Best Freediving Fins
It is crazy to realize just how much equipment is needed when you begin to dive into (no pun intended) the world of diving. While this guide is not intended to address all the necessary equipment you need, it is going to take a stab at one of the most vital. Now, one would easily assume that they could take any old pair of fins (whether designed for scuba or snorkeling) and make them work. Yet, for the most enjoyable experience possible, freedivers should look into fins that are specifically optimized for freediving. As you will soon find out, there is a reason why certain versions are made just for it.
- Omer Stingray
- Carbon designed
- Efficient kicking
- Varying thicknesses
- Great design
- Aqua Stratos 3
- Ergonomic foot pocket
- Anti-slip rubber pads
10 Best Freediving Fins
Indeed, the Stingray is made up of carbon. Now, this blade uses infusion technology with an innovative double vacuuming process and also integrates strands that are blended perfectly in the resin.
As one buyer noted, the initial feel and comfortability of these fins were great. Part of the reason why is the thermos-rubber foot pockets that offer a more flexible fit for enhanced comfort.
The sizes for this model are listed in EUR sizes but do not worry, you can easily see the US sizes for consumers who need to do so. All in all, Omer offers their model in sizes 39 to 50 (EUR).
With each kick you take, you will certainly notice the increased propulsion. While the stiffness of carbon can take a bit to get used to, there are three stiffness levels that you can choose from (20, 25 and 30).
Again, carbon models can take some time to get used to for new divers. As such, this could be considered an advanced pair but do not fret, you will get the hang of it.
When you get the hang of these fins, you will be in for a real treat. Advanced divers will love the carbon composition and with the different options of stiffness, you can start slow.
The efficiency of kicking is awesome
Designed with carbon
Comes in different levels of thickness
The stiffness can take some time to get used to
Being made of fiberglass, these blades are advertised to offer the performance of carbon. But, they are more durable. While that could be a stretch, the blades here are ideal.
As this is fiberglass, the weight is going to be a little bit heavier than carbon. This is not too big of a deal but just be aware that the excess weight will be noticeable if switching from carbon to fiberglass.
Mako ensures that all interested buyers will find a size for them. To do so, they have men’s sizes from four all the way to 15.
As with the last model, you can choose the level of stiffness you desire. You can either go with a softer blade, which is ideal for small divers, or a medium blade which will require more kicking power.
Either way, you look at it; this is probably ideal for more experienced divers. Both the long and extra-long blades are standard for experienced users.
Most divers will tell you that Mako is the way to go. All that really needs to be done to back up this claim is to look at this design. While not carbon, fiberglass is certainly an excellent second choice.
Comes in varying thicknesses
Offer the performance of carbon
Designed with recommendations from real-life spearfishermen
Can make noise without socks
Aqua Lung Stratos 3
The Stratos 3 blades are designed of strong and elastic techno-polymers. In addition to this, the side wings enhance the performance and stabilization.
Both the ergonomic foot pocket and the reinforced soft material that is integrated enhance the overall comfort of the foot pocket of the Stratos 3.
As was mentioned, the sizing can be a bit off, according to various users. Among those that have commented, the general consensus seems to be that these run large (order a size down).
To enhance the flexing of the blade, these have been outfitted with a three-material side rib area. Also, the bending point has been moved backward to allow for a more powerful kick.
These are truthfully some of the best all-around freediving fins on the market today. Though some advanced divers will need more, this should suit most.
Granted you abide by the advice of other users and order a size down, you should be able to solve the lone true issue of this design. All things considered, that is pretty impressive.
Designed with anti-slip rubber pads
Sports an ergonomic foot pocket
Ideal for many skill levels
They tend to run large
Maverick C4 Falcon
Maverick uses T700 carbon to make up their C4 Falcon and as compared to the previous T300 strand that was used in the past, is around 40 percent stronger.
Thanks to the more pronounced angle of the boot (22 degrees to be exact), your legs will be given a break as they will be resting in an ergonomic stance. This will enhance the comfort on longer dives.
On Amazon, specifically, the size is listed as 39/40. Again, due to the lack of feedback, it is a bit unclear if this foot pocket will run true to size.
In addition to the increase of the angle, this also has what is known as a double parabolic curve. Both of these integrations combine to maintain a straighter shape and reduce resistance.
This particular model comes with a stiffness of 25 (which is soft). However, different stiffness options are available including 30 (which is medium) and 40 (which would be hard).
