In Blog, Spearfishing Fins

Many people struggle with the different types of spearfishing fins. Choosing between bodyboarding flippers, snorkeling, scuba, and freediving fins, one thing is sure. They’ve got the same purpose, to help you swim through the water. But depending on the type of swimming, particular fins will perform better than others.

Each set of fins meet a specific need. When you’re spearfishing, it can be hard to know which is best. You’ve got short and stubby fins for bodyboarding. Flexible rubber fins for snorkeling. Powerful and stiff fins for scuba. And then the extraordinary length of the fins used for freediving. Some people say bigger is better, while others like shorter fins to stay agile underwater.

Bodyboarding fins

The shortest and stockiest fins are those created for bodyboarders. Designed for durability, the thick fins provide the most incredible amount of thrust. Ideal for speeding up and catch a wave. Because of the waves and rough conditions, bodyboarding fins use a fin saver to attach them to your ankle. So you don’t lose them in the surf if they happen to slip off.

For a quick burst of power, bodyboarding fins are a smart buy. Many of my mates growing up would use these shorter fins when we were lobstering around the reef. Good maneuverability helped us catch fish and avoid getting washed over the rocks. These fins range from about 10-inches to 15-inches (25cm to 40cm) in length, so they’re some of the shortest you can buy. The downside is they’re less efficient than longer flippers, so you’ll burn more energy as you kick.

Consider bodyboarding fins like…

Key features of bodyboarding fins

  • Shortest and thickest fins
  • Ideal for short power bursts
  • Highly maneuverable
  • Burns more energy to kick

Snorkeling fins

The fins most people start spearfishing with are snorkeling flippers. Designed to be light and flexible, these fins are versatile and will suit most conditions. Ideal if you’re new to the sport and not wanting to invest a considerable amount of money. Yet, you still want to zoom around in the water in search of your next fish to spear with comfortable flippers.

For swimming around on the surface or in shallow reefs, snorkeling fins are your best bet. You slip them on, and you’re good to go. You’ll find these with both the open heel (to wear with booties) or a full foot pocket. Snorkeling fins are longer and thinner than bodyboarding fins. The added surface area pushes more water, so it takes less effort to swim a greater distance. If you’re not sure what fins to buy, snorkeling flippers are a good start. They range from 20-inches to 26-inches (50cm to 66cm) and are inexpensive compared to other fins.

Consider snorkeling fins like…

Key features of snorkeling fins

  • Generally the cheapest fins
  • Ideal for swimming on the surface
  • Easy and comfortable to wear
  • Good choice for beginners

Scuba fins

Scuba fins are what most people think of when you imagine flippers. Designed to provide a powerful thrust, they’re much longer than snorkeling fins. They’re also much thicker. Scuba fins are ideal when wearing all your heavy dive equipment to push through the water. Some come with channels for better flow and split fin designs to reduce fatigue on longer dives.

You’ll get scuba fins with full foot pockets, but most will have an open heel so that you can wear them with booties. They range from around 25-inches to 30-inches (64cm to 76cm). Consider these fins if you’re spearfishing in deep water with rough conditions. Or even a strong current. The rigid fins will help you to swim.

Consider scuba fins like…

Key features of scuba fins

  • Longer and thicker than snorkeling fins
  • Gives you a more powerful kick
  • Stiffness can be a problem on the surface
  • Ideal in rough conditions or strong currents

Freediving fins

You can immediately identify freediving fins when you see them because they’re so long. Designed with the most generous surface area, these fins are very efficient for spearfishing. Helping you speed through the water without burning energy (and your oxygen on a dive). Ideal if you’re swimming long distances or diving at depth. Freediving fins are what most people buy once they get serious about their spearfishing gear.

If you’re looking for the best spearfishing fins, I usually recommend freediving fins. They come in plastic, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Though, the fin length will reduce your ability to maneuver underwater. Not ideal if you’re spearfishing on a reef or in shallower water. Freediving fins will help you get to the bottom faster, so you can cover more distance in less time. Some people do find it difficult to swim with freediving fins. They’re stiffer than you think, and it will take time to build the muscles you need to kick. Though I believe they’re a worthwhile investment because you’ll have so much more power as you dive.

Consider freediving fins like…

Key features of freediving fins

  • The longest fins you can buy
  • Stiff blades give the greatest power
  • Hard to maneuver in tight conditions
  • Dive to hunting depth faster

Which of the different types of spearfishing fins is best?

There are many different types of spearfishing fins you can buy before you get in the water. From bodyboarding fins to scuba or freediving flippers, they’re all tools. A piece of gear designed for a job, and that’s to help you swim as you hunt your next fish. Your job is to choose the fins that best suit the conditions you’ll be spearfishing in. For a beginner, snorkeling fins like the Atomic Split Fin are an excellent choice. But if you’re going into deeper water, my advice would be to buy freediving fins like the Cressi Gara 2000 HF’s.

Happy spearin’

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