Below is our current picks of the top 10 best scuba fins of 2019. This is the result of personal experience, surveying my fellow scuba diving peers, and ratings from online marketplaces. You will find both split fins and paddle fins on our list as each style has its benefits. I have also included a mix of full foot fins and open heel fins but you can usually find your favorite fin in both options.
Whatever the configuration of a scuba fin, it usually comes down to diver preference which is most important, but in some cases, you will want to take into account your typical dive conditions. You will certainly want to choose a scuba fin that is comfortable and works well for the style of diving you find yourself in most. All of these will work great as snorkel fins as well but not all will work as well for technical dives or strong currents.
Being familiar with your scuba gear is very important when diving for both your confidence and your underwater ability. That is why owning your own set of scuba fins is a worthwhile investment, as well as not having to rely on a dive shop having your fin size or a fin that is comfortable for you. There is nothing like ruining a dive (or subsequent dives) by using poorly suited scuba gear and ending up with blisters or sore legs.
Choosing The Best Scuba Fin: 5 Things To Consider
- Fin Blade Style: Split Fin vs Paddle Fin
Probably the first and most important thing to consider when choosing the right dive fin is the fin blade style. The two main types are split fins and paddle fins.
- Split Fins are designed to impose less resistance and strain (helping to conserve air) on the diver while still providing sufficient propulsion. This style is well suited for most dive conditions and is quite fast in straight lines. It may not be the best choice for technical dives requiring max propulsion (strong currents) and wreck dives where alternate kick methods (frog kicks and back kicks) are needed. Some divers will still get by with a split fin that is stiffer in these conditions.
- Paddle Fins are a good choice for maneuverability, precise movements, and high acceleration but can require much more effort from the diver. This is due to the larger surface area causing more resistance. Paddle fins work well in currents and in confined areas like wreck dives. Strong swimmers who like to feel their fin work tend to like the paddle design.
- Full foot fins should be worn barefoot. They are usually a good choice if you only need a snorkeling fin or will exclusively be diving in warm water. They are usually lighter and shorter.
- Open heel fins secure the foot with a strap and need to be worn with scuba booties. This is by far the most popular style, as well as the most versatile style. You will need open heels to fit over a dry suit or booties when cold water diving. You may also need booties if you do any diving off of rocky shores.
- Size and weight are minor considerations you should take into account. If you plan on doing a lot of dive traveling you may need to consider the weight and size your fins will add to your luggage. Some divers will travel with their favorite scuba fin no matter the size and weight.
- Fins: Consider the materials and features a fin may have in regards to durability. Some fin designs and materials will be more resistant to abrasion or malfunction.
- Straps: There are typically two types of straps, rubber straps which can be prone to wearing out and the pricier stainless steel coil spring straps which are a favorite with frequent divers and technical divers as they will likely outlast the fin itself.
- Scuba fins usually come in a variety of colors and can be more than just a style choice. Bright colors are good for easily spotting a diver underwater or keeping track of a fin that inadvertently falls off while diving.
Compare The Top 10 Best Scuba Fins
|Image||Scuba Fin||Fin Blade Style||Foot Pocket||Price Range|
|Appollo Bio Fin Pro||Split||Open||$$$|
|Cressi Frog Plus||Paddle||Open||$|
|Cressi Gara 3000 LD Fins||Paddle||Full||$$|
|Mares Avanti Quattro Plus||Paddle||Open||$$|
|Mares Volo Power||Paddle||Open||$$$|
|Atomic Aquatics Split Fin||Split||Full||$|
|Scubapro Jet Fins||Paddle||Open||$$$|
|ScubaPro Seawing Nova||Paddle||Open||$$$$|
|Tusa SF15 Xpert Zoom Z3||Split||Open||$$|
How to Care For Scuba Fins
Like all scuba gear you should rinse your dive fins in warm water after each use. When you are ready to store them between dive trips you will want to make sure they are completely dry and stored flat and without any bends as it can permanently deform a fin.
Best Scuba Fins – Top 10 List Reviews
Apollo Sports was the first company to introduce a scuba fin with a split blade design which is pick for the best split scuba fin. Manufacture with 100% rubber, the Bio Fin Pro is an extremely durable fin. Its 20 degree angle provides great performance, low strain, and reduced air performance. The Bio Fin Pro is one of the fastest fins even though it is one of the most efficient designs available making it one of the best scuba diving fins for speed. With a rigidity factor of 65, the Bio Fin Pro series excels in most conditions and is my choice for the best scuba fins for recreational diving. I recommend getting a pair with stainless steel straps both for durability and easy on-off. Be sure to check out my full review of the Apollo Bio Fin Pro if you want to know more.
