How to choose diving flippers
Too large flippers on weak legs can cause tension and cramps, and in unreasonably small flippers you will not go far.
The shape of the fins depends on the nature of their use: for diving with a mask and snorkel, you need light fins with a shorter fin, for free diving (without a balloon) it is better to choose fins more authentic, and fins for scuba diving can be of various shapes and sizes.
Let’s start with the classification.
According to the method of fastening on the foot, it is either a closed galoshe or a shoe with an open heel and a heel strap at the back. Models with a heel strap, of course, have a wider range of adjustments, but they are not so comfortable and tight on their feet. Moreover, the ends of the straps often cling to one another and to the vegetation of the rope, cables, nets including, this increases the risk and reduces comfort.
Fins with a whole galoshes are more convenient, but they need to be selected in size and depending on the temperature of the water, fins for colder times usually take one to two sizes larger (because you’ll have to put on your toe).
When you put on your flippers, check to see if the foot presses on the foot from the edges or on the toe, the heel doesn’t fall, raise your foot and shake the flipper in different directions, it should not fall, and you can hold it tight if everything is so, you can safely take them .
Blade length. Short flippers have a length of 55-65 cm and they are usually used in snorkeling (swimming with a snorkel and a mask and looking at fish and the bottom). Long – 85 – 95 cm is used for spearfishing, and sometimes a little longer, most serious hunters prefer them.
Using fins longer than a meter is impractical. When choosing fins, you need to clearly understand the conditions in which you are going to hunt or just swim. Will it be the sea, the lake, the reeds, the strong current, thickets of grass aground or you will find depth. Are you going to dive all year round, or can you afford only a summer vacation.
Your physical form, the level of your athletic training, and temperament are also very important. Every year more and more new models appear, all companies advertise their new products, there is more energy, there is more, more economical here, and here, more efficient. The shape, method of fastening the strap, color varies. All this, mainly for those who scuba diving. Hunters and freedivers are a special article, for them each movement counts and each should be maximally used with minimal effort. If training is not below average, you can advise, for example, Mares Quatro.
Most divers (hunters and freedivers), of course, prefer the so-called. long flippers. In modern models, most often, this is a plastic plate with a length of 700-800 mm inserted into a rigid, rubber galoshe. Such flippers allow you to develop greater speed at the same energy costs as in short scuba diver flippers. They will allow you to quickly, without loss, reach the bottom and also quickly rise to the surface, catch up with wounded fish, cross a river or lake, or simply drag a full kukan to the shore, without giving all the best. Of course, working in long flippers requires special training and a good technique for managing them, but after 3-4 hunting you just won’t allow yourself to wear short flippers.
Almost all firms produce long fins and they differ in the shape and rigidity of the plate, the shape and design of the galoshes.
Material. Flippers come with different loads on the foot – softer, tougher, everyone chooses who they like, it’s really difficult to advise here. Pay less attention to design and coloring, more to what they are made of and how. Rubber ones last longer, combined ones (rubber + plastic) have better characteristics, cheap plastic ones are only suitable for a couple of seasons.
The design of the entire flippers – collapsible and not collapsible, with rubber inserts and stabilizers. Long plates can “get tangled” in the legs to prevent this from happening, along the entire plate special guides and stabilizing, longitudinal grooves and ribs are made. And the MARES company produces models with longitudinal rubber inserts, while the fins are bent, they bend not only across but also along, providing the so-called tunneling effect. And finally, in color, blacks are usually the toughest, gray ones are of medium softness, and green, red and blue are the softest.
The toughest flippers are used for extreme deep diving. Carbon, Kevlar or fiberglass plates are often used here, they are most effective when swimming underwater for long distances and to depths. But, they are not always convenient and good where maneuverability and cat-like habits are needed.
Medium soft when hunting at medium depth, not counting on fast races for fish, good in rivers. Soft flippers are good to use in lakes and where the transparency of water is very low.
For those who are engaged in snorkeling, lightweight small flippers are better, partly with plastic and partly with rubber inserts.