separating the foot pockets is also important when you intend to upgrade the blades at some point. However, it adds extra weight to the overall design and may decrease efficiency. Integrated pockets are efficient, low weight, but have a downside of limiting flexibility.
Your performance when free diving tends to be greatly impacted when you are in discomfort. The first thing you need to consider in a freediving fin is how snug your foot fits in the foot pocket. It should be such that you have a snug fit, but not too tight or loose.
Not all the foot pockets are created equal of course, with some meant for those with wide, narrow, or mid-sized feet. Then there are those with softer inserts for added comfort. If you cannot try the fins on your own, then look for online reviews on how great the fit is.
Most of the models have a sizing chart to help you out. Power loss occurs when there is free space left in the pocket.
Support Rails and Angled Blade
The thickness of the side rails, also referred to as tendons determine the amount of support given to the blades. A thick rail would make a soft blade stronger. Otherwise, the blade might be too stressed and break.
It is also believed that an angled blade makes it easier to swim closer to the surface than one without an angled blade. That aside, it is still not clear whether this design impacts on the efficiency in any way.
The durability of your freediving fins depends to a great extent on how you care for them and the material used. There are numerous options available for you to choose from. Plastic and polymer blades are great investments for beginners. They are both cheap and durable.
On the downside, plastic blades have a lower snap, leading to inferior power transfer. Shape loss occurs too after a while. Another option is fiberglass blades which are ideal for an intermediate diver who wants to dive deeper. Nonetheless, they tend to be fragile.
For high performance, carbon fiber blades are appropriate. Their reactive snap makes them perfect for deep diving, albeit with a high initial cost.
The stiffness of the blades is what determines their efficiencies. A blade that is too soft requires less muscle power to generate more movements. On the other hand, a harder one exerts more energy on your foot as it is less flexible.
You then use more oxygen, energy, and build excess lactic acids in your muscles. In essence, match the stiffness of the blades with how masculine you are if you want to either go deeper or dive closer to the surface.
Best Free Diving Fins Reviews
For your spearfishing needs, the Cressi Soft-Long Blade fins feature a high-performance design. The design makes it easy to load the long blades, which then creates a sleek profile while under water. A fluid design means less drag in the water.
At the same time, the fins are made from a polypropylene elastomer that is soft, long lasting and requires minimum push through the water. The soft elastomer extends to the foot pocket anatomy. Since it’s gentle on your feet, you can go about your fishing in sheer comfort.
An enduring feature that I think you might love is the long, firm blades. These run all the way over the foot pocket and deliver maximum power while requiring minimal kick energy from you. Another great feature is the lightweight nature that exerts little impact on you.
- Requires minimal effort to load
- Comfortable on the feet
- Long lasting construction
- Seamless construction reduces the diving effort
- Thermos rubber soles give it extra grip
- Great for novices
- Usable for long periods of time
- Smooth speed gain
- Well priced
- Stiffness could be improved
- Slow acceleration
Available in a range of sizes from 7-8, 8-9, 10-11, and 12-13, the Cressi Gara 3000 free diving fins are great options for beginners. Its soft, relatively long plastic fins are what make it an excellent choice for beginners who might find longer fins difficult to maneuver.
Thanks to its softer material of construction than the previous model, the 3000 requires a reduced amount of effort to power you through the water. This low effort to power ration makes it easy on a beginner’s feet, especially when freediving for an extended period.
A combination of three materials is used to make the Cressi. These are then molded together after bonding to make the foot area as flexible as possible. Its multi-compounding technique then balances flexibility and stiffness to deliver sufficient power through the blades. The foot pocket features a soft elastomer construction that excellently wraps around your foot.
- Can be worn barefoot
- Great for freediving and scuba diving
- Easy to master for beginners
- Efficient power transfer
- Comfortable, snug fit
- Sizing chart available
- Great price
- Requires sizing down at times
- Might be too tight for wide feet
For those looking for freediving fins to go scuba diving in, then this Cressi model is a great alternative. Scuba diving requires relatively shorter fins than conventional fins for freediving. A short blade ensures improved maneuverability.
It is another entry level freediving fin that is ideal for divers not very familiar with long bladed fins. The Cressi 3000 LD is an improvement on the previous Cressi 3000 fins model. Construction material is softer than the previous to reduce kicking muscle requirement.
Softer material handles cold water pretty well to prevent stiffening. As Long Distance freediving fins, they are meant to be used for prolonged usage in water without stiffening in the process. Bonded and molded material provides for both flexibility and comfort in the foot pocket area.
