The debate on fins will likely rage eternal, as there is no “right” fin for everyone. The best thing you can do for yourself is a bit of research before you buy, both by asking other divers and trying things for yourself. Fit is an important component of choosing fins, but the style of swimmer you are will also come into play. If you’re not sure what kind of swimmer you are, you might do well to go with a more middle-of-the-road type fin until you become more aware of your needs. Powerful swimmers have seen excellent results with longer blades. Split fins are known to give a boost to a softer stroke. If this is your first foray into the world of fins, here are a few pairs we recommend not only for their features, but the affordable pricing as well.
The Response open-heel fins from Genesis are a perfect example of a versatile, middle-of-the-road fin by being equipped with channels that direct water behind the diver for smooth propelling, housed within a stiff blade that helps to reduce leg fatigue. The comfortable foot pocket can accommodate various thicknesses of booties and boots, and the fully adjustable straps open and close with quick-release buckles, so these fins are suitable for both warm and colder waters. Some divers have noted that replacing the manufacturer strap with a spring strap has enhanced their wear and longevity, so there are options for customization as you progress with them. At half the retail price, these fins are a great score as a first set or an extra one.
Another versatile option is the Free Frog fins from Cressi. This full-foot model is constructed from a sturdy copolymer and a soft elastomer to create the perfect balance of kick strength and flexibility. The copolymer material is a memory plastic that allows the fin to snap back quickly into place after each stroke, rather than flattening out first like some fins. Four stiff rubber ridges work to channel water fluidly down the blade of the fin without causing any drag or skidding in the stroke, and the comfortable elastomer foot pocket holds your foot securely with or without booties. A great choice for the recreational diver or snorkeler.
These split fins from ScubaPro are a solid choice for a beginning diver. ScubaPro has been in the business a long time, and does very well at manufacturing fins that a large majority of divers will choose over any other fin, hands down. With the Twin Jet Max split fins, many different styles of finning can be accommodated while delivering the power you want on your dives. Water flows easily through these split fins with the addition of multiple vents that reduce drag in the water. Pull tabs on the top and bottom of these fins make donning and doffing a breeze. If these fins have been recommended to you by a diver who owns them, you can be confident you are making a good choice.