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First Fins for Bahama Liveaboard

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by bvbellomo, May 31, 2019.

  1. Ontwreckdiver

    Ontwreckdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
  2. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    There are so many different fins and types of fins because different people have legitimately different needs and preferences. And for that matter, feet. (Also because there are many companies making fins and they are generally looking for ways to stand out and sell more stuff.) That's why there's little consensus and that's fine. True of pretty much all scuba gear.

    It seems like you have read a lot already and are trying to sort it out. Anything that says something is good or bad without saying _why_ is not very useful. Same with anything that implies there is only one good way, because that's rarely true. You just have to figure out what's important to you where you're diving, and what's not. And also, what's pretty much just a gimmick.

    If you think you'll travel much, weight/length can be important. Even if you're going on a trip where all the diving is easy, and even though there is usually no reason to rush anywhere - if you dive enough places you will probably get yourself into situations where you _do_ care about having fins capable of enough power and speed. Maybe just for a bit but you'll sure want it when you need it. Even if you are diving only off a boat on this trip and full foot fins would be fine, you may do some other trips where you really want open heel fins and booties. If you will be diving in cold water there will be other things you care about. (Many people who rave about jet fins are diving cold water and tend to have have different needs, and usually aren't packing them to take on a plane. Not often you see someone on the average warm water trip hauling jet fins along.) If you really do like that style - which can have benefits way more important for some than "going fast" - there are similar fins in lighter materials that may be more suitable for warm water travel.)

    Some people wind up with a variety of fins, you may too.
  3. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    If this is your first pair of fins, you really need two things: Fit and comfort. And one thing I always advice is don't spend too much on your first pair. Get some thing mainstream.

    You don't know how you prefer to dive, your preferred kick, and not even your preferred buoyancy characteristics. If you end up deep into this sport, you will most likely switch to something else later.
  4. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    Similarly, "strong big" fins without the technique, ankle stretch, and much practice, is not the best of ideas.

    (And I guess you failed to spot the reference to things like iron rings and tetsu geta)
    BurhanMuntasser likes this.
  5. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    There are two reasons why their are so many fins in the market. The first is because people are different and the second is the manufacturers are trying to maximize their profits by hitting different price points.

    Rather than worry about all the different fins on the market, why don't you pick one that suits your needs. If you are a travel diver than why not pick a travel fin? The most liked seems to be the Oceanic Accel and the Scubapro go. Maybe a Hollis F-2.

    Stiff fins are preferred by tech divers that use different kicks. Dry suit divers tend to use heavier rubber fins while wetsuit divers tend to use a lighter fin. Flexible and split fins are easier to kick for average people who are less fit. If you want splits Apollo and Atomic seem to be the most liked in the category.
    eelnoraa and BurhanMuntasser like this.
  6. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    @bvbellomo Just my opinion:

    There are 3 basic types of fins: Blade, Split, and Freediving. Among those, you'll find blade fins in open heel and full foot. Split fins are MOSTLY open heel. Freediving fins are MOSTLY full foot.

    From your self-description, I'll shortcut right to saying that I really doubt you need split fins. In my opinion, splits are primarily needed by people with weaker legs, bad knees, or whatever.

    If you eliminate split fins from the menu, you are choosing between blades and freediving fins.

    I have both. For warm water, recreational diving, I really like my Deep6 Eddy fins. They are about as travel-friendly as fins come. Not THE lightest, but very light and relatively short.

    However, for warm water, recreational diving, I also REALLY like my Mako Competition Freediving fins. As you have already noted, but some other posters seem to be confused about, power and efficiency go together. You won't get good power out of an inefficient fin and you (generally) won't get good efficiency from a fin that does not offer good power when needed.

    The Eddy fin and the Freediving fin both offer good power and efficiency, but in very different ways. Very stiff versus very long and flexible. The Eddy fin is pretty stiff (but not the stiffest fin I have tried, which is the Dive Rite XT). It gives very good fine control for precise maneuvering. The freediving fins work (for me, anyway) for all types of kicks, including frog kicks and back kicks, but the do not yield as precise control as the Deep6 fins. However, they definitely give more power. Which means I can go faster, OR I can go the same speed with less effort. Keeping up with divers who are using non-freediving fins, while using my freediving fins, is virtually effortless. I am barely moving my feet, using the minimum gas that I can, and staying right with other people.

    Like you, I am going on a Bahamas liveaboard soon. I am about to purchase a new set of freediving fins, just for that trip. I have the Mako Competition Freediving fins now, but I am going to splurge for a set of the Carbon Elites. Expensive, but I expect them to be even more powerful/efficient - and I'll take all the efficiency I can get for diving single tank, open circuit. I'm a gas hog anyway, but since I switched to CCR, I am even worse on OC.

    If my trip was expected to involve any swimming inside a wreck, I would take the Deep6 fins instead, for the shorter length and better maneuverability. If I were not checking a bag, I would take the Deep6 fins, for the same reason. But, I will be checking a bag and will not be going inside any wrecks, so I will take the freediving fins. I have a large gear bag and the freediving fins still do not fit inside when they are assembled. But, when I take them apart to separate the blades from the foot pockets, they fit just fine. No big deal.

    The Mako fins I have now are $90.


    They really are great fins and you just can't beat the price. Also, they seem to run pretty true to size. I wear size 10.5 shoes and I got the size 10 - 11 fins and they fit me just right with a 2 or 3mm neoprene sock on.

    Whether you go with Deep6 Eddy or Mako freediving fins, I doubt you'd be disappointed. And, of course, there are other good fins out there. The two I mentioned are definitely not your only good options. They are just the options I chose and can speak to.

    And if you're on Blackbeard's at the very end of July, I will see you there! :)
    MAKO Spearguns likes this.
  7. jstownse

    jstownse Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago
    I went from renting whatever was available for my first 50 odd vacation dives, ranging from full foot to sometimes wearing open heel fins barefoot. My last trip I had purchased Scuba Pro Go's, they fit me wonderfully and the bungee strap made donning and doffing incredibly easy. Even that slight difference in ease and time made the whole experience just that much more convenient and care free.

    Whatever fin you choose, I'd get fins with either a spring or bungee strap. I'd also recommend the Go or a similar model from a different company, they're relatively cheap, easy to travel with for warm water and you can learn and have something to compare to if you take up colder water diving at a later date.
  8. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: United States
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I went with Scubapro Scubapro Go Travel Fins, which seemed like a good compromise in travel ability, power and lightweight, between open and closed heel, and I wanted something popular. I think they are too small.

    fin.jpg fin_heel.jpg

    It is surprisingly hard to get good selfies of my feet. But it looks like these are made for my foot to go further into the pocket. My toes could stick out more, and my heels are hanging over the edge. Wanted some opinions before I send these back.
  9. ReadyDiverOne

    ReadyDiverOne Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Central
    OMG!! Toooooo funny!!!! Toooooo true!!!
  10. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    Are you intending to dive with them in bare feet?

    Your heels are supposed to hang over the edge on open heel fins.

    Those look too big, to me (presuming you're planning to wear them in bare feet. It looks like there is a gap on the sides of your foot. But, a neoprene sock or bootie might totally fix that. And the picture could be totally deceiving me.

    I'm not sure why so many people try on fins and their toes touch the end of the foot pocket (or stick out) and they think that means the fin is too small. If it's too small, you would not be able to slide your foot into the foot pocket that far. You wouldn't be able to to slide it on very far at all.

    If you put shoes on and your foot went in easily without touching the sides of the shoe and then slid way forward until your toes hit the end of the foot pocket, would you say they were too small?

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