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Question Choosing Freediving Fins

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Bexie

New Member
Mar 21, 2021
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Hi Freedivers. Im new to freediving, having recently completed an Aventure Freediving 1 course, and able to get down to 10m so far. I plan to continue to do it recreationally and dont see myself going deeper than 20m. Im currently trying to choose fins... My requirements are that i would use them in the cold waters of Cape Town, but also the warm waters of Mediterranean... So maybe with a thin sock in Cape Town but definitely no sock in Mediterranean. I would also like to make sure its comfortable for surface swimming, and safe (not too fragile) for travelling with. I assume i need a soft to medium blade. I currently have my eyes on Mares razor, cressi gara 300 ld and leaderfins....any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

OMac

Member
Oct 15, 2020
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8
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Hi, I have the Gara 3000 ld and I think they'll last me for a while yet. I tend to get tempted to rush and get the best I can afford but I'll keep using these fins until I've completed Aida 3 at least before I buy myself a set of Carbons.
 
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musubi

Active Member
Feb 9, 2017
66
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Hi Freedivers. Im new to freediving, having recently completed an Aventure Freediving 1 course, and able to get down to 10m so far. I plan to continue to do it recreationally and dont see myself going deeper than 20m. Im currently trying to choose fins... My requirements are that i would use them in the cold waters of Cape Town, but also the warm waters of Mediterranean... So maybe with a thin sock in Cape Town but definitely no sock in Mediterranean. I would also like to make sure its comfortable for surface swimming, and safe (not too fragile) for travelling with. I assume i need a soft to medium blade. I currently have my eyes on Mares razor, cressi gara 300 ld and leaderfins....any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Which fins did you use for the course and how did you like them? That should help give you a starting point.
The best is to try out the fins you want, but that's easier said than done. One company's Soft is another company's Stiff. Find out what your budget is and go from there.

I don't dive in cold waters, but if I did I'd have larger foot pockets with thicker socks on. One option is to go with a larger pocket and just use a thicker sock for both waters. Or pick up two foot pockets, so as long as you can remove the blades, i.e. not glued in or fixed type blades. Find a foot pocket that's comfortable to you and not placing unwanted pressure or rubbing. Fin keepers are very helpful either way and what I use.

Typically freedivers use a softer blade compared to spearfishermen I know. Another resource is to ask your instructor for advice for freediving fins.
 

Bexie

New Member
Mar 21, 2021
2
0
1
37
Which fins did you use for the course and how did you like them? That should help give you a starting point.
The best is to try out the fins you want, but that's easier said than done. One company's Soft is another company's Stiff. Find out what your budget is and go from there.

I don't dive in cold waters, but if I did I'd have larger foot pockets with thicker socks on. One option is to go with a larger pocket and just use a thicker sock for both waters. Or pick up two foot pockets, so as long as you can remove the blades, i.e. not glued in or fixed type blades. Find a foot pocket that's comfortable to you and not placing unwanted pressure or rubbing. Fin keepers are very helpful either way and what I use.

Typically freedivers use a softer blade compared to spearfishermen I know. Another resource is to ask your instructor for advice for freediving fins.
Thank you, that is very helpful advice, i really appreciate your input.
 

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
142
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If you want to be able to have bare feet and a thick sock you would definitely need a soft rubbery foot pocket like the Gara 3000 fins, not familiar with other brands with elastic pockets.
 
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HLanger1955

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2013
114
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The Gara 3000 is certainly a good option. It comes for a reasonable price, performs pretty well und is almost "undestroyable". This is an important issue when you are at rocky coast, where the fins get easulily scratched,,,,
 
