Fins are one of the essential pieces of spearfishing equipment any spearo needs. They can be a powerful tool to help you move around and conserve your energy as you swim underwater. Before we get into the details, you need to know that the primary purpose of fins is to help you navigate through the water without having to use too much effort, therefore saving your energy and lengthening dives.
Every now and then, you may find yourself trying to hold a fish from hitting the reef. You haven't speared it effectively, you haven't completely disabled it, and it's going for the reef—whether it's a kingfish, which is known for that, a dogtooth tuna, or other species, it's going hard for the reef, and you have to hold the fish off. You do need to have a bit of power in that kind of situation. A lot of species are also inquisitive. They will come over and have a look at you, and this gives you the chance to get some fish for dinner. Another reason you need to have a lot of oxygen is that you may need to reposition yourself for the perfect ambush.
What Are The Materials Used For Diving Fins?
Rubber was one of the first materials used for fins, and then it was followed by plastic. Plastic was superior because it has an element of stiffness. It's a strong material, you can hit it pretty hard in many different ways. And it also has a relatively good flick compared to a rubber fin. However, if you bend plastic fins too hard, you're going to create stress fractures that lessen the amount of power as you kick.
Throughout the years, the technology in making diving fins has improved. Some fins are now made from fiberglass that provide extreme durability and endurance. Fiberglass fins can take a considerable amount of damage before needing a replacement, making it an ideal choice for divers who love shallow reefs and rocky environments.
The next thing that came along after fiberglass is carbon fibre. Carbon fibre fins are superior compared to the other materials. Good carbon fibre fins are just great for being economic on oxygen. But the hard thing about carbon fibre is that what makes it effective is its lightness and its ability to spring back, the ability to quickly swim from one direction to another is what you’ll depend on in a carbon fiber fin.
For beginner spearos, we suggest you progress, as soon as you can, to a nice soft fiberglass or carbon fibre fin because in the long run, it will help you become a better diver with the techniques that are involved in using these types of fins. So in order of ascending workability - plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber fins.
How To Fit Diving Fins
There are a couple other things to look at. Most of us like to use fins with socks. The edges of foot pockets can rub your ankles and cause “sea ulcers”, that's where you get a second rub on the first one blister, and you've got to spend time out of the water.
Always start from two mil socks and that way you can go less or more, depending on the size of the fin. With your two mil socks, you'll adjust the size of the feet, and if you've got a bigger fin and your foot doesn't quite work in that one, you could add a three mil sock in, or something like that.
If you caught a little bit of gravel in your foot pocket, a little bit of coral or something like that, and you don't have socks on, you go, "I'll just swim back to the boat." By the time you get back to that boat, that piece of coral can rip your foot up a fair bit. And with coral as well, it can be a bit septic. So, this is also a good point on keeping you in the water: not getting your feet cut up.
There are various foot pockets we can use. Different foot pockets have different qualities. With carbon fibre fins, you want a foot pocket that transfers the power, that uses the power of the blade. More than anything, a foot pocket has to be comfortable. It's no good if you go, "I have got this excellent foot pocket." And it feels terrible. The whole thing about being in the water is you can get into that zone where you're no longer worried about what's happening down there. You've got 100% of your attention on your environment. You do that by getting rid of things that attract your attention. And a badly fitting, uncomfortable foot pocket is not what you want so make sure to get a good one that fits your feet. Here’s how to choose the right spearfishing fin.
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