As a consumer, sometimes taking a chance can be frightening. In this case, the quality really does speak for itself and even though carbon is an advanced material, you can choose a softer stiffness if you are just starting out.
Paired with light foot pockets
Backed by a two-year warranty
Three stiffness options
There is a lack of feedback
Seac Motus Fibrex
Even though you can upgrade these blades, they are pretty terrific in their own right. This is thanks to the high-performance fiberglass compound that was used.
The sole and the ribbing are actually made of hard thermoplastic rubber. Meanwhile, the interior of the foot pocket features dual material density for enhanced comfort.
Seac sells their Motus Fibrex in multiple sizes that will accommodate both men and women. Yet, one buyer advised getting them properly fitted beforehand, if possible.
Much like the previous entry, these fins feature a 22-degree angle between the foot and the blade. As before, this optimizes the power of the thrust and forces you to exert less effort.
Due to the fact that these blades can be interchanged, you can tailor the skill level to your liking in a lot of ways. As it rests, the integrated technology makes this suitable for pros and beginners.
When you are looking for an ideal combination of power and comfortability, you may need to stop and seriously consider investing in these bad boys. Then again, fitting could potentially be an issue.
Composed of a fiberglass compound
Feature a ton of propulsive power
Getting the right size could be an issue
Cressi Gara 3000
The Gara 3000 is not composed of carbon or fiberglass. Instead, the blades are simply plastic.
As soon as you don the Gara 3000 fins, you will notice how the foot pockets contour to your feet. The so-called bite that is achieved is both comfortable and form-fitting.
Despite the fact that the soft elastomer foot pockets manage to anatomically wrap to your feet for an unrivaled fit, there may not be enough wiggle room to wear booties.
Now is as good a time as any to note that this model is actually the Gara 3000 LD. These are designed in resemblance of the original Gara 3000 with one key difference; they are softer.
Being a softer blade, this is ideal for colder waters and more experienced divers. But, due to its softness, it is also ideal for beginner divers. Indeed, it is very versatile.
Granted you can live with the fact that you probably will not be able to wear booties underneath these blades, you can enjoy a highly versatile model that is suitable for pros and novices alike.
Less exertion is required for kicking
Designed with a soft elastomer foot pocket
Comes with a bag made of durable nylon
May not have room to wear booties underneath
Though the blades are plastic, it is not your average construction. Instead of just plastic, these blades are made of a composition of 90 percent Borealis and 10 percent fiberglass.
To ensure all-day comfort and that foot fatigue will be minimized, the foot pockets on these fins have been engineered with varying materials to provide softer compounds.
While one user claimed the foot pockets were too big, another claimed wearing socks underneath was difficult. The good news is with the plethora of size options, you should find one that suits you.
The varying materials that also increase the comfort of these fins come into play in regard to the stiffness. As such, stiffness is only integrated where it is needed to reduce fatigue.
Remember, in very cold water, the stiffness is going to become more extreme. Due to the softness of this model, you may or may not be comfortable in deeper water.
If you can live with a little extra weight, then you should be golden here. Due to the lower price of this model, you will simply have to live with this flaw.
Many sizes available
Made of a revolutionary composition
Adds stiffness in only key areas
They can be heavy and large
Mares Instinct Pro
The micro-ribs and the tapered-section, in addition with the pairing of a new technopolymer, make up the blades of the Instinct Pro.
Thanks to the engineering of the “V” blades, the risk of slipping is greatly reduced. On top of this, Mares put an emphasis on comfort when they designed their Instinct Pro.
Unless you order around a half size down, there may be too much wiggle room to deal with. Considering you want a secure fit, you should adhere to various buyers’ advice.
The lateral stringer that extends down the length of the fin is what offers the stiffness some divers will crave. Even though the stiffness can be a bit much, the power produced is fantastic.
Some buyers have noted this is an ideal model for beginner divers. But, again, this may be a bit misleading as the stiffness can be offsetting for newer users.
If nothing else, you can take reassurance in the fact that Mares designed this model. Of course, the quality speaks for itself but again, be wary of the stiffness.
The “V” shape prevents slipping
Focuses on comfort and efficiency
Can achieve an ideal amount of power
The stiffness can be offsetting
Beuchat designed their Mundial One Fins with a Bi-material which provides the basis for the technopolymer blades.
Due to the Mundial foot pocket technology and the reinforced instep that have been integrated, the comfort is enhanced.
There is a wide range of foot pocket sizes available for you to select from. However, it is worth noting that a few buyers have noted the fit seems to be extra wide.
