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Scuba with freediving fins

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by aleem.k713, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
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    Yea I have both. I need a strong fin because I am spearfishing 90% of the time. I got lucky and got some really big sherwood fins with springs, and they are a happy medium for me. They are big, but have a high amount of flex so I don't get cramping. So now I only use them.
     
  2. Nick Steele

    Nick Steele DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Coral springs
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    Maybe more resistance on the first fin stroke but once you get going it’s less resistance. You have to remember freediving fins will flex a lot with very little effort. I used freediving fins for a few dives after certifying but was worried about bumping the reef and I switched to scuba fins.

    Since I’ve only done beach dives so far I can say with 100% certainty that the freediving fins made swimming out to the reef very easy vs my atomic fins. I would fin once and drift while my buddy had to keep constantly finning.
     
  3. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
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    Yes if you gotta swim a long distance you will want a strong fin for sure. But there is no doubt if you swim with free dive fins all the time, with scuba, you are going to get cramps. It happens to everyone.

    If you don't need to swim out to the reef, and are just boat diving and do not need to swim at a high rate of speed, there is no need for free diving fins when doing scuba. Most DM's are into the frog kick and are barely moving, and when they are moving, they are not in a hurry.

    I am not saying there isn't a time and place for a free dive fin, as I mentioned all of my dive buddies wear them when we are spearing. But for just scuba? Without the need to swim out to a reef? It would be silly.
     
  4. deeno

    deeno Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Francisco
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    Woodcarver how did clipping boots to yourself work out? JBL and one other company (hammerhead?) seem to have an open heel fin and the pocket looks similar to the mako one, but I really question if these foot pockets are tall enough to accept a hard sole boot even when oversized.

    I have a set of makos and I just don't see a good fitting foot pocket for someone even 4 full sizes bigger than I am will have the height to fit even a very thin sneaker like a converse all star.

    Also removing the shoes in the water probably won't work for me. I want to start drysuit diving (my DS has built in socks), but the beach entries here can be tough and I don't see myself unclipping / donning soes and trying to swim in the last 50yd without fins on my feet those rough days and the drysuit socks are precious and not to be walked on without shoes. I may just give in and buy a set of cressi master frogs/ara, those seem like the longest fin with a boot friendly foot pocket.
     
  5. Nick Steele

    Nick Steele DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Coral springs
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    Other states will have different laws reguarding dive flags so Idk but around Florida I have seen people clip sandals to their flags with a large carabiner. They just float on the surface during the dive.
     
  6. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I have little doubt that everyone who dives will eventually get a leg cramp or two, possibly even while swimming.

    When I completed my scuba certification course (quite a while ago) I remember being taught a technique to help release a calf cramp. I assume they still teach this in scuba classes, so cramping is, no doubt, a potential issue.

    I wonder if the opinion you expressed above might not be so unusual in the scuba community, so I really appreciate the opportunity to engage in this discussion about the topic.

    Freedive fins can work well for scuba diving and you don't need to be swimming long distances or spearing fish. The long fins are very efficient and allow a diver to use a relatively slow kick and the increased fin area gives them a lot of control. We have many customers who use freedive fins when scuba diving, but I think a decent proportion of them are serious scuba divers and are not spearfishing.

    The benefit of freedive fins is not necessarily to allow a diver to swim at a higher speed, but rather to swim at a moderate pace with less effort. This is not so different than what freedivers are looking for - they want to cover the most ground with the least oxygen use - not sprint up and down.

    Your comment could be interpreted to indicate that everyone who uses freedive fins while scuba diving suffers cramping and that this might occur commonly and is directly attributable to the use of freedive fins. I would have to say that my experience is not consistent with that idea.

    Freedive fins ARE going to be harder to kick than some floppy split fins - no doubt, but if the diver has some degree of conditioning AND selects a proper freedive fin, then cramping should be very rare and they should experience improved swimming abilities.

    Most freedive fins (including all our fins except for the children's fins and our least expensive model) allow the REPLACEMENT of the fin blades. This means that the diver (freedive or scuba) can fine tune the blade stiffness to match their physical strength and also the type of diving they are doing. With the higher end freedive fins that are composed of fiberglass, carbon fiber or a composite of those two materials, the diver generally has at least two stiffnesses to choose from.

    Freedivers can talk endlessly about the best blades, the best footpockets, the optimal blade length, the optimal stiffness but the discussions pretty much never revolves around the inevitability of leg cramps.

    To be extremely brief, for freedivers who are looking for higher end fins ,we generally recommend soft blades for divers under 200 lbs, unless they are extremely muscular (or have a strong personal preference). The type of diving also matters. If a diver is going to swim a LONG distance (in freedive fins) then they should probably select a SOFTER blade to reduce fatigue and enhance stamina.

    If a freediver is doing relatively no long distance surface swimming and is diving deeper than 60 or 70 feet and using a thick wetsuit, then they MIGHT want to select a stiffer fin to give them the power to leave the bottom when they are heavy due to chest compression and wetsuit compression.

    A freediver will often be in the water swimming and diving for 3 to 5 hours a day - much longer than most recreational scuba divers, so leg cramping should be less of an issue for scuba compared to freedivers.

    Dive Safe!
    Dano
     
    IncreaseMyT and stuartv like this.
  7. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I'm not sure if you're seeking opinions other than my own, but here it is. A good carbon fin is probably the most efficient fin. Most divers (not all) would agree with that.

    To be perfectly honest, a freediver may be able to discern the difference between a good fiberglass versus a carbon fin, but scuba divers are pushing around so much gear, that the marginal benefit will probably be hard to detect.

    The fiberglass is probably the most practical material for a high end fin used in scuba. Sure you can dive with Carbon fins on scuba, but who needs a Porsche to get milk from 7-11?
     
    stuartv likes this.
  8. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    I never get cramps with my freediving fins. Why would I? I don't use them to go faster (most of the time). I use them to kick less (I.e. slower and more gently) while going slow.
     
    Magnus Lundstedt and Bob DBF like this.
  9. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    1,386
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    Not getting cramps with free dive fins is odd. I have been free diving a lot longer than scuba diving and I have never met anyone who hasn't gotten cramps with long strong fins. So lucky you.

    I have both, most spear guys and gals that I know have both. If your reef diving 30 feet of water with your kids I can't see why anyone would need or want free diving fins. Thats all I am saying. It would be silly, kind of like getting milk from 7/11 with a porsche :D

    Arguing that free dive fins require less energy for propulsion is like trying to argue that the earth is flat, it goes against every ounce of physics known to man.

    I do agree with Mako a lot of it has to do with your level of fitness. So in the end it really depends on what kind of diving your doing, and what kind of shape you are in.
     
  10. andy2667

    andy2667 Angel Fish

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    I have done a few search in this topic and bought one set carbon fin and one set plastic fin for trial. For my situation always doing liveaboard, i think carbon fins or fibreglass fins are not suitable. They may be damaged by the Crews who hope to help you (step on the fins for you to get on the foot pockets, squeeze them in a plastic baskets with loads of plastic scuba fins....etc). Therefore, I think plastic fins with the appropriate stiffness suitable for you is the way to go. I myself uses Omer Stingray because I can buy them cheap, the foot pockets suit me, and the stiffness is good for me.
     

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