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New Freediver needs 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.

gabe13

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2005
29
1
88
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I am fairly new to freediving, but have snorkelled for a while and have recently qualified in scuba diving. I am thinking about getting some new fins just for freediving mostly and wonder what would be a good starting point. I am currently looking at the Cressi gara 3000's or Imersion fins. I am about 6'2" and 170lbs.
 

jimbodiver

Deeper Blue Enthusiast
Oct 12, 2004
51
0
0
Gabe -- The Gara's from Cressi are good fins, though you might be more comfortable with the Gara 3000 versus the 2000 which is pretty stiff..perhaps too stiff for less experienced freedivers not going deep. Most beginner freedivers are not at all comfortable with the stiffness of the 2000, and thus gravitate toward the 3000.

You should also check out some freedive fins from other makers, as the Cressi Garas are an integrated fin (e.g. not modular in design). This means that you can never change the blades. Most other freedive fin vendors offer fins that have separate foot-pockets and fin blades, which are fastened together with 1-2 screws and a couple of clips on the side rails. Some other fins I'd suggest you evaluate would be: -- Maker (model):

- Picasso (Black Team)
- Omer (Millinnium)
- Sporasub (H.Dessault)
- Beuchat (Mundial Elite)
- Seac Sub (Genesis)

The Imersion fin.... This is made by Esclapez, a very small French company. I have yet to meet a freediver who uses these fins, or anyone in the freediving community who has written a strong (positive) review of them in the last 2 years. One issue for me (when I was looking at fin from this maker some time ago) was the fact that te Imersion and its cousins, the Esclapez Green and Esclapez Black, all have a two-part foot pocket -- in other words, the pocket itself seems to not be integrated with the rails that attach to the fin blade. I couldn't see these fins as being ideal for freediving, nor did I expect their pockets to be rigid enough. In fact, Esclapez offers the same "Imersion" fin with an open-heel pocket that slips into the same "socket", to attach to the fin blade and side rails. So it seems to be a compromise design, attempting to apeal to both scuba divers and freedivers. Such a fin isn't likely to be great for either market, IMO. If you really lean toward this company's products, I'd suggest the Esclapez Black as the best of their offerings. The Imersion fin is a lightweight by comparison.

Bottom line, with all of the other choices listed above, (and the Cressi Gara's) to pick from, you have a lot of good fins to consider. These (other than the Cressi's) are all modular in design, although some of these makers (e.g. Seac Sub, and Beuchat) do not currently offer the components separately...only together as a complete fin. Omer, Picasso and Sporasub are known for having very good foot pockets....many competitive freedivers use one of these three excellent pockets as a base, and fit them with different fin blades, such as carbon-fiber blades from C4 (Falcons), Picasso, or Omer carbon blades. or similar.

Lastly, be sure to select the fin size with some space to accommodate the water sock (bootie) you will be wearing with the fin. Unlike snorkelers, we freedivers (almost all of us anyway) don't wear our fins on bare feet. A major reason for this (besides exposure protection) is that GOOD freedive fins have very stiff pockets, which help transmit energy efficiently from leg/foot to the fin blade. These stiff pockets would be rather uncomfortable if worn on bare feet. So, be sure to mention your shoe size and the bootie type (e.g. 3mm) you plan to wear with a given fin, and perhaps the seller you order from will help you select the right size of fin, taking into consideration how each vendor's pocket is sized (e.g. some run a little bit more narrow, such as Cressi, whereas others are more wide for the same "size").

Hope this is helpful.
 
Last edited:

Bindlestitch

New Member
Dec 18, 2002
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Gabe,
In addition to Jim's comments you might read through this thread.
[ame=http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=38963]fin thread[/ame]
It's got some great info.
Later,
Stitch
 

gabe13

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2005
29
1
88
40
Thanks. I have found somewhere were I can get the Omer and Cressi fins but have not seen any of the others for sale as yet. If you know anywhere i could get them in the UK I would be grateful. Also do you know if these fins are any good for Scuba as well. By the way do you think it is better to buy the composite fins ready made up or in two parts from the start?

gabe
 

fabrice

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2002
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Just a remark : At least in France, you can buy Beuchat footpockets without blades. I've got a friend that used them with home made fiberglass blades.
Beuchat footpockets are almost as comfortable as the Cressi's.