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Greg Rothaus

Well-Known Member
Jun 6, 2008
12
4
93
Hi Freedivers. Im new to freediving, having recently completed an Aventure Freediving 1 course, and able to get down to 10m so far. I plan to continue to do it recreationally and dont see myself going deeper than 20m. Im currently trying to choose fins... My requirements are that i would use them in the cold waters of Cape Town, but also the warm waters of Mediterranean... So maybe with a thin sock in Cape Town but definitely no sock in Mediterranean. I would also like to make sure its comfortable for surface swimming, and safe (not too fragile) for travelling with. I assume i need a soft to medium blade. I currently have my eyes on Mares razor, cressi gara 300 ld and leaderfins....any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
A lot depends on your weight, leg strength, and personal preference. Lighter divers who don't have really strong finning legs from diving a lot tend to be better off with softer fins. Heavy divers and/or those who have strong finning legs from diving a lot may be better off with stiffer fins. That's a general rule and it is a good one. But, there are divers out there who swear by their soft fins or hard fins and would never go the other way. I hope that's clear as mud. The general rule I just laid out is a good starting point.
 
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marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
309
119
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Get the Leaderfins with the Forza footpocket. You won't be wrong. choose them for 3 mm socks. They're good for warm and not so warm water and they'll protect you from blisters.
 

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
975
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Another idea to keep in mind is that plastic fins become much stiffer in cold water. You may be a good candidate for fiberglass or carbon blades, which really don't change much.
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
414
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Get the Leaderfins with the Forza footpocket. You won't be wrong. choose them for 3 mm socks. They're good for warm and not so warm water and they'll protect you from blisters.
I use Leaderfins fiberglass medium with Pathos pockets. Good combo for the wider foot. The fins get abused, but they keep performing very well (1½ year, 1-2x/week, long distances with many dives, 6+ hours each time).

I chose the pockets first, then matched a blade to it. Your legs can get used to blades of any material or stiffness, as long as the pockets fit your foot.
 

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
975
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Leander, I have to disagree with your idea on stiffness. Several years ago I ran a study looking at time to swim 25m underwater in a pool. I had about 10 combinations available that 6 individuals used for repeat swims. The stiffest fins, Imersion E-blacks, and very stiff carbon blades in Spetton footpockets were the slowest fins there. Other combinations included my Dessaulty/Specialfins medium glass, my Imersion E-carbons, jetfins, and several other combinations. Despite the lower speeds, several divers believed that the stiff blades were the fastest fins.

At the same time, I totally concur that footpocket comfort is still more important than stiffness. When your feet hurt, nothing is fun.
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Did you try all those fins for 100 hours before drawing the results and moving to the next fin? A body can adapt to anything but this takes time. 100 hours would still be on the low side, but better than trying different fins in the same pool setting.
 
Last edited:

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
975
139
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Nobody gave me that much time. Personal experience with Imersion E-blacks, Picasso (stiff blacks), and Omer milleniums all gave me the same result. An old post by Dave Mullins also gave the same results. Check the graphs he produced on multiple 30m dives
At the time he was world record holder in Dynamic and DNF
 

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
142
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From my testing of hard and medium blades in an identical setup the stiffer fin will be faster as long as the correct deforming of the blade is achieved. This will require more strength and may be slower if one fatigues over distance. One must match the strength required to flex a stiff fin or they become useless but in the same manner floppy fins will just go nowhere for a heavy person. Training to meet the strength requirement or finding the right stiffness is critical. I don't know much about how cadence plays into speed or oxygen conservation but that is another significant variable.
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
309
119
83
Nobody gave me that much time. Personal experience with Imersion E-blacks, Picasso (stiff blacks), and Omer milleniums all gave me the same result. An old post by Dave Mullins also gave the same results. Check the graphs he produced on multiple 30m dives
At the time he was world record holder in Dynamic and DNF
You're talking about a 13 years old post. Fins technology has improved a lot since then. Whoever says that plastic fins are better (or equivalent) to carbons is lying or have never tried good carbon fins.

According to my experience, the softer, the better, As long as they move you in the water.
 

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
975
139
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Despite being 13 years old, the main point Dave was making was that a lot of fins, plastic, fiberglass, or carbon, were too stiff. The current move toward medium stiffness has been a big help. What we are still missing is a consistent way of measuring stiffness in blades and footpockets. Both are important in how the fins work.
 
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