In addition to the fact that stabilizing tubes have been integrated, stiffness has been placed only in areas where it is needed to increase the efficiency of your kicks.
As mentioned in the beginning, these are certainly targeted toward beginner and intermediate freedivers. Truth be told, pros will probably be disappointed here.
For beginner divers, it probably does not get much better than this. Again, though, if you have been in this field for a while, you will most likely want to move on.
It is a versatile fit for beginners
Designed with integrated stabilizers
Very comfortable foot pockets
The fit may be too wide
Rob Allen Scorpia
Rob Allen engineered their Scorpia with plastic fins. Plus, they also added side rails to their blade to enhance the performance.
One of the better features of these fins is the molded rubber foot pockets. What these will do is prevent over flexing and enhance the comfort.
This is available in multiple sizes. The Scorpia comes in small, medium, large, extra-large and XX-large.
For optimum water transferal, the blades have been made with channels and are designed to be softer.
As your feet will float up with these fins, diving deeper can be a major hassle. Plus, as you can’t change the blades for superior models these are really limited to beginners.
You are either going to love the fact that this is one piece or not. Clearly, this limits the versatility as you can never upgrade the blades when you outgrow them. But, the comfort is exceptional.
The blade and foot pocket will never separate
The side rails reduce sculling
Can stand up to heavy demands
Can never be upgraded
Your feet tend to float up
Criteria Used For Evaluation
The Blade Design
It all starts with the blade, it really does. When you are in the market for any type of fin, the blade is going to be a vital piece of the puzzle. Before we address the main materials, it is important to note that some will be separated from the foot pocket. What is nice about these types is you can upgrade the blade when you get tired of the original. Then again, the risk of losing the blade is there if it unfastens from the foot pocket. However, more important is the main material composition of the blade. When it all comes down to it, there are three possibilities out there.
Firstly, you have plastic models (also referred to as polymer). The benefit to plastic blades is they are cheap and durable and ideal for beginners. Of course, they have less snap and will also lose their stiffness over time due to the bending. Next up, you have fiberglass blades. These are an improvement as they have enhanced snap and will retain their stiffness and shape. But, they are fragile. As for the last material, it is carbon fiber. For the best performance, go with carbon. Much like fiberglass, though, they are quite fragile so be wary when traveling with them.
If the blade is the most important feature, the foot pocket can be considered 1A. In fact, it is so vital that the next two sections are in regard to it. There is no doubt about it; comfort is everything with any type of footwear. Even though it is a stretch to consider the fin a piece of footwear, it is designed to be worn on your foot so it qualifies. Anyway, if you are in pain while freediving, your technique is going to suffer and so is your experience. In the high contact areas, there should be a sufficient amount of softer material to enhance comfort.
As not all foot pockets will be designed the same, this is where ample research comes into play. It is wise to conduct some personal research on the model you are looking into to see what other buyers have claimed about the comfort.
Sizing and Fitting
As with a normal pair of shoes, achieving a proper fit is literally everything. You could have the most efficient and highest performing freediving fins on the market and they could still be insufficient for you if the size is not right. But, getting the correct size can prove to be a tricky endeavor. The reason for this is each manufacturer’s foot pocket is not going to be designed the same. Some may fit true to size, while others will tend to fit too large or too snug. Plus, you also need to assess if you will be wanting to wear socks underneath. For deeper diving, wearing socks may be necessary to prevent your feet from freezing. If so, you may need some extra room to account for them.
Much like with the comfort, your best remedy is to view other consumer’s recommendations with the size. Always remember, though, if the fit is too snug then the fins will end up cramping your feet and pinching you. Then again, too much room will lead to a lot of lost energy which is not ideal, also.
Preferred Level of Stiffness
The blade and the foot pocket’s importance can’t be overstated enough. However, this is a very crucial part of this guide. It is now time to discuss the stiffness. Without question, if you skip this design integration then it can completely deter the experience of freediving for you. But, a common misconception is at play that is somewhat true but not the whole truth. This misconception is that the stiffness of a blade is dependent on your skill level. While this is not necessarily false, the stiffness is more-so dependent on your build and strength. It works both ways and here is why.
For softer blades with less stiffness, they will be easy to flex but will also lack the power of stiffer models. But, as the stiffness increases so does the strength that is required to kick with them. In other words, stiffer blades can wear you down quicker and if you do not have optimal leg strength, can be a detriment. When you get accustomed to them, though, they can offer superior performance.