The Apollo Bio Fin Pro XT shares they same great design as the original Bio Fin Pro but it is manufactured with a stiffer rubber. With a rigidity factor of 75, the XT provides even more propulsion to divers and will perform better in strong currents and utilizing alternate kicks. The Bio Fin Pro Yellow is yet another option in between the regular Pro and XT with a rigidity factor of 70. This is by far the best split fin design for technical divers looking for an alternative to paddle fins.
The Cressi Frog Plus is a very affordable paddle fin and extremely durable at that is resistant to cracks and bends. The fin design creates a channeling effect that allows energy to be to transferred in both the up and down kick much like the split fin design. The Frog Plus is a very lightweight fin which makes them a great option for dive travel. The paddle design allows for divers to achieve great power and will accommodate any kick style. If you are looking for an affordable option the Cressi Frog Plus is the best open foot scuba fins under $100.
The Gara 3000 LD is actually marketed as a free-diving and spear fishing fin but performs extremely well as a recreational scuba fin as well. The LD (long distance) version of this model uses a softer blade and is less demanding on the diver so they can be used for longer periods without the worry of leg fatigue. The softer blade also makes these fins very suitable cold water fins as they will not overly stiffen the fin. These are an excellent choice for a beginner diver, snorkeler, or even an experienced diver who just wants to take it easy on their dives. A truly outstanding recreational scuba diving fin.
Powerful enough for strong currents and flexible enough for subtle movements, the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus is a proven scuba fin that many divers love. These are on the stiffer end of the fins on this list but that translates to very powerful kicks. The Quatros are design with a more rigid plastic with softer channels allowing you to move a lot of water with your kicks. With its bungee strap, these fins are very easy to slip on and off which can be a huge plus on a crowded dive boat. If you need power, these fins wil suit you well.
The Mares Volo Power utilizes a pivoting blade system that allows the blade to maintain an optimal angle through kicks. This design is also much more efficient that traditional paddles fins which reduces cramps and fatigue. You will get great thrust form these fins at much less effort than a traditional paddle fin, and the ability to perform any alternate kicks where some split fins perform poorly. These are best summed up by more power, less energy! Another great choice for traveling divers as they are fairly light weight.
An affordable option in the full foot version of this fin, Atomic Aquatics has done a great job with this fin. The price of these make them great for warm water divers and snorkelers and are really the best full foot scuba fins as well as split fin under $100. The split fin design will also make it easier on scuba divers as they can kick along for long periods and not cramp up or experience fatigue. The price of these along with the light weight and efficient design make them a great choice for someone just starting out wanting to build their collection of scuba diving gear or a diver. Divers needing a lightweight travel fin will also find these to be a great buy at an affordable price.
The classic “Old School” fin design, the Jet Fin has been the choice of fin for countless professional and technical divers for decades! The high quality rubber and vented design gives divers excellent power and propulsion when kicking with reduced leg strain. Get the Jet Fins with spring straps and a metal buckle for extreme durability. These fins can tackle anything thrown a divers way whether it is a strong current or technical kicks during a wreck dive. Like the rubber Bio Fin Pro, these are extremely durable and will last years if maintained properly. A tried and true fin that stands the test of time.
Similar in design to the very technical ScubaPro Jet Fin, but Twin Jet utilizes a split fin blade. These scuba fins are great for recreational divers who want a more efficient fin.
The ScubaPro Seawing Nove is probably my favorite fin in the paddle fin style. It has the acceleration and maneuverability of the paddle fin and efficiency and comfort found in split fins. The articulating joint allows the fins to kick with less effort than a traditional fin and the pivot motion stores energy and releases it at the right moment. The fin also has a tapered blade edge which aids using alternate kick styles. The Seawing Nova also incorporates a heavy duty bungee straps for easy on/off. The only real negative of these fins is the price point but that is usually expect with the best scuba gear on the market. The Seawing Nova usually grabs the attention of the most serious scuba divers.
Sherwood took the old school fin design and improved on it with the Triton.The fin vents reduce drag on the up kick reducing leg fatigue. The Tritons also use a slightly softer material than some the other paddle fins which improves the comfort of the foot pocket as well as the efficiency of the divers kick. A speedy fin capable of performing any of the alternate kicks a diver may need to use in a technical dive. If you are looking to move from a split fin to a paddle fin, this is a good fin to move to as they wont cause excessive strain on your ankles or knees.
An excellent split fin with a great price, the Tusa Xpert Zoom Z3 is the third revision in the series, improving the design each time. The fins are quite large which makes dive travel a bit cumbersome but the performance of the fin more than makes up for it. Divers consistently remark on the efficiency to power ratio as well as the comfort of the Zoom Z3. Usually split fins are noted for not performing well using alternate kicks but like the Apollo Bio Fin, myself and others had no issue with these. These fins would be my number two split fin choice.
I hope you found The Leisure Pro’s List of Best Dive Fins useful. Be sure and let us know what your favorite scuba fin is and if you picked up one off of the list! Remember, all dive gear needs to be taken care of if you want it to last! Safe diving!