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Freediving Fins

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by VibesAndHorizons, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
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    My ones, shown in my previous post, have open foot pockets which are designed for being used with booths.
    I started using them when I was working at Maldives. In channels the current is very strong, no way to swim against it without long, powerful freediving fins and a super-streamlined, low friction setup.
    After learning how to use them properly, and to get optimal efficiency and perfect control, I never moved back to shorter fins.
    After my years as instructor at Maldives, I moved to cave diving at Capo Caccia, Sardinia. I did dive there for 10 years, doing also extreme penetration (Grotta di Nereo, etc.).
    But I always continued using my beloved freediving fins, learning how to use them properly in narrow passages.
    Of course you cannot frog kick with them.
    But frog kick, apart being terribly inefficient and inelegant, is substantially forbidden in these Italian caves, as their most nice feature is the red coral growing abundant under the ceiling of the cave. So you cannot flex your knees and have the fins higher than your body, as US cave divers do.
    You must always stay perfectly horizontal and with perfectly straight legs, with knees and ankles fully extended.
    As one raises the fins towards the ceiling, the divemaster immediately sacks you and invite to exit the cave.
    For going forward you can use the horizontal scissor kick, which avoids raising dust from the bottom and to hit the red coral above you.
    Freediving fins are very efficient with horizontal scissor kick...
    So I do not see significant problems using long freediving fins even inside caves or wrecks, of course if the diver spent the required 100-200 dives necessary for learning how to use them properly in various environments.
    I would not recommend them for beginners, but they are great for experienced divers when you want maximum performances in very deep dives, or for extended penetration in caves.
     
    Hank49, woodcarver and eleniel like this.
  2. phoenixyao

    phoenixyao Angel Fish

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    Woodcarver, thank you for sharing. I'm considering free diving fins, but worry about the travel. This really open a new window for me.

    I do frog kick & flutter kick both. wreck & cave dives are not my interest. Most of my dives are in tropical water and require a lot of travel to get there. As a photographer, I've already had big backpack with my camera and underwater housing, really cannot hand carry another bag like long blade fins. I prefer to put fins into check-in luggage with other diving gears.

    I use Mares Volo Race in past 16 years and pretty happy with it. Volo got a little break in the tip, so I'm considering new fins. In my opinion, Volo is even powerful than Quattro+ open heel, which I borrowed from a friend for my Socorro trip last month.

    I considered the Gull Barracuda in the beginning, because the blade is longer than normal scuba fins, but not too long and can pack in normal 29'' suitcase. But gull is negative buoyancy in the water and drag my legs down.

    Cressi 3000LD and 2000HF seems quite popular in Maldives, Indonesia, Socorro,, etc. A lot of dive guides have them and perform fantastic in the current. (Yes, we do need to fight with current sometimes to get closer for fisheye lens. )

    According to some threads, plastic freediving fins might be a good choice for me, because I only do scuba in most of time. Carbon & glass fiber seems an over-kill for me and easy to break.

    I'm considering Cressi 3000LD, Beuchat Mundial One 50(for a shorter blade, easy to pack) , or Cressi Gara Modular (disassembling for easier packing?). Any other suggestion?
     
  3. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,467
    4,090
    113
    If you want powerful fins that are near neutral and not as long as freediving fins, check out the Dive Rite XT fins.
     
    scrane likes this.
  4. phoenixyao

    phoenixyao Angel Fish

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    Thank you for the advice.

    Maybe the word of "powerful" is a little misleading. Actually, I need fins more efficient in the current. When I use Quattro+ open heel in Socorro current, I feel the air consumption is significant more than my past experience with my Volo race. In general, I consumed similar amount of air as my wife before. But this time, I only got 600 PSI while she still have 1200 in 1st diving day. I have to switch to 15L steel tank later to maintain the similar dive time.

    I understand that a lot of people in the forum prefer open heel fins. But diving boots are always the most difficult gear to dry out in the last day of trip. Wet boots in luggage after 5-10 hours flight is horrible. Since most of my dives are in tropical water, I might still consider full foot fins.
     
  5. Hoyden

    Hoyden Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Rockville, MD
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    Can you describe or show what you mean by horizontal scissor kick?
     
  6. woodcarver

    woodcarver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    1,256
    2,204
    113
    I've been really happy with Mako's comp II fins. They go in checked baggage. Like you, my carry-on is camera gear and regs, no room for fins. The comp II's are really easy to take apart and put back together if overall length is an issue. Before I figured out baseball equipment bags were perfect, I was looking at just pruning an inch or two off the blades.
    The plastic blades have been very durable. What I hear about the carbon fiber and fiberglass blades makes it easy to not spend the money on them.
    I use a variety of kicks and have not had any problems. (I don't do caves or wrecks, so can't speak to that aspect) There is an easy learning curve, they do behave a little differently. But you can't beat them in current, and on the occasion I needed to catch up, or keep up, with something, they make it possible without burning all my air.
     
    eleniel likes this.
  7. woodcarver

    woodcarver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    1,256
    2,204
    113
    I use Mako's Kevlar booties. If you need to dry quickly, just turn them inside out and use a towel.
     
  8. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    1,361
    964
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    I feel a lot more control with fool foot fins, and the long ones allow me to just glide.

    Using the long fins is just a natural progression, I started with normal size fool foot, then before I realize that the "industry" was full of it I moved to the open heel, because "real" divers use open heel.... quickly placed the jets on a shelf and moved on to the mares quattro, after wearing out a few pares I discovered the Deep Apnea and just love everything about them, my husband uses something similar from a local store.

    These days with water temps in the mid 70'sF I wish my neoprene socks were a bit warmer but there's no way I go back to open heel ever.

    The pic is a rare instance of me without the mask on my forehead but that was just seconds before splashing. it does show a decent view of the fins
     

    Attached Files:

  9. woodcarver

    woodcarver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    1,256
    2,204
    113
    Have you tried a thicker, non-soled bootie (basically a thicker sock) with a bigger size foot pocket?
     
  10. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

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    I can probably wear a bit thicker sock without changing foot pocket, I already thought about doing that for the next dive. Seas didn't cooperate this past weekend, and the one coming up is forecast to have seas big enough to swallow our vessel, will have to wait all the way until the March, not thrilled about that.
     
    woodcarver likes this.

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