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Clueless Beginner on Open Heel Fins with Wetsuit Question

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by AmsterDan, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. SubMariner

    SubMariner C'est Moi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A Canuck Conch
    Wise words. If the OP plans on diving locally, dry would definitely be the way to go.

    There is a HUGE difference between splashing around in your board shorts for a "little dip" and spending 30+ minutes underwater where the water is 7C at the surface, but drops at least a couple of degrees when you are at depth.

  2. Derek S

    Derek S Divemaster

    As someone who also lives in a cold climate, open-heeled fins are the way to go. If you're not using a drysuit (hint - you should), you will be using boots of some sort. And I've been called a blast-furnace by more people than I care to admit, but a 45-60+ min bottom time at 50*F gets real cold, real quick.

    Consider a drysuit, some neutrally or negatively buoyant open-heeled fins (Scuabro Jets are the go-tos for many divers), and enjoy your cold, freshwater dives. :cool2:
  3. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    I have two sets of boots. One is lighter weight and fairly flexible. The second has a harder sole and is a bit heavier. Fins that work with the lighter ones do not fit the boots even though both are size nine. Be sure to try everything before purchasing.
  4. boat sju

    boat sju Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Haslett, Michigan
    DUI Rock Boot discounts on sale DUI
    5mm Tall Dive Boot discounts on sale ScubaToys


    There's a difference between the SWAT style drysuit boots you're talking about and wetsuit boots. The above links are examples of both styles. The drysuit boots are worn with wetsuits that come with attached neoprene or latex socks. Personally I wear Converse AllStar tennis shoes with my neoprene socks. Here's a picture of that too if you want to see.


  5. AmsterDan

    AmsterDan Angel Fish

    Thanks again for the many informative responses! (Got busy but found time to reply finally.) My thoughts thus far:

    1. I would wish for more mobility in the drysuit that I dove in so far. Having said that, the layers consisted of a t-shirt/long-johns, onesie style under garment plus fleece vest. Since I haven't gotten even close to feeling cold at 40', I can probably shed the vest and gain better mobility simultaneously. (New question: How is diving in a cold ocean (not warmer than 5 Celcius) in just a wicking t-shirt and long-johns?) This would give me the best mobility, I think to believe!

    2. From what I gather so far is that diving in a wetsuit in my region is very much a possibility if I wanted too, but that drysuit diving lives up to the environment a little better considering the winter season as well. Perhaps greater depth (temp. droppage) with the advanced course and Johnny knows what comes after!

    I have to admit, the amount of choice at the prices they go for are at this point still a bit overwhelming. This forum really helps navigating through all of it!
  6. bradells

    bradells DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Calgary, AB
    You'll want boots for shore diving on our rocky shores.

    Wetsuit/drysuit the fit will be similar, just get some thick non soled booties when going wet.

    Get a fin that fits your foot with socks/booties in the boot.

  7. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    Diving dry in your neck of the woods would be the way to go, finances permitting. Wetsuits experience compression as you go deeper. A 7mm wetsuit will lose about half of its insulating protection below 10m, and get worse as you get deeper. Diving dry you can add air to compensate for suit squeeze and maintain insulation.

    diving with minimal protection isn't just about being comfortable in cold water. The colder you are the more gas you will burn as your body tries to maintain body temperature.
  8. LowDrag

    LowDrag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Good advice from everyone. I can't speak from having 100's of dives but I can say that I went from wet to dry real quick. Diving in NW Washington the water can get pretty chilly. I am glad I went dry sooner rather than later. As for the open heeled fins, I went with open heeled fins right from the start. I had to size up from Large to XLarge when I went from wet to dry though. I dive a White's Fusion with rock boots and so far I feel as though I will always dive rock boots because I like the solid sole. I do a lot of shore entry and I never bounce across the rocky shoreline stepping on sharp rocks and other things screaming ouch all over the place. If I were you, I would head for some of those cool tech shops I have heard you have up there and get in good with them and absorb all the knowledge you can get. You may find yourself heading in the way most people I know that dive in our neck woods do anyway and by doing it sooner rather than later you will save yourself a bunch of cash. Just a thought is all. OBTW...I envy you, you have some seriously cool places to dive up there.
  9. ShootingUnderwater.com

    ShootingUnderwater.com ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    tkdgodess gave you sound advice. The open heel fins are the way to go. You can use them with both wet and dry suit as long as you don't have the drysuit boots attached to the suit. I switch between wet/dry with the same fins. They are so versatile, I witnessed a young lady wearing Keds tennis shoes with her drysuit and fins; very funny. What ever your tolerances are, outfit yourself for comfort and warmth. Who would want to end a dive early because you're freezing!! ~ Enjoy
  10. AmsterDan

    AmsterDan Angel Fish

    Thanks to all for your thoughts! The couple of dive sites that I've been to so far have indeed all required some sturdy footwear. Whether it is because of some serious barnacles or just the uneven rocky terrain. I think I'll go with a drysuit. Cost was initially the thought, "I can save hundreds of Dollars!" but really I can see those extra hundreds making for much many more comfortable dives ... I 'think' it is worth it and most of your comments speak from personal experience.

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