View Poll Results: What type of fins do you prefer?

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  • Split fins

    14 40.00%
  • Blade/ jet fins

    23 65.71%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Split fins- what is the big deal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    United States

    Split fins- what is the big deal?

    I recently bought a pair of Mares split fins. I had read so many great reviews of this technology that I was really excited to try them out.

    Well, maybe I am doing something incorrectly, but I'd much rather have my plain old blade fins. The split fins are whippy and don't seen to propel me well at all. I'm a fairly powerful swimmer with a good kick.

    However, I had read that these split fins take stress off your ankles and knees. I have had knee problems before, but not while diving.

    Is there a secret to the kind of kick I should use? Using my standard fin kick I get no propulsion.

    I wish there was a way dive shops would have an equipment "tryout day" like they do for canoes and kayaks.

  2. #2
    Grand Poobah Founding Member
    ST-Forum Mod
    ScubaToys Larry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dallas, TX
    Anyone can try stuff in our pool... or out at the lake where we have our pavillion with extra stuff to try... But the secret to splits, is smaller kicks... Kick more like when you are swimming.. don't do that big drawn out large kick they tell you to do with normal fins, as it uses too much energy and creates more drag. Try small kicks.

    Now also - don't be fooled... I've seen time and again, people say with splits they aren't going anywhere, but it's either they are kicking them wrong, or it's perception because it seems like there is so little effort.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Wichita, KS
    I've used splits a total of 3 times and found that I personally did not like them. It could be that I don't have a good kicking technique for splits or that I've been forever on jets/vented fins. I get good propulsion from them, but still, I like the feel and effort of vented fins. Right now, I use a pair of Hollis F1's and love them. Of course, I also love the Scubapro jets, Dacor turboflex and to a lessor degree USD rockets.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  4. #4
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Corinth, Texas
    Really it all depends on you and the type of diving that you do.

    Split fins are great (some more than others-like all products) for warm water recreational diving where standard kicks are involved. They can reduced stress on ankles and knees while still giving you plenty of power to move if needed but may not be the best if needing to maneuver in strong currents.

    Blade style fins seem to work for cold water divers or divers that would need extra weight or divers that use more advanced kicking styles for control, they will definitely have the feeling of more resistance and could have more stress on knees and ankles.

    It really is personal preference, conditions and your diving style that makes one type of fin a better choice for you.

    I am sure there are dive shops (Scuba Toys) that will let you try out gear. If they are serious about helping you purchase what is right for you at least.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    United States
    I guess that I must be using the wrong kick (or at least the kick I feel most normal using.) I live in Florida, so I have a range of conditions, and i can't easily get back to Scubatoys, where I bought my original gear years ago., and it is still going strong.

    Current is a major factor off Southeast Florida. Perhaps I will try the fins in the pool again before I decide to get rid of them. But in current, I felt like i was kicking with wet towels on my feet- zero propulsion directly into current.

  6. #6
    Long Tailed Thresher Shark
    Join Date
    I'm a big fan of splits for repetitive diving like in dive resorts or liveaboards. I have ex runner's knees.

    You do have to kick differently, but with that being said I can frog kick, scull, back up, etc in my splits. And they handle themselves pretty well in current. I have Atomics. They may be a bit stiffer than some other splits.

    Here in NC I see a lot of big guys toting doubles in current wearing split fins if you can believe it. Mostly Scubapro it seems.

    My paddles are not really any better than my splits in current, but then again, my paddles are not very stiff. I still grab them versus the splits for high current dives though it is just habit.

  7. #7
    Barracuda Founding Member
    Join Date
    Irving Texas-
    Your poll did not address those of us who own both fin styles, and dive them based on equipment configurations and water conditions.
    John Lewis--the PlatypusMan!

  8. #8
    Megalops Atlanticus Diver Kat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Madison ALABAMA!
    Been an Apollo Bio split-fin user for 10-11 years. (In fact, still have my original pair!) There were originally recommended for me due to knee issues and surgery. Can say they entirely lived up to everything I'd been told. I get no stress on my knees, and I can get tremendous power out of them with very small kicks. Other than they're a bit heavy to pack for trips, I've had no downside to using them for diving.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Carquinez Strait
    Most shops if they do not have a pool will let you try out fins and masks in a pool and return if do not like it. Just ask.

    It is very easy to compare fins such as splits or blades when kicking with a buddy at the same skill level.

    Kicking back to shore we were normally the same speed with Mares Avanti. Even with an out going tide with current from the Carmel River and the Bull Kelp bent over from the current using Atomic splits I am faster and also using Picasso carbon blades I am faster with less effort. I use blades more than splits. I had Mares Raptors that I did not like and gave away. I also gave my Mares Avanti to my buddy for spares. Spits I use are Atomic Smokes and Apollo Uni.

    Of course, control may be a different issue over just plain straight propulsion. Whatever works best for the individual and is the most comfortable is the way to go.

  10. #10
    Grouper bfmorgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    I recently purchased a pair of blades. I have alway dove with splits before. I am heading to the pool to work on kick technique. I seemed to have a lot of power and speed with splits and I end up working like crazy to keep up with my buddy when using paddles. I think the kicking technique is very different between the two types of fins. It will just take some time in the pool to figure it out.
    Last edited by bfmorgan; 10-31-2011 at 12:09. Reason: Spelling checker chAnged my post

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