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newbie - long fin - which one

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.


Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
Hi - I have been spearfishing / 'freediving' all summer and got quite into it again I must admit.

So far I have been using Mares Quattro fins (short scuba fins basically) but think I deserve some long fins now.

From reading around I think it is a toss up between :

-- Cressi Gara 3000

-- Picasso (not sure which model but they have a good ethos - team black may be too stiff for me ? do they make a softer one ?)

-- Esclapez / Imersion Green

My feet are a size 10.5 (45-46) and wide-ish and I am 6'2", pretty fit etc. Basically I would be using them for surface swims (to get to the areas) / spearfishing / freediving - (no boat stuff).

I can't get fins in a shop in Guernsey so would have to order them (probably from scubastore). I can't try them on, so how do you find a good fit with a 3mm bootie ?

I am tempted by the Esclapez Green because of the ratio of surface to vertical diving that I find I do. ie I'm not really into the whole 'lets see how deep we can go' scene - more into looking around at whatever depth the fish are at for a couple of hours (so far quite shallow as my lungs aren't gigantic yet !).

Seems that you get two types pf fins:
The ones designed for powering down and up. (stiff)
THe ones designed for long hours looking around with medium depth dives. (flexible)

Does anyone else spend time covering distance and depth rather than just up and down ? What fins do you use ? Why ? (Just trying to get it right first time with some fine long fins ! - don't know anyone else over here who is into freediving so can't borrow a pair.... so looks like it will be an online purchase.)

Cheers if you can help / have an opinion - Ed
portinfer, I've been using the gara's 2000hf's and the sporusub pure carbons.. ordered them 1 size over to wear with 3 to 4.5 mil socks. and if I have a distance to swim..and I do very often.. they're very efficient swimming on your back. The sporusubs have a bit wider foot pocket so I always where the 4.5 mil socks with those.
For just slow, easy cruisin' looking for fish long fins will be fine at the surface... but really, if you want to cover ground you'll either want to be on your back or under the water.
Last edited:
Hey port,

If you're looking to cover distance on the surface, you might want to avoid Gara's and Picasso Blackteams. Having no experience with the Gara 3000's, I can only speak from a 2000HF user (my first set of fins - now collecting dust). While a good fin for going up and down, Cressi's lack both the flexibility and the blade angle to be good surface fins. Blackteams do have the angle, but they are even stiffer than Gara's.

Having never used esclapez, I can not comment. Most of what I have heard, however, has been positive. I think Jon and Jay both own a pair.

My recommendation:
Sporasub H Dessaults. They are still the best surface swimming fin I've ever used, and I've also taken them below 100 feet. I've spent 8+ hours in the water at one time, and never got remotely sore. Additionally, Sporasub footpockets are considered among the best (comfort; fit; durability; etc), and you can swap blades as well. The deeperblue store carries this fin. If they are all out, you can always see if the 'fin accessories' section has both the blades and pockets in stock; then just assemble them yourself. For the money, you can not beat this fin.

Have fun.

"My recommendation:
Sporasub H Dessaults....... best surface swimming.....taken them below 100 feet.........8+ hours in the water......swap blades as well....For the money, you can not beat this fin. "
Ted took the words right out of my mouth and "......a size 10.5 (45-46) and wide-ish" also describes my feet. Two mm sox and 44-46 works great. When the water is cold, I use Mares X-large sox on the outside too. If and when you start pushing for depth, you can invest next week's pay check in the latest, hottest blades and swap them in ten minutes.
Cheers for the info -

Does anyone have an opinion on the Esclapez Green ?

Seems like they are more flexible and would suit going distance as well as depth. Be more comfortable for a couple of hours out and about.

(Looking for an improvment in terms of efficiency from my Mares Quattros open heel)

Also I came across the Picasso START (think it is picasso at any rate) a grey fin. Looked shorter and meant to be more flexible than the Picasso Team Black.
How about the START then or is that simple for entry level snorkelling ? (Not sure if I am entry level still ?! Hard to tell, spend alot of time in the sea and getting some nice depth now - well for me at least :) )
Esclapez green


I have a pair of Esclapez green and I am really happy with them! I can't compare them to other brands since they are my first propper freediving fins, but they seem to fit my swimming style (which I guess could be described as fairly slow and relaxed), and my abilities (pb is 34 meters constant weight).

My biggest problem with them is that the footpockets seem slightly narrow. I bought them large thinking that I could use 3 or even 5 millimeter socks, but if I do I tend to get cramp. Instead I use very thin socks or no socks at all in which case the fins feel very loose like they might come off easily, but that has never happened and once I start swimming, I don't notice it anymore.

They are good fins, but if your feet are "wide-ish", I wouldn't recommend getting they withour having tried the footpockes on first. The footpockets are same for all Esclapez fins: Black, green, blue, initiation etc.

// Johnny
Esclapez green fins are a softer fin which work out really well for long surface swims, I used to have a black pair which are stiffer than the green.

The Picasso "start' fins are softer than the Black Teams, which I also have a pair of, and would work for longer surface swims.

Having said this I would still go with the basic Sporasub plastic fins. They have a nice kick to them and awesome footpockets, plus you can change out the blades in the future when you get more into the sport- as Bill has already pointed out.

You cannot change out the Picasso or the Esclapez fins with other blades. You can change out the blades on both OMER and Sporasub foot pockets, but I don't know where you can get a pair of Omer fins for as cheap as Scuba Store sells the Sporasub.

I have a size 9 1/2 foot (43) and wear a 42-44 Sporasub foot pocket. I can easily get a 3mm sock in there and, If I pushed it a little, can get a 6mm sock in there.

