Dive EquipmentThe Diver Life Style

Choosing the Right Mask and Fins

What Type of Scuba Diving Fin Is Best for You

There are a huge variety of Scuba Diving Fins to choose from including open heel fins, or fool foot fins, split fins, long blades, or short and more

Below we look at the different designs of scuba diving fins to try to help you decide what type is best for you

Open Heel vs Full Foot scuba fins:

Open heel scuba diving fins Don’t have to match your foot size perfectly and are more comfortable to wear with booties, this needs to be taken account of when sizing. Open heal fins have straps to keep them in place on your foot, spring straps are ideal and give you the ability to put the fins on easily on the boat or in the water.

Full foot scuba diving fins can be put on easily; they cover the entire foot and don’