How To Choose The Right Scuba Fins by Laura Cain
When it comes to investing in your own pair of scuba fins, you have a plethora of choices from a number of manufacturers who continue to advance the engineering they use to produce the most durable, efficient fins possible. While the original, traditional full foot scuba fins are still popular among some people, there are many more styles available now. Most of the new styles of scuba fins are designed by using technical and involved mathematical angles and engineering so that the fin works to the divers advantage as far as efficiency and ease of use.
Some people find themselves being turned off by the complex and technical features of these efficiently advanced scuba fins, leaving them to be content with basic, traditional fins, which is not a bad thing. The main point to remember when purchasing your own scuba fins is comfort. If you are uncomfortable or awkward in a pair of fins, they aren't going to work for you as intended. The specialized angles or split fins used to create greater kicking efficiency are only effective if you are comfortable wearing the fin and using it in the water. Comfort is important because only when you are fully satisfied with you fins will you be able to use them properly.
To help you choose which type of scuba fins will work best for your intended use you should research each style. First are the traditional paddle fins. Paddle scuba fins can be either full foot or have an adjustable heel strap. For scuba diving purposes, people most often use the adjustable heel strap fins of any style. Full foot fins are commonly used as snorkeling fins. Traditional paddle fins work to move water up and down as you kick and they are complimented by divers as being useful when free diving or in currents.
Several major scuba equipment companies have released a new, specially engineered paddle fin that provides much more move for you kick. Dacor and Tusa both have scuba fins with the optimized pivoting blade which is a design that angles the fin so every time you are kicking upward or downward the fins are at the most efficient angle for getting a more forceful kick. The specialized angles of these scuba fins alter the angle traditional paddle fins have, which makes you loose full force during part of the kick.
The next type of scuba fins are all altered in some way with splits, cutouts or vents that the manufacturers say enhance the kicking force and efficiency. The most prevalent of these are the split fins, also known as "Bio-fins" by some companies. These scuba fins divide the paddle of the fin into two parts with a sliver taken out of the middle vertically. Many people have come to appreciate the efficiency and forceful strokes split fins have been proven to allow you. The modification to these fins is supposed to minimize the number of kicks needed to get a set distance. Some divers still believe the most capable scuba fins are the basic ones. Again, the fins you choose should be primarily based on comfort and how easily you function in them.
Other types of split fins have horizontal splits or cutouts and vents at strategic places on the paddle. The Apollo Bio-fins are split scuba fins engineered to push water back, as opposed to up and down, like most fins. The Bio-fin acts like a propeller instead of a paddle, allowing you a much easier kicking task.
Force fins are an additional style you have to choose from. This type of scuba fins is considerably smaller than others, but if you are comfortable using them, they can provide equal kicking force. Force fins mimic a small scale whale tail, which is part of the reason they are claimed to have successful kicking efficiency.
Choosing between these broad types of scuba fins is only the beginning. Within each type there are several other designs to pick from and choosing which brand can be difficult too. Most people limit their selection by having a budget or price range not to exceed. Limiting yourself to a budget will not spoil a large selection though, because there is a variety of scuba fins in every price range. Obviously, the basic and simple scuba fin designs will be the least expensive and as the fins advance in efficiency technology and specialized features, the price will rise.
If you are an avid diver, owning pair of durable and efficient scuba fins is a must, so it would be wise to spend a little extra money on fins with some of the advanced features. At asudoit.com there equipment sold for many adventure sports, including several brands and styles of scuba fins. Here you can look through the features of all the broad types of scuba fins such as force, split, full-foot, heel strap and traditional paddle fins. DiversDiscount.com also has a large selection of scuba fins of all types. At this site you pay less than half the original price for the Tusa Platina fins, which have dual blade fins for greater propulsion force. These Tusa scuba fins are high-performance and available at a cheap price at the discount site.
As for shopping by specific brands, you may want to start with the most commonly know names in scuba equipment such as Apollo, Dacor, Oceanic, Sherwood and Tusa. Some scuba equipment companies are conglomerates, which means some of the less known and less expensive brand names you see may actually be made by one of the larger companies. This is a plus for you because often the branch off brand equipment will be cheaper price wise, but with quality and durability nearly equal to that of the more expensive, better known brands. Each of these manufacturers will have scuba fins for all types. Brand name preference is a personal choice, but each of the above brands are well known, reliable names in scuba fins.
Choosing scuba fins is a matter that is based on personal preference and each individual's selection will be different, but none of them are wrong. Because of this, it is helpful to have the wide selection available so that everyone's preferences are accommodated. Whatever your choice, know that you are comfortable in the fins before you purchase them and look in to the quality and durability of the fins, as it will determine the fins life span and help you decide if they are worth the money.
Copyright 2005 Laura Cain is a freelance author that writes regularly on items pertaining to scuba diving and snorkeling. You can find many of her articles at http://www.1-scuba-diving-gear.com/