Fins are an essential part of your personal scuba gear, along with your diving mask, wetsuit, BCD and dive computer. Five pieces you need to be familiar with so that you’ll feel more confident during your dives.
It’s not fun when you rent some old fins from a dive center and they don’t fit well or you get blisters from them. Having your own fins is one of the best investments you can make to enjoy comfortable dives!
I know, there are a lot of new models out there, and it is not easy to make a choice. Don’t worry, I’m going to review the best scuba diving fins we can find on the market to help you make the right decision. These recommendations are based on my own experience and the ratings of other experienced divers, and you’ll find a lot of great models starting from as little as $40!
THE BEST SCUBA DIVING FINS
ATOMIC AQUATICS SPLIT
The Atomic Aquatics Split fins are probably the best scuba fins on the market. They allow you to deliver more propulsion with less drag thanks to their advanced design.
Pros: You save energy, great propulsion.
Cons: Quite expensive.
ATOMIC AQUATICS BLADE FIN
The Atomic Aquatics Blade fins are engineered for power and thrust. They have a solid structure to generate lots of propulsion through the frame rails and they are a very popular choice for many divers.
They are a bit more affordable than the Atomic Aquatics Split, with great results.
Pros: Powerful propulsion.
CRESSI REACTION EBS
The Cressi Reaction EBS features a special strap, improved blade and wide foot pocket, which is great to use with drysuit boots.
Cressi has created one of the best scuba diving fins, ideal for intermediate and advanced divers.
Pros: Great overall performance.
SCUBAPRO TWIN JET
The Scubapro Twin Jet features a combination of rigid outer support with a more flexible inner part of the blade.
This helps you get better propulsion than with traditional blade fins, with less effort and stress.
Pros: Great propulsion with less effort.
Cons: There are cheaper options.
AQUALUNG STRATOS 3
The Aqualung Stratos 3 combines good propulsion with comfort and durability.
They are perfect for divers who want all-around full-foot fins with great resistance and performance.
Pros: Durability, price.
Cons: They are not good for cold water.
The Mares Wave is a great fin for use in warm water. They feature a comfortable soft-rubber pocket with a resistant and highly efficient blade.
It’s the lightest fin on the list, making it the best scuba fin for travelers.
Pros: Great price, good performance.
Cons: They are not good for cold water.
SCUBAPRO SEAWING NOVA
The Scubapro Seawing Nova features different technology with articulated joints. This design allows the blade to pivot, so the entire blade is able to generate thrust.
It’s one of the most efficient and powerful models, with reduced drag and increased thrust. One of the best scuba diving fins on the market right now.
Pros: Best overall performance.
The Sherwood Triton is a great fin, incorporating both an old-school design and the most advanced technology.
These fins have three vents between the foot pocket and the blade, providing a great thrust on the down kick and decreasing drag on the up kick. Triton fins are positively buoyant, so they will float if they come off.
Pros: Great thrust, decreased drag.
The Seac Propulsion is a great fin that offers a combination of good performance, comfort, power, efficiency and reasonable price.
Pros: Good value for the money.
Cons: Maybe not the best on the list, but they do really well.
“Power, comfort and good price”
TUSA LIBERATOR X
The Tusa Liberator X is the best option for those who are looking for great fins at a very affordable price.
The stabilizers on the blade surface and rails generate great propulsion with minimal exertion, and the strap and buckle system makes fins easy to put on and take off.
Pros: Best price on the list.
Cons: No top-quality fins, but really good for the price.
A few things to consider when choosing the best scuba fins:
FULL FOOT OR OPEN HEEL?
Full foot are good for snorkeling and diving in warm water; you can wear them barefoot or use socks to prevent blisters.
Open heel are usually more efficient and powerful; you wear them with neoprene boots. This is the option most divers choose.
If you go for an open-heel fin, choose a model with quick-adjust buckles or springs. This will make it easier for you to take them off when you get out of the water.
TYPE OF BLADE: PADDLE OR SPLIT?
Paddle fins are the classic fins people have been using since the 1940s. Of course, the new models have variations on the design. In addition, as new materials have been introduced to be more efficient and flexible.
Split fins are made to allow greater strength for the fins and to act like propellers. They provide the same propulsion with less effort.
Most fins are made of different materials. The heel is usually made of neoprene rubber while the paddle is made of several plastic alloys. Some models are made completely of rubber.
Now that you know what kind of blade you need, remember that the type of strap is also important in choosing fins. The wrong straps can cause injuries or discomfort – things you want to avoid at all costs.
The strap’s shape will also affect the way you feel your fins. The fins must be made of a resistant material that offers the greatest durability.
FIT AND COMFORT
When it comes to finding your size, think about whether you’re going to wear booties. Although some divers don’t use booties to dive in tropical waters, for a better experience, it’s a good idea to wear them (or at least some socks).
The size of the fins will vary depending on the type of use and your needs. If you’re going to travel, very large fins can be difficult to transport from one place to another. The fins on the list are not specially designed for travel. They are designed to offer the best performance underwater.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DIVING FINS
As with all diving gear, you should carefully clean your fins with fresh water. Be sure to maintain this routine after each dive. This way, you will remove sand, salt and other particles that can damage your fins.
After cleaning your fins, let them dry in a place protected from the sun, as the sun can damage the plastic and ruin the colors.
Once they’re dry, store your fins horizontally in a dry place out of the sun. This way, your fins won’t deform over time.
Repeat these steps every time you go diving and you’ll keep your fins in good shape for a long time.
A FEW EXTRA TIPS:
Keep in mind that dry suits require the use of bigger booties. If you have a dry suit, you’ll need two different sizes: one for the wetsuit and another for the dry suit.
Check your strips from time to time, as they are the least resistant part of the fin. You should change the strips if you see that they are somewhat damaged. Don’t wait for them to break. This way you avoid losing a fin in the middle of a dive.
Use a marker and write your name on your fins. As a rule, I recommend that you mark all your equipment, especially the fins. After a dive, the fins of all the group members get scattered throughout the boat; some models are quite popular and this creates confusion.
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Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.