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What is the context of your FIN preferences?

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by Doctor Rig, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Doctor Rig

    Doctor Rig Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Michigan
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    Over many months, I’ve read articles on fin selection and SB posts on diver fin preferences. I’ve tried different fins and I’m confused by my experiences. Help?

    In summary, from my reading, JET type fins have a very strong and undeniable following..... so I bought a pair of Deep 6 Eddy fins. Of all the JET type fins I’ve tried, the Eddy fins are at the top.... but I haven’t been out of the pool with them. I have no doubt that I’ll like the Eddy fin when I’m just maneuvering around, but to move fast somewhere, they are much slower than my little pool training fins... much slower for equal or more exertion in the pool without any dive equipment on. At the end of a recent pool fin swim comparison (with no equipment on), I came up with the following analogy that I’d like to share and hear your related comments. Please.

    For this analogy here is my experience using my JET type fin and pool fins. JET fins are typically used while scuba diving.... with equipment creating much drag in the water. Pool fins are (typically) used with no equipment and thus minimal drag. Therefore, I’m thinking the JET fins are more powerful (low gear) and the pool fins are less powerful (high gear), and not able to overcome increased drag from Scuba equipment, so with equipment one kicks and goes nowhere. So is my pool experience with no equipment an unfair comparison to what I’d experience diving? Expanding on this, I’d guess SPLIT fins are more like a medium gear fin.

    Does my analogy make any sense? If not, what am I missing?

    On the flip side, is it possible that I don’t have the leg power to drive the bigger JET type fins. I don’t dismiss this possibility, but I’m doubting it. Any validity?
     
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    I really dislike Jet fins; I love my Eddy fins. They are not the same.....the difference is in the foot pocket, and the flexibility, and the weight.
    Yes, there is a lot of drag on you with scuba gear on. That does make a difference.
    Speed is something I really don't are about.
    Splits are a very different animal, and need to be kicked differently than paddle fins....more of a short, fast stroke, than a slower, broad stroke.
    And then there are the different kicks, like frog vs flutter vs "bicycling."
    So, I'm not keen on your analogy of low gear, medium gear, and high gear, becasue I think there are alot more variables than that, but to the extent it has validity I'd definitely put split fins in the high gear category.
     
  3. Divectionist

    Divectionist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Gold Coast, Australia
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    I like bomb proof rubber fins with metal spring straps over fins that are full of fussy lines and colours and appear almost fashion designed.

    I'm frogging along 80% of my time, so I like the fins to be particularly good at that, with the ability to transfer some power when kicking in strong ocean currents. I also like chunky rails because I find them effective for helicoptering or subtle positioning.

    I was never able to test drive fins before purchasing so I go by look and feel. I've picked up the Zeagle Recons a few months ago because they looked like the perfect pair and I am extremely happy with their performance. Just look at them and you know they are perfect frog kickers.

    My biggest fin mistake was going for some 'cool' split fins during an OW course 10 years ago, I don't think I've used them on more than a handful of dives outside the coursework, and they've been rotting away half a world away ever since.

    I'd also suggest trying a number of boot and fin combinations, boots have an incredible impact on how well a fin fits and I would always suggest trying various combinations before dismissing a fin option that otherwise looks appealing.
     
    Doctor Rig likes this.
  4. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
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    Are you comparing flutter kick speed? Fuhhhget about it. Compare how they feel frog kicking all day and flutter only if you really need to power through an UW rapid of sorts...
    I may need to get (lightweight enough, short enough) Eddy fins some day for a bit more power than my Oceanic Accell fins, which when found at 1/2 price are great for me because:
    They fit into my carry on backpack, together with my other warm water gear (not counting camera gear).
    Their weight is miniscule...
    Tech fivers poo poo them based on looks and not using spring straps...
    Well, they worked well enough for everything I did to date and weigh about as much as a pair of spring straps...
    I also have diverite XT's and they are more substantial fins and I like them too choose them often, but not so much for air travel... unless there is enough room and weight capacity left... Back kicking (which I am not particularly good at yet) does seem to work a bit better in them then in the accells, but if I just want to position around a bit in essentially no current, I am quite fine with the accells too.
    Now, if I was pushing doubles and a big camera rig... I would have to do some head to head comparison before saying more. Seems like the accells will struggle more, but in the end a few more strokes at less power does not a more tired diver make... is what I am thinking so far...
     
    Doctor Rig likes this.
  5. PMscuba

    PMscuba Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Italy
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    I am currently using jet fins and quite happy with them. However, I have tried the Hollis F1 fins and they are pretty sweet. They can generate a lot of power when you need it and at the same time you can easily do slow frog kicks.
     
    Sh0rtBus likes this.
  6. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    3,414
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    Jet fins certainly put a lot of stress on your legs, but like anything else in sports your body adapts.

    I generally don't even have to kick with jet fins, I just give a little ankle flick. I believe that you call this "low gear." It's the same for me, whether I am in a shorty with a single tank, or in doubles with stage bottles and a dry suit.

    If I kick jet fins into high gear, the power is unbeatable. But you have to have the muscle power to drive them.
     
    Sh0rtBus and Doctor Rig like this.
  7. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
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    If you're just interested in going fast you should be looking at a pair of free diving fins, that's what they're designed to do. For most diving, and especially in constricted spaces or over delicate or silty bottoms, maneuverability is equally or more important, which is where fins like the Deep 6 shine. To take full advantage of them, you'll need to learn how to use them, which means the frog kick and its variants. (And split fins do neither very well.)
     
    John C. Ratliff, Doc and Sh0rtBus like this.
  8. Doctor Rig

    Doctor Rig Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Michigan
    145
    25
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    Great point! I agree, as that has been part of my experimentation, after learning the hard way, getting a huge abrasion on the top of my instep. Boots make a difference, both for flutter and frog kicking in different ways!
     
  9. g1138

    g1138 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, SC
    3,054
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    One of the biggest "aha" moments of diver intuitiveness is learning how to fin effectively for your fin.
    If you kick the exact same frequency with any fin you wear, you're going to be very opinionated on which fins "suck" and which do well.

    Tiny rinky-dink swimming fins are light and either
    A) Long & floppy
    B) Short and stiff
    If you flutter quickly in them you swim fast. If you kick very long strides in them with a delay period between each kick you move nowhere.

    Jet fins on the other extreme you want long strided kicks. Short rinky-dink finning is going to get you nowhere and cramp your legs. This is why frog-kicking is utilized stereotypical with Jet-finning. Whereas with other fins you see flutters predominately used. You can still flutter with Jets, however the kick style is more long strided with pauses between each power kick to let yourself glide. Jet fin flutter kicks should have follow through with their kicks. Whereas floppy paddles you kinda want to recoil immediately into follow up kicks.

    Hinged, Splits, & Force fins all do very well with quick flutters, with varying degrees of frequency between kicks.
    Paddle fins are pretty much all over the board because they exhibit a more varying degree of floppyness/stiffness between brand/models.

    Look at sea otters, sea lions, & seals swimming. They often do one power stroke and let their momentum glide through the water. Obviously divers have way more drag but we too can utilize this with stiffer fins.
    On the other hand, damsel fish, reef fish, fish that aren't built for speed; they have have floppy fins and need to vigorously fin rinky-dinky to shoot away. So if your fin is like that then you too need to do the same to travel.
     
  10. NorCalDM

    NorCalDM Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vacaville California
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    I don't think one fin fitts for all my diving needs. Shore diving I use boots and fins with a spring strip currently using the Novs's and they are ok but have used better. Boat diving in warm warter I use a full foot fin which is the Mares Avanti and I love them. Different tools for different jobs.
     

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