Your Skill Level
This last section really plays off the last one. The stiffness will play a role in your skill level but again, your body strength also does. However, you should also not be under the impression that the most expensive model is the best one for you. In fact, if you are looking to increase your skill level, you need to focus more on technique than the fin itself. Of course, the build of the blade also comes into play with your skill level. Pro-level freedivers will probably settle for nothing less than carbon blades. Meanwhile, beginners may prefer plastic blades and more flexible models.
Q: How Do You Choose the Right Foot Pocket?
Alright, so the sizing and fitting have already been addressed. Yet, it is so vital that this question needs to be addressed. When it comes to selecting the proper foot pocket, prior research needs to be done (but that was already addressed). If the manufacturer promises the foot pocket fits true to size, then go with your actual shoe size. If that happens to be an 11, then look for size 11; simple as that. Of course, remember that this accounts for bare feet or thin socks.
If you plan on wearing thicker socks for deeper dives, then you would possibly want to consider one size larger. The only issue with this is that excess room will require socks and if you decide to go out without socks, this excess room will waste your energy. Bottom line; really know your stuff before you buy.
Q: Why Are Freediving Fins So Long?
Though this may seem like an irrelevant question on the surface, it is one that many consumers have so it seems that people around the world are curious. So, let’s address it to end the confusion. The reality is for most types of diving fins that the blades are extremely long. However, have you ever wondered why they are engineered with this extra length? While some people may believe that the primary reason for this is to increase the maneuverability underwater, this is actually not the main reason.
It is hinting at the main reason but instead, it is because they need to be engineered in a specific fashion to increase their efficiency. At one end, they need to be thicker and then as they move down to the outer edge, they become thinner. To do this, they need to be long.
Q: What Chemicals and Solvents Should be Avoided?
Even though they spend much of their time in the water when they are being used, a freediving fin is going to need to be cleaned. While the caring process will be addressed in a hot second, you should be aware that there are certain chemicals and solvents that should be avoided when cleaning them. As a matter of fact, you should all but avoid any contact with chemical solvents, alcohol, gasoline, aerosols, or oil. Just as an example, with an aerosol spray, if you expose the fins to it then it can actually degrade the rubber and plastic materials.
As for any type of alcohol or solvent, they may be a good lubricant or cleaner. But, not for this product so avoid it at all costs.
Q: Are These Any Good for Snorkeling?
At the beginning of this guide, it was stated that not all fins are going to be ideal for freediving. One would think that any old pair would do, which is why this question is probably so common. However, this could not be more wrong and the primary reason why is the difference between different types of diving. For snorkeling and freediving, in particular, the former is predicated more on the surface and near reefs. Meanwhile, the latter allows you to dive as far as your body can allow before you need air.
Due to the engineering of freediving fins, they are optimized for rapid descent and will not be effective while you are hovering next to the surface. Plus, with snorkeling versions, they will allow for advanced movement and provide you with more control. Basically, stick to the type of diving that they are designed for.
Q: How Do You Pack Them?
Back when the design of the blades was discussed, it was mentioned that both fiberglass and carbon fiber are actually fragile. It seems odd that the more advanced materials are more fragile, but that is the way it goes. And, unless you have access to diving where you do not need to travel, you will need to know how to pack them. For starters, you should not simply throw them in the back of your car and hope for the best. Doing so can lead to damage and given the price tag of some of the more premier models, should be avoided.
However, if you have a backpack, you could do a fancy trick with a carabiner and around two feet of line. Loop both ends of the line and feed it through the heel of the pocket and out the toe. From there, attach it to the carabiner and to your backpack. Or, you could simply buy a storage case (if one does not come with your purchase).
Q: How Do You Care for Them?
There is certain care you should take for a freediving fin both before and after you use one. In regard to the care that needs to be taken beforehand, you should avoid leaving them out at hotter temperatures and on hotter surfaces as this can damage the materials. Also, along the same line, do not leave them in the trunk of your vehicle as the temperature can accelerate quickly inside. One last note and this is really common sense, avoid standing it up on the tip of the blade for any extended amount of time.
Now, how about after you are done diving? Thankfully, this one is easy and should especially be done if you plan on diving in salt water as salt is a corrosive nightmare. After you are done and have removed the fins from your feet, rinse them off thoroughly with fresh water. From there, dry them with a towel and you are good to go.
Before you go, if you take anything from this guide, understand that the fin you desire may be different than someone else’s. Due to the stiffness and material makeup, you need to select one that fits your needs. This is not something you want to skimp on so take this one seriously.