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Freediving Fins

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

  1. MAKO Spearguns

    MAKO Spearguns ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    As mentioned, we offer a variety of fins using different materials which results in a large variation in price.

    As usual there is a variety of opinions, but the scuba divers who use “long fins” or freedive fins tend to be pretty big fans of them. Of course they have negatives in that they are more cumbersome on the boat for the 60 seconds (before you splash) and their length would make turning around in a tight silty shipwreck more of a challenge. However, once in the water they have excellent efficiency and more than enough power.

    A couple of comments were made about the vulnerability of fiberglass and carbon fiber to damage. In the past, carbon fiber blades especially have had a history of fragility. However, I think all modern fins being manufactured now are pretty robust.

    No matter how strong you are or how hard you kick, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that you will damage one of our fin blades. Before we stock a particular fin, we literally try to crack them or break them by kicking as hard as possible during testing. We test them with scuba and freediving and they also have to be tested in a mechanical bending machine that delivers many thousands of cycles. They all are pretty tough and handle the normal stresses of swimming extremely well.

    In general, you probably want to avoid a giant stride entry, because with the large blade area, the trailing fin puts a ton of stress at the toe of the footpocket. A diver can enter with their feet together and enter heel first, or roll to side or do a back roll or even land backwards.

    Polymer (plastic), fiberglass and carbon fiber can handle many, many dives and kick cycles. What the blades can not handle well is abuse. If someone drops a tank on the blade, or slams a heavy weight on the very tip of the blade or closes a hatch cover on the tip, then a crack or damage can occur. This seems obvious, but it should also be mentioned that the long fins should not be thrown on the deck and then walked on by other people. If the diver treats the fins with just a little bit of respect, they should last years of hard service.

    Scuba diving involves heavy tanks, often hard weights and sometime rough conditions and gear can get abused. Many scuba divers are more comfortable using a pair of inexpensive polymer fins in this environment compared to a $500 pair of carbons from another manufacturer. Ours are much less expensive BTW.

    In general, fiberglass and carbon fiber blades have better performance with respect to converting the energy from the divers kick to moving the diver, however to be honest, most scuba divers are not so attuned to getting 100% performance that they will be fine with an inexpensive polymer blade. They will generally recognize a SIGNIFICANT improvement compared to their typical scuba fin.

    For freedivers, who measure their time underwater in seconds, a small improvement in efficiency can be very important.

    Hopefully I have not diverged too far off topic, but I wanted to emphasize that a scuba diver who can afford a more expensive freedive fin, should not be hesitant to buy a higher performance fin because of excessive concerns over the robustness of the blade.

    Thanks!

    dano
     
    VibesAndHorizons, eleniel and Hank49 like this.
  2. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
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    Most people assume that open foot pockets are just those large and rigid employed with heavy boots, such as the Jet Fins, providing little control and inefficient kicking. And that efficient freediving fins are only with close full feet pocket.
    In reality athletes doing finswimming competitions and freediving recordmen use almost always fins equipped with open feet pockets, such as these ones:
    A.Stadiotti.jpg
    This kind of fins are not to be used with booths, they lock to the feet much better than standard closed shoes, of course must be of the exact size and fit for your feet, and provide maximum thrust with minimal mechanical losses.
    And obviously a monofin, as in the picture above, exceeds the performances of any pair of separate fins.
    Coming back to scuba diving with long, efficient fins: some makers produce long fins specially designed for fast scuba diving (a speciality called "underwater velocity"): the cylinder is forward-mounted, as shown here below, and this is the setup ensuring maximum speed and the capability to swim against very strong current.
    finaleger.jpg
     
    eleniel likes this.
  3. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
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    I did already explain this technique in another thread (about breathing control). See here and in the following pages...
    Breathing technique
     
    eleniel likes this.
  4. VibesAndHorizons

    VibesAndHorizons Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Los Angeles
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    Thanks for this info! I will definitely be going with medium stiffness since I will use them for Scuba.
     
    eleniel likes this.
  5. VibesAndHorizons

    VibesAndHorizons Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Los Angeles
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    For open-ocean diving, they can give you more power.
     
  6. VibesAndHorizons

    VibesAndHorizons Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Los Angeles
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    Deep Apnea Free Diving Fins made in U.S.A.
    These look pretty appealing for Scuba.
     

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