Snorkeling is a great sport that is enjoyed by water-lovers all over the world.
However, exploring of the underwater world is way more fun when you don’t have to worry about poor-quality rental gear.
Even the best swimmers can easily get tired on their snorkeling adventures if their gear is low quality.
In order to truly enjoy all the beauty of the underwater world, investing into a high-quality pair of fins is a must.
Once you get yourself a pair of high-quality fins you get to spend longer periods of time in the water without cramping or tiring.
Owning your own pair of great fins makes it much easier for you to go snorkeling whenever and wherever you can.
To make it easier for you to truly dive into the amazing underworld we’ve reviewed some of the best snorkeling fins available on the market. However, before we move on to our reviews, we’ll discuss how to choose the best pair of fins and what to look for when making your purchase.
Here is what we are going to cover today:
- [ps2id url=’#6′ offset=” class=”]What to look for when buying snorkeling fins?[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#7′ offset=” class=”]Types of fins[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#1′ offset=” class=”]We review the best snorkeling fins:[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#1′ offset=” class=”]Wildhorn Topside Fins[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#2′ offset=” class=”]Seavenger Torpedo Fins[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#3′ offset=” class=”]U.S. Divers Proflex FX[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#4′ offset=” class=”]U.S. Divers Sea Lion Fins[/ps2id]
- [ps2id url=’#5′ offset=” class=”]Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport[/ps2id]
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Ok, let’s get to it…
What to look for when buying snorkeling fins?
There are dozens of factors that you need to pay attention to when selecting the right pair of fins for snorkeling and scuba diving. Some of the factors are specific to certain makes and models only. Others are applicable to snorkeling fins in general.
The most important factors to choosing the right pair of fins can be summarized in three steps:
- Selecting the right type of fins
- Selecting the right features
- Achieving the right fit
Selecting the right type of fins
Almost all fins fall into two main categories:
- Full-foot fins
- Open-heel fins (adjustable fins)
Both of these categories have their pros and cons, so choosing one category over the other can be tricky.
Full-foot fins usually lack sufficient power to overcome the additional weight of scuba diving gear. Although there are some high-end full-foot fins that can provide enough thrust for scuba diving, they can only be worn over bare feet or thin wet suit socks.
Full-foot fins are mostly used for casual snorkeling in warm water.
On the other hand, open-heel fins are generally worn over wetsuit or drysuit boots, meaning they can be used in colder water.
For people who like to alternate between casual snorkeling and scuba diving, open-heel fins might be a better option.
Selecting the best features
There are plenty of features that you need to consider when choosing between different fin makes and models. These features can make your snorkeling experience much more fun and memorable.
Two specific features, however, you really need to pay attention to are worth noting.
Whatever type of fins you decided to go for should have easy-to-use heel straps. Most snorkeling fins have easily adjustable heel straps that are connected to the foot pocket with quick-release buckles.
Some high-end models also feature spring or elastic cord straps that are incredibly easy to use and don’t require you to worry about any adjustments or releases. Springs heel straps can also be bought as an after-market add on for most standard fins.
Fin blades range from split blades to advanced fins that incorporate some type of high-tech hinges that can make the fins much more efficient.
What you want to achieve with your fins is not so much power but efficiency. When selecting the right pair of fins, you need to find the ones that deliver the most thrust for the least effort.
The fins that provide great efficiency may cost a bit more; however, given how long you will be using them and the fact that you will be using them with every movement of your snorkeling adventures, this investment is definitely worthwhile.
Achieving the best fit
If you plan on using your fins with wetsuit boots, you should try on the fins while wearing the same pair of boots you will use while snorkeling or diving.
If you are purchasing fins and boots for the first time, consider choosing the boots first, then the fins.
When trying out the fins, the bottom of the foot pocket needs to cover at least 2/3 of the sole of your boot. Only a small portion should be left sticking out the back.
If you buy fins that are too small for you, your feet might hurt. Contrary, if you buy fins that are too large, they may dig into the front of your ankles.
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Next, we discuss different types of fins available.
Types of fins
Standard fins are the simplest in design and most popular. These fins come with flat blades which cause water to spill over the sides, reducing efficiency and creating turbulence in water.
Standard fins work similarly as an ore. They propel you forward with every kick cycle. These fins are usually least expensive.
Vented fins have vents at the base of the foot pocket. These vents are designed to let the water pass through the fin, making you move through the water more efficiently.
Channel fins are designed to flex and change the flow of water.
When you kick, the fin blade forms a U shape channel which helps capture and direct water more efficiently than just having ribs on the sides.
Channel fins are made of combination of rigid and soft materials which allow them to flex and change shape.
Split fins have a physical split going down the middle of the blade. The split fin works similarly to the wings of a plane or even boat propellers. The split causes water to smoothly flow around the fin, causing less turbulence.
Kicking the fins is really easy and their design reduces snorkeler’s energy consumption.
Hinged fins have a point on the blade that hinges. This hinge helps the blade to tackle water at the best angle possible.
Although these fins cost the most, they are definitely worth the investment as they significantly increase one’s performance.
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