I hope this helps.

i use Gara 3000 and i love them!!!!
spend 7+ h in the water and up to 21 meters and i`m new to freediving.
Also check out the Beuchat Mundial fins. They come in three different stiffness and a carbon version and you can swop the blades around. I have the Elite (Stiffest plastic version) and so far have been great. I normally dive from shore and cover a number of kilometres fishing between 10-20 meters depth. I have given these blades a year of hard abuse and they are still going strong.
I suggest you buy a softer version as my years of rowing have given my legs a lot of endurance and I can just about cope with the stiff blades after a couple of hours.
Hi portinfer,

I just read this thread today ... If I understood correctly from your original post you say you cannot get any freediving gear from where you are (guernsey) ? Well, there is a very decent dive shop with loads of spearfishing gear in Jersey ... http://www.apnea.co.uk/ . When we where there last, they had everything: Omer, Esclapez, Cressi ... from what I recall, the owner is a keen spearo and hence knows what freedivers want. Hope this helps!

Ah, Sporasub H Dessault...:cool:

These are my first set of longfins, and they work just fine. The blade is quite soft, but it provides good propulsion. I am totally happy with this fin. Good luck!:)
This is great info, because I too am in the market for my first pair of long fins! Thanks guys.
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I've read the threads a bit on the Gara 3000 and it looks interesting. Would it be suitable for a newbie ?
Not too stiff ? Not too long for manoevering around ?

Think I have discounted the Gara 2000 HF cos I think it would be too stiff for me - same for the Picasso Black Team and the Esclapez blacks.

So a toss up between :

++Sporasub Dessault

++Esclapez Green

I guess I'll either have to get somewhere to try them on or just order a pair and give 'em a whirl.

Which foot pocket would be wider ? More solid/supportive ? I have read that some fins have poor foot pocket that feel too flexible.

Either way it is sure to be an improvement on the Mares Quattro - a fine fin and I like the way it scoops water - nice design - but I guess a long fin with a full foot pocket will work better.

If anyone is ever over in Guernsey give me a shout - always hard to find similarly aquaticly inclined people outside of summer (water temp is beginning to drop...)
Originally posted by portinfer
Which foot pocket would be wider ? More solid/supportive ? I have read that some fins have poor foot pocket that feel too flexible.

As I wrote before, the Esclapez fins probably do not have the wider foot pocket but other than that I think they are good with reasonably solid and comfortable footpockets.

There is actually one more advantage to having removable footpockets which hasn't been mentioned yet, and that is if you want to travel and bring your fins with you: Finding a bag which will hold the Esclapez fins isn't exaclty easy since they are almost 90 cm long! (Size 42-44)

The Gara 3000 would probably be ok for you too. Length is about the same as Esclapez, but I don't know exactly how they compare in stiffness. I agree that the 2000 HF are very stiff. Even stiffer than the Esclapez black.

// Johnny
That was exactly the reason i bought fins with footpockets.
I had perfectly good Gara 2000's, but since i liked to travel light, i had to find a way to stuff these giants in a bagpack , that would also hold some minor luggage.
In the end i bought a piccaso black team set and a tall but flat and lightweight backpack, where i can easily slip my fins in once detached from the pockets as well as my girlfriends dessault set.

In the end i liked the picassos so much i kept using them.

Now i am looking for ways to travel with a big (sebak) monofin and get it back in one piece to foreign competitions etc.
Anyone got any experience with this ?
Handluggage is probably out of the question :naughty
, but the simple monobag i currently use looks to me unable to handle the general airport abuse.

Tips are welcome


Originally posted by glennv
Now i am looking for ways to travel with a big (sebak) monofin and get it back in one piece to foreign competitions etc. Anyone got any experience with this ?

Someone, can't remember who, wrote that he used to not show the fin at the check in desk and then bring it as hand luggage onboard the plane. The crew on the plane would assume someone at check in had allowed it and find someplace to store it in the cabin! :D

// Johnny
With the intended usage you point to, you can do a lot worse than the esclapez greens, especially being a newbie, the admission of which shows a lot of class. If you have a long haul off the beach to do your thing, a softer, more flexible fin will be a lot easier on you by the time you get there. Then it becomes a matter of technique to do the up and down thing, rather than the pure horizontal locomotion.

One thing you might want to consider is going with the manufacturer of the footpocket that fits you best and then swapping in the blades for your intended use. For that, it's pretty tough to beat the OMER line as well as the fins by Sporasub. But after all is said and bolted together, you can have dakine blades and shit fitting footpockets and all you'll do is cramp and splash. Never a smooth combo.
Hey - cheers for the info - still haven't decided - want to try them on before I buy but might not be possible.

Anyway - read the message that the guy posted wanting to travel with a monofin - I'm always on and off planes from Guernsey and in my experience you can ask to have things hand checked.

This means that when you check in you say - 'hey this is fragile - can I carry it onto the plane and get them to stash it carefully'.
They say yup - no problem - you waltz onto the plane with your unwieldy object, pass it to the cabin crew saying -'Hey can you give it to me again when we land - its very fragile'...

You land, they get it for you, you leave and hit the coast...

Generally this is fine - I've done this with a huge solid guitar case, photographic equipment, picture frames etc in the past - haven't done it recently but hey worth trying - or you can go the subversive route like the guy suggested before - Ed
If you end up going for the cressi fins, note that the foot pockets fit on the large side in my opinion. I have a pair of 46-47. My feet are size 12 US and I need to where 5mm socks for the fins to fit properly. Without the sock thickness they are too loose.

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