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fin sizing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Sep 26, 2001
I'm new to freediving. I've always been a recreational snorkeler and have always prefered it over scuba. I've started getting excited and reading a lot about freediving lately. I decided I need to get some real fins. I've been reading a lot of the threads on this board and looking around at prices. The fins I'm looking at now are the Sporasub H.Dessaults. The only place i can find them is from DiveInn at www.scubastore.com. I think I want the open heel model so I can wear a boot with it.

Am i going about this right? Is this a good fin to start with? Should I buy a larger size to compensate for the boot? i'm normally a 44.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

I'm a beginner relative to many on this forum, but recently travelled the "fin shopping excursion" upon which you are embarking.

I would NOT buy an open heeled fin as the full foot pocket is more efficient. However, if you dive for short periods of time and then remove your fins, walk around, then get back in the water, the boot/open heel is more convenient.

If you are a 44, I would buy a 44-46 footpocket fin and use either a 3mm or 5 mm neoprene sock, whichever makes the footpocket snug but not constrictive. For the foot, both 3mm and 5 mm will provide thermal protection, but neither will be too hot unless you are diving very warm water. The sock also makes the fin more comfortable.

The only drawback to socks - it is not a good idea to walk in them, especially over rocks, etc. as they do not have a rubber sole. You can solve this cheaply by using an enexpensive pair of mesh surf shoes - available at Kmart, Walmart-type stores - for less than $10. Just buy them plenty large.

Brands of fins - largely a personal choice. I use Picasso because my feet are wide. Omer fins are quite nice as well, but have a different feel than Picasso and narrower foot pocket. Pirate Scuba.com has good prices on Omer fins. Go with the brand that fits your foot best. A good friend of mine has used the same pair of Dessault's (open heel actually) to freedive and spearfish for the last 20 years and they are still going strong.

Hope that helps.
Hi Simonzero, I will add a couple of points to cj's good advice. I also highly reccomend a full-foot fin. I have used both and there is no comparison. Full foot will let you go deeper and longer, period. Another thing to consider is that open heel fins have some other drawbacks.....the buckles could break at depth, leaving you with one fin to return to the surface....they create extra drag, which you do not need as a freediver.....they have a nasty habit of snagging on fishing line and shipwrecks. All these things are arguably acceptable as a scubadiver, but not to you as a freediver.
Probably the most important thing beside that, is that the footpocket is comfortable. You should be able to spend hours at a time in the water in comfort. I love my Sporasub foot pockets, which are identical to the Mares pockets. I have skinny feet. All the divers I know with these footpockets swear by them. I use the Sporasub Radical Carbon, which has a polymer coating to protect the fragile carbon, and I would NEVER go back to a plastic fin, but I got a good few years out of my plastic Cressi Garas; they were a good start for me. Plain carbon fins are too fragile for recreational diving however.
There are a few posts about fins on the forums; most people have a favourite, and everyone agrees that at the very least, they have to be comfortable. The Mares Attack and Sporasub Pure Carbon seem to have a lot of breakage problems.
Good luck, and let us know what you end up using,
Erik Y.
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