Freediving is becoming popular nowadays in recent years. You can see people showcasing this hypnotic finning underwater in different social media platforms. And it is now recognized by SCUBA as a recreational diving activity without the use of breathing equipment. As a beginner, the freediving fins you choose are one of the vital to your comfort and fun.
There is also a big difference between the freediving fins that pros use and what beginners use. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is now also offering certificate courses about freediving. So here’s the guide you can check to make your first experience in freediving memorable and fun!
Table of Contents
Soft and Long Blades
If this is your first time buying your own beginner or entry level type of fins, it is recommended that you choose long and relatively soft blades. Skip this extremely long, expensive, carbon fiber pair just like what you are seeing with these professional free divers. These kinds of blades will make your legs stiff as you are still adjusting and training up yourself with finning techniques. It will be tiring to say the least. As a beginner, most of the time you will be freediving close to the surface of the water that it will be more difficult to do finning. Soft and long blades will allow you to slowly adapt to the movements of the underwater or shallower dive.
Freediving fins with long blades force out more water with each kick, which will result in greater kicking efficiency. To put it another way, when you kick with long-bladed fins, you will travel longer distances at faster speeds all while exerting less effort and conserving precious oxygen.
It is also recommended to get a plastic (polymer) fins blade as they are cheap and durable, which is useful early on in your freediving career when you might accidentally drag them across rocks or kick hard structures.
Beginner free divers should start with long plastic fins and use those for a year to learn the technique and get used to the fins. After that, you can upgrade your fins into modular carbon fiber or fiberglass fins as this is lightweight and will be better in kicking underwater. But this one will be expensive, so you should give better care on this.
Open or Closed Heel Foot Pocket
Your foot pocket can seriously change your diving experience depending on the shape, materials and quality of fit. It is important you choose the right size, design and materials used for better experience.
As a beginner, it will be recommended to choose a closed-heel foot pocket. It is to mimic the experience of having a shoe on as the design wraps around your feet. This will be good for finning experience that allows superior transfer. Unlike the open-heel foot pocket, the design will be open and more space is uncovered. There is a small adjustable strap that wraps around your ankle that also holds the fins. It is like a sandals-like foot experience. Another thing is that you have to wear are water socks or dive booties to keep it in place and avoid digging into your legs. These will result in lower finning speed, which is very inconvenient for a newbie.
In a sport like freediving where each second counts, you need to make every single optimization you can. Closed heels are strongly recommended.
Foot Socks or Barefoot
You have to consider when you are buying your beginner freediving fins if you’re going to include water socks/foot socks or barefoot. In most cases, it is recommended to buy one that will give you extra insulations underwater. You have to remember that the deeper you get, the colder it will get regardless if it is in a warm climate above the surface. For a better fit and comfortable wear, you can try a 2-3mm neoprene water sock.
Buying expensive freediving fins as a beginner will not make you a better free diver or let us say improve your skills. Proper gears that will suit your need as a beginner will. And lastly, do not copy these professionals or your friends. We have different body types and skills!