- Can be used for hours without tiring
- Excellent for beginners and experienced free divers alike
- Does not require neoprene socks
- Less muscle required for kicks
- Does not stiffen in cold water
- Softer than the Cressi 3000
- Great versatility
- Works great in rocky areas
- Runs small
- Only works well in oceans
As a frequent traveler, you need freediving fins that handle different waters quite well. The Cressi Open Heel fins are one of such that could work for you. They are designed to be versatile enough to be used for snorkeling, diving, and swimming.
To increase the efficiency with which your kicks’ energy is transferred to the fins, the foot pocket is fitted beneath the blade. The full length of the fins is lined by side rails which direct the flow of water to increase the thrust generated.
Featuring a dual polypropylene and soft elastomer construction makes the foot pockets comfortable while providing for flexibility in the blades. A greater blade extension increases the blade to water contact surface for greater thrust.
- Optimized thrust
- Reduced fatigue
- Excellent adaptation to water conditions
- Durable dual construction
- Ribbed insole ensures a great fit
- One-finger release buckles
- Easy to adjust the fit
- Corrosion resistant
- Heels are prevented from extension
- Poor quality control at times
- Not great for pros
Featuring a unisex design, the CAPAS snorkel fins are ideal when you want a sharable pair of snorkeling fins. The fins are designed with an open heel so that they fit a wide number of family members.
When stored, filter pads in the fins maintain the shape quite well for their next use. Foot pockets are made from high-quality soft materials. With these, you can use the fins when barefoot. Of course, fin socks and dive booties too are usable when you need protection from cold water.
Soft heel straps allow for quick up and downsizing adjustments. Although they are usable among different age groups, you can still select one for a kid, a teen, and an adult. The fins are made from silicone materials, which is great for buoyancy when swimming in open waters.
- Excellent buoyancy
- You use less energy with them
- Compact and lightweight for traveling
- Non-slip inserts
- Open-ended heels great for sharing
- Easy to put on
- Can be used alongside various water shoes and socks
- Still sinks despite the description
- High chances of losing the straps when putting them on
How to Maintain Your Free Diving Fins
- Keep the plastic made blade free diving fins away from human traffic when storing them. Keep them away from where they can be stepped on, or where an object might fall on them. Their relatively brittle nature makes them susceptible to damage.
- When transporting your fins, ensure no object presses against them. Wrap your fins in mono bags when traveling and provide adequate cushioning from impacts.
- A good rinse with fresh water after diving is mandatory. After rinsing, keep them out of direct sunlight, but in a dry and cool place. Shelves or the bottom of a cupboard would work.
- Routinely check for stress marks on the blade for error-free service. If you are using carbon fiber fins, check for cracks. Any crack should be superglued as a temporary measure; after which you have to replace the affected blade(s).
- Store them flat. Keeping them bent for a long time introduces permanent creases that hinder performance when in-water.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Q: Is there a difference in how freediving, snorkel, and scuba fins work?
A: Not really. All these fins work and fit on your feet pretty much in the same way. The difference usually comes in the lengths of the fins.
Q: How does fin length affect performance?
A: Freediving fins are longer to make it easier for you to propel yourself through water using minimal energy. A longer fin moves more water than a shorter one, propelling you deeper into the ocean.
Q: What is the most appropriate blade stiffness for a freediving fin?
A: It is always advisable to select the stiffness based on your physical strength and body weight. Most manufacturers provide a chart for the stiffness alongside the lengths. Light individuals below 145 pounds are better off with a soft blade, while those weighing over 200 pounds need a level 3 hardness blade.
Q: How do I know the right foot pocket size?
A: The foot pocket size corresponds to the size of the shoes you wear every day or with a 3mm thin neoprene socks. For those planning to use thicker socks (5 to 7mm), select a foot size larger than your normal shoe size.
Q: Can I find a camouflaging freediving fin for spearfishing?
A: Yes. There is a variety of freediving fins with camouflage patterns and colors for free diving. Choose one that gels with your hunting ground.
The best free diving fins are a great addition to your underwater expeditions. They allow for increased movements at a much lower fatigue exertion. The only challenge is always finding one that works for you since all of them are designed for specific users.
I hope this post has lessened your selection dilemmas in a way. If you are looking for the best freediving fins, I think the Cressi Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins would be a great choice. The open-ended nature of the heels makes it appropriate for whole family use.
A polypropylene blade generates sufficient thrust power at minimized efforts. It also has the snug fitting foot pockets fitted below the blades to increase in efficiency. These features, alongside great customer reviews, make it the best for me.