Why are freediving fins so long?
Long fins allow for better propulsion through the water. If you liken a scuba diver to a large truck, hauling a load, their short fins are like a low gear. Comparatively the freediver could be likened to a sports car and the long fins are a much higher gear. Although longer fins can give you more speed and power, the concentration for freediving is more on economy of energy and therefore oxygen consumption. This equates to going deeper or longer on one breath.
What is the best material for freediving fins, plastic, fibreglass or carbon fibre?
The material that has the most desired qualities is carbon fibre. The most obvious requirement is the material’s ability to return energy. Each of the above will return a percentage of the energy applied to it, but carbon fibre returns more. Fibreglass comes in second and plastic third. However fibreglass fins’ performance is streets above plastic.Carbon fibre not only gives the highest return on energy but it is also a very light and strong material, which means the fins are much lighter. Plastic fins are often the first fins a freediver will acquire, mainly because they are more affordable. There is nothing wrong with plastic fins. It gives the free diver a chance to develop muscle structure and strength that required to use the longer fins. However when a diver moves to carbon fibre it is important he knows how to develop the power from this material. It often means adjusting his finning technique.
What are the best footpockets to use to take the carbon fibre or fibreglass fin blades.
In recreational freediving where the diver may be diving for some time, covering a lot of ground, comfort becomes paramount. The best carbon fibre fins in the world will become torture to wear if the footpockets are too tight or the wrong shape.Opinions of the optimum footpocket are as varied as there are different shaped feet. However when one depends on the flexibility of the blade to create thrust it would not be wise to put the blades into footpockets with very rigid side rails
Many freedivers use monofins, why is this?
The monofin is the most effective way to power the human body through the water using nothing more than the athlete’s own power. Monofin design has been developed over many years by the Finswimming sport, a popular activity mainly in Europe. With very few adjustments the monofin has been turned into the ideal fin for freediving.