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Freediving fins when scuba diving from a boat

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Peter Bomberg

New Member
Apr 30, 2022
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I am not asking can you use freediving fins rather how do you that use them get into the water. I am looking to get a pair of https://www.freedivershop.com/2971-mini-x-carbon-fins so the length is not an issue, but I am worried about the blade angle, normally you gear up, stand up, walk/waddle across the deck, get to the dive platform and do a giant stride, but I have been told it's a really bad idea to walk with the carbon fiber blades and likewise never to jump feet first but that is what a giant stride really is.

So for all of you that dive using freediving fins how do you do it? (comments and suggestions welcome as I am soon buying the fins, for a trip next year to Raja Ampat and Komodo).
 
7BDiver

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
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Freediving fins are not designed to walk in, especially with the weight of scuba equipment. Freedivers will generally put their fins on in the water which is difficult to do with scuba gear for full foot pockets. Whichever way you enter the water it should be gentle, backwards is recommended. I do not see why people insist on using freediving fins for scuba instead of fins designed for scuba. Freediving fins are designed work using large sweeping motions to take advantage of the wave motion the fin makes, this is not very practical for scuba diving. Scuba fins are designed to be very sturdy but also reduce finning effort in the water to conserve air use, that is why they have large opening for water to pass through them instead of being really flexible with responsive materials. Freediving fins are designed around locomotion and efficiency, Scuba fins are for durability and efficiency. Which two requirements are you looking for.
 
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Peter Bomberg

New Member
Apr 30, 2022
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Freediving fins are not designed to walk in, especially with the weight of scuba equipment. Freedivers will generally put their fins on in the water which is difficult to do with scuba gear for full foot pockets. Whichever way you enter the water it should be gentle, backwards is recommended. I do not see why people insist on using freediving fins for scuba instead of fins designed for scuba. Freediving fins are designed work using large sweeping motions to take advantage of the wave motion the fin makes, this is not very practical for scuba diving. Scuba fins are designed to be very sturdy but also reduce finning effort in the water to conserve air use, that is why they have large opening for water to pass through them instead of being really flexible with responsive materials. Freediving fins are designed around locomotion and efficiency, Scuba fins are for durability and efficiency. Which two requirements are you looking for.
Good point, my criteria is ultra light weight (max 2.5lbs per pair), efficient and short length (max 26" disassembled or complete) while being able to generate enough power to handle currents.

Durability and cost are secondary considerations. The main reason I am looking at freediving fins is the weight aspect as you said scuba fins are designed to be indestructible but that means they ae heavy (I have a basement full of fins I cant travel with as they are too heavy 20Kg for 2 people traveling for 2 months is really hard when the fins alone weight 12+lbs with booties).

I know my approach is unorthodox and will cost but paying 50-100/flight for additional luggage allowance would cost us over 600 on this trip alone so I figure even if I replace the carbon blades every 3 years I will come out ahead.
 
Mossanimal

Mossanimal

New Member
May 4, 2022
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I worked as a crew member for years on the Truth Aquatics boats in California. I always wore freediving fins. I just put them on at the gate and jumped in.
 
Mossanimal

Mossanimal

New Member
May 4, 2022
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I worked as a crew member for years on the Truth Aquatics boats in California. I always wore freediving fins. I just put them on at the gate and jumped in.
To add… I used inexpensive and durable Omer fins with plastic blades. I worked over 200 days per year in these fins and never an issue. I loved their performance. Although nothing wrong with a sold pair of Scubapro Jet Fins… which would likely be more practical for most people
 
Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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It depends on the boat configuration. If it has a low swim platform, put on your fins sitting on the platform and then just ease in

On a boat without a platform, put the fins on sitting on the gunwhale and then just do the standard backward roll.
 
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mad mat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2006
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When launching using the back roll, make sure your fins are pointing to the sky and your feet start going before the rest of you. I launched one day and wasn’t paying attention and fins got caught up and I was left dangling over the side unable to get up or fall over. While particularly funny for everyone else it is a safety issue.
 
Dot

Dot

Active Member
Nov 4, 2013
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I've been wearing my Cressi Garas for 25 years while scuba diving and love them. Great for currents. For drift diving on dive boats I don't put them on till I'm on the platform then fall backwards. If anchored I'll hold them then don in the water. I used to do giant strides with them on from the gate but one snapped one time and I stopped that. I've done backward rolls with them on. But since I'm much older (vintage diver I've been called) and have been wearing them for so long that my legs cramp up more often because the kick is so much different then with scuba fins. I may buy carbon blades one day but not yet. My Cressi Garas are part of me and besides wearing them I'm about 8 1/2 ft tall and that seems to keep larger critters at bay! lol
 
annc

annc

Member
Apr 11, 2022
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Any reason why you can't half inflate your BCD, have someone throw it in and gear up in the water? We're on a smaller boat and it's the easiest way when we're using tanks.
 
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Peter Bomberg

New Member
Apr 30, 2022
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Any reason why you can't half inflate your BCD, have someone throw it in and gear up in the water? We're on a smaller boat and it's the easiest way when we're using tanks.
all depends on the current, waves, etc. In some cases you can stay close to the boat and gear up in the water. But if there is any decent waves or current this is not a great option. In some cases you meet at depth so being able to splash and descend at the same rate as your buddy or group or objective matters.

I personally like having control of everything I need, so yes I jump with my camera and I get looks but that is what I am used to and it works for me.
 
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annc

annc

Member
Apr 11, 2022
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all depends on the current, waves, etc. In some cases you can stay close to the boat and gear up in the water. But if there is any decent waves or current this is not a great option. In some cases you meet at depth so being able to splash and descend at the same rate as your buddy or group or objective matters.

I personally like having control of everything I need, so yes I jump with my camera and I get looks but that is what I am used to and it works for me.
Yes, it certainly depends on the situation and I guess when you are travelling you're never really sure of the setup until you get there. Something to consider if your main objective is photography, you'll find that while long fins are great in open water, in more confined situations like moving through canyons or around reef ledges you'll be more clunky. Or at least that's what I'm finding skin diving on reef with my gopro. I love the ability to get down faster, the feeling that at I might be inadvertently crunching coral not so much.
 
Irishdiver

Irishdiver

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2010
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Whenever I'm not in a Drysuit I use My Freediving Fins for scuba. Regarding Durability, my Cressi Gara's have outlived all of my scuba specific fins over the years. I worked liveaboards for a long time so have done thousands of dives jumping off the back platform of a boat. Walk to the edge of the platform. Put your fins on there. Watch your entry point then jump backwards into the water. Do not walk in freediving fins. Do not do a giant stride, and 9 times out 0f 10 trying to put your fins on after you jump in the water is a terrible idea.
 
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