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There is some new technology in the past few years: Split fins. They are available both as full-foot and open-heel fins.
There is a lot of hype surrounding them, but are they worth it? Read on for more information and my recommendations for the top scuba diving fins.
Scuba Diving Products
Scuba Diving Fins
Open-Heel Fins are generally heavy duty fins, which are designed to give greater propulsion than full-foot fins. They are built with heavy-duty materials and designed to be used in extreme environments. They are the most popular style of fin, because they can be used in tropical environments, but MUST be used in cold-water environments.
They allow you to wear booties inside them, which is necessary if diving in water cooler than about 25 degrees Celsius. Additionally, if you dive at sights that require you to walk over a beach, or rocks, open-heel fins will be required, since you'll want to wear booties to protect your feet when you're doing this.
If you only buy one pair of fins, they should be open-heel ones, along with a pair of booties. You can use them in all environments and later-on, if you want to buy a pair of full-foot fins for tropical diving, this is possible.
Elite Open Heel Pocket Fin from Sherwood
Perfect for tropical diving and snorkeling
These kind of fins are exclusively for tropical diving, where you won't have to walk over a rocky beach or shore to access your dive sites and where cold feet aren't an issue.
They are generally light and flexible, which make them a nice choice for traveling and for using at dive sights that don't require much effort, such as when you have a boat to pick you up. You can wear them with bare feet, or get a special fin sock to increase comfort when using for longer periods.
More Scuba Diving Hoods and Masks
What about Split Fins
Are they worth the hype?
Fins incorporate some of the latest technology to give you a fin with serious power, while reducing leg-muscle fatigue. There is a natural reduction on drag, which lowers muscle strain with prolonged kicking, such as diving into a current. The basic idea behind split fins is to create a high and low pressure side, which allows the water to be controlled and funneled down the blade and even causes the water to spin a vortex behind the fin, which increases propulsion.
Sound complicated? It kind of is. But what you need to know is this: if you're going to be diving in sites where you'll need to consistently be kicking, or if you have weak leg muscles, split fins might be for you. They will allow you to keep kicking without getting as tired.
Oceanic Vortex V-16 Split Fins
An excellent fin choice for those with less powerful leg muscles
(women) who still want lots of power in a fin. These are split,
flexible fins, which means that you don't have to kick as hard to
get the propulsion you need. You may have to kick more often, but
you won't get leg cramps with these finds.