They have different names: swimfins, swim fins, fins or flippers, so do not be confused. Fins are finlike accessories worn on the foot or leg and made from various materials such as rubber, plastic or combinations of these materials, to aid movement through the water in water sports activities such as swimming, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, scuba diving, riverboarding and various other types of underwater activities.

Those fins help the diver to move through water more efficiently, as human feet are too small and inappropriately shaped to provide much thrust, especially when the diver is carrying equipment that increases hydrodynamic drag. Very long fins and monofins used by freedivers as a means of underwater propulsion do not require high frequency leg movement.

Carlos Luis Aguilera Borjas: Full foot fins
Full foot fins

Today, we will show you some information related to the different types of scuba fins for you to be prepared when buying some. Remember, that these are just suggestions, everything depends on your preferences.

Some tips:

· Full foot and open heel

In general terms, lighter, full-foot fins are used by snorkeling or diving in warm waters. Open-heeled fins are heavier duty, engineered to give divers more propulsion. And you can wear a neoprene boot with them to keep your feet warm.

· Types of blade

You can find several types of blade in the market. You can even find some fins that incorporate a mix of technologies. What is important for you to know is that the basic aim of them is to reduce effort while maximizing power.

Carlos Luis Aguilera Borjas: Mares Avanti Quattro fins
Mares Avanti Quattro fins

On the other hand, you have the standard fins, which use a flat surface to push the water backwards and propel the diver forwards. Sometimes you can find them with channels, such as in the Mares Avanti Quattro fins, which allow the blade to flex across its width creating a u-shape. This contains the water more efficiently as the fin is moved up and down and improves propulsion.

Split fins are other type. They reduce the effort of kicking and maintain power. The split reduces drag, causing less strain on leg muscles. The principle is to create low and high pressure sides to the fin.

Finally, we have hinged fins, such as the ScubaPro Seawing Nova, that contain a pivot, allowing the blade to automatically move to the best possible angle to provide the best performance.

· Straps and springs

Carlos Luis Aguilera Borjas: Fins and Divers
Fins and Divers

A great number of open-heel fins come with adjustable straps, attached to the fin with quick release clips. However, some divers may prefer springs to hold the foot in place, which can be pulled away from the heel when you take them off. You can always replace straps with springs if your choice of fin does not come with them as standard.

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