Fabrice
 

mundial

love to hunt in silence
Dec 17, 2004
503
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i have the same oppinion like my friend Fabrice!!!
beuchat are great fins !!!
i have them and some of my friends have them (some cressi)
i dont like the omer they are not comfortable !!(my opp)
heres link how the beuchat works in water for Loic leferme(world champ)
click on the photos
http://www.beuchat.fr/privileges/video/video.htm
have fun
eyal
 

Fondueset

Carp Whisperer
Jul 27, 2004
4,604
734
203
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I got my sporasubs right here at scubastore. Quite happy with them and they ship very quickly. Tell us your shoe size! Seems to be some varience there in fins.
 

quasimoto

New Member
Oct 27, 2004
133
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an alternative to plastic fins is composite or carbon fins, like the specialfins i have. I know they would seem like too much $$$ for a first pair of fins, but i got the stereopros as my first pair because i knew i wanted to get serious into freediving and would want to upgrade later if i bought plastic ones, so i skipped the whole plastic thing and purchased the specialfins.

just something to think about if you are going to get seriously into freediving
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
779
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Hi gabe, welcome to DB

The gara 2000s are stiff enough to be a good fin for scuba and freediving. You should be big and strong enough for stiff, but softer is probably better if you are planning to use them only for free diving.

The primary factor determining how good a fin is for you is how well they fit. Foot width and shape of arch are important, so try'em before you buy. Everybody's different. Cressi's are very comfortable on me, but some divers find them extremely uncomfortable. They seem better designed for barefoot. Omers will need a bootie or sock. I wear my sporas barefoot but need a nylon sock after about two days of diving.
Assuming they fit, brands that allow changing blades are a better deal, much less hassle and slightly less expensive to upgrade

The fin thread above will give you a huge amount of info, maybe more than you can absorb. If you want more, use the search function for specialfins and other brands of fins. There is lots more. I picked my hybrids using the thread above and am very happy. However, you are just getting into freediving. Unless money is no object, plastic blades will do a great job for you. After some experiance, composite blades will be wonderful, but you don't yet have the knowledge base to know which one is best for you. That will come with experiance.

Good luck and have fun with it.

Connor
 

derelictp

Freediver
Oct 16, 2001
397
63
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Hi,

I recommend you to read this thread!

[ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=50557"]C4 Falcon 15 fins[/ame]
 

portinfer

Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
1,327
407
173
Hi Gabe
I live in Guernsey and am pretty new to freediving too.
From what I found out I went for Sporasub Dessault's (full foot fin with exchangeable blades).

You wont be able to get them VAT-free (ah what a wonderful tax haven this island is !) but they are still pretty cheap from Scubastore (link at top of this page somewhere - it is the affiliated site to DB).

I'm 6'2" and about 13 stone I guess - size 10.5 feet (UK) and I bought the 44-46 Spora's.
I have pretty wide feet and a high foot arch but these fit well with both 3mm cressi mettalite socks and the slightly softer 5mm picasso socks.

Think they are £42 from scubastore without postage - worth buying other stuff or get mates to club together to drop the postage.

Other places to buy fins inthe uk are from apnea in Jersey - they sell Immersion and others from what i remember. Or spearo.co.uk in Devon or Cornwall - these all do mail order and i think Apnea in Jersey has free postage at teh moment.

Seems that a while back there was a push for "stiff fins are better..." but now there seems to be more of a leaning towards a softer fin (in general this has become more of a realisation in my opinion - before I get shot down in flames - I'm just a beginner and this is my impression from reading around!).

My experience with the Sporasub Dessault fins is good (no difference in the fin stiffness / colour : black blue or green are all the same as far as I know. But you should probably buy a pair from scubastore as if you buy the blades and footpockets separately I think that the footpockets are a poorer softer kind... from what I remember).

I use them in areas in the sea with plenty of surface swimming and strong currents.
I wouldn't want them any stiffer but they are modular as pointed out so I was thinking of getting some C4 blades for them (25 or 30 stiffness).

I cycle alot and have strong legs and like I say diving in areas with strong currents. I point this out so that you hopefully dont buy a really stiff pair thinking that you can handle them. Think it might be better to learn with a soft-ish pair and then decide later of you want to go stiffer or softer. Legs will get tired with stiff pair and might not learn best technique....

Hope that is of help.
Ed
 
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