Whether you have been around the block for a while or you are brand new and looking for your first pair of swim fins, youve come to the right spot. In this article I have covered every question (and then some) that you could have concerning plastic propulsion devices strapped to your feet, otherwise know as swim fins.
A full explanation can be seen here but for a short answer, you put your foot into the foot pocket and put the heel strap behind your ankle. Do it close to the waters edge as you do not want to walk long distances with fins on for error or tripping. It can get a bit confusing for the first time when putting them on because of a few possible variables.
There is only one side of the fin is up and vice versa. Easy ways to tell are that the brand name or design is usually on the top part of the fin. On the bottom of the fin, you will find (not always but on most) either/or drain hole system and grips for traction. The drain hole and grips will always of course be on the bottom of the fin.
It happens a lot where people ask which is the right fin to put on each/what foot?! Some fins it matters and others it does not. Fins like Churchills do matter for each foot because the fin blade has a different design for the left and right foot.
It has a arc like a dolphin or whale, there is even text on the top of the fin that says left and right. Others are interchangeable and it doesnt matter which foot you assign to each fin, examples of these are the Viper fin.
Although many swim pool enthusiasts kick both fins at the same time, you will not do this for most other activities. Almost all other activities you will kick one fin at a time. This includes most ocean sports like bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming, snorkeling and diving.
Simply make a snappy kick for fast acceleration to catch a wave or more subtle longer stroking kick motions if you are going the distance like for a long freestyle swim, diving, paddling back to the line-up in the surf. Below is a video explaining and if you need more detailed explaining, a full post on the subject is posted here.
This one is definitely an art and not a science, meaning, everyone and their mom has an opinion. Some people love a fin whole others had the worst experience and hate it.
Yet, amongst this gray area of confusion, emerges a few key characteristics that can help you select yours. I have decided to group fins by your intensions.
Ocean Sports like bodyboarding, bodysurfing and freestyle swimming:
Diving, snorkeling (and other activities that include long distance swimming):
Pool and Training:
Once youve selected the area your interested in and you need further help and info, look around the site here as all of these fins have been reviewed on this website.
The vast majority are made out of a high quality 100% natural rubber. Some fins have softer rubber while others have more stiff rubber.
Yet there are a few experimenting with other materials like Neo Fins who use neoprene for the foot pocket for extreme comfort (but not as much push!) and then rubber for the fin blade.
Then you have Hydro fins which use silicone for the entire fin.
Both have proven to work very well as a substitute to rubber but still most fins on the marketplace use rubber as their material to make fins.
It comes down to personal preference what what works for you and your feet like how the fit into the fin pocket and react the the stiffness of the blade. It is really case by case but here are a few things I go off.
This was a quick blurp of each, I analysis these characteristics to actual fins on the homepage so you really have something to go off as far as which fins these factors would correlate to.
There are two important things to remember. Wash off well with fresh water after use and store in cool dry spot. Although there are several other factors and things you really should know about this, there is an entire post I wrote about it here.
They should fit comfortably snug. You dont want a lot of movement and giggle in the foot pocket or too tight that they will be restricting. That is the short answer, I give a full explanation here.
I hope that has been helpful to you and that it has answered your questions. If there is still a question or two that still havent been answered then look around the site. There are almost 100 pages of info just on swim fins so take a look around at the top and side menus and I am sure I have addressed it in one of my articles!