Finding a pair of great scuba diving flippers

Those who are new to diving often think flippers are all alike. But, most skilled divers will tell you the right flippers can make all the difference in the world. In fact, the wrong pair of scuba diving flippers can make you wish you had never gone underwater. They can literally ruin your diving adventure. They'll fit strangely, cause your legs to ache and eventually cause your air tank to deplete more quickly because you're working harder to move underwater. 

If you want to truly enjoy your diving experience, you'll need to buy a pair of good flippers that can do the job for which they're intended. Below, you learn about the different types of scuba diving flippers you can buy as well as a couple of easy tips you can use to choose the right pair for you.

A great diving experience requires good flippers

The reason flippers are such an integral part of your diving equipment is because they help you to manage your movements underwater. While your speed is important, flippers also help you navigate within tight environments, balance your position and help adjust your buoyancy.

Good flippers can even help you prolong your diving experience by allowing you to move with less effort. If you're struggling to propel yourself, you'll deplete your air tank more quickly. This can require you to return topside sooner, cutting your diving excursion short. Your flippers should enhance your experience underwater rather than shorten it.

Different types of scuba diving flippers

There are 2 main types of flippers on the market today. The first type, open-heel flippers, are used prominently by experienced divers. These flippers allow flexibility in sizing while providing plenty of power for high-velocity swimming. They're usually worn with a pair of neoprene booties. The second type of flippers is called full-foot flippers. These are usually worn barefoot (no booties required). Though less-expensive than open-heel flippers, many diving experts (including divemasters) consider full-foot flippers most appropriate for snorkeling.

The 2 main types of flippers are a paddle, split and force fins. Paddle fins are the most popular type and work similarly to paddles or oars. Split fins are often considered the most efficient and work like the propellers on a plane. Force fins are shaped like a "V" and have an upturned blade on one end. Force fins are relatively new to the scuba diving world and have yet to gain a foothold in the industry.

Choosing a pair of scuba diving flippers

Buying a pair of great scuba diving flippers is like buying a pair of shoes. Try several pairs on to get the right fit. If you're planning to purchase open-heel flippers, wear the booties while trying them on. If you intend to buy a pair of full-foot flippers, make sure they fit snugly on your feet. There should be very little room for your foot to move.

To get a good feel for the flippers, sit down while wearing them, lift your feet one by one and shake them. The flippers should fit securely, but shouldn't rub, pinch or feel too tight while you're shaking them. Don't be afraid to spend a few extra dollars on a good pair of scuba diving flippers. They could help deliver the diving experience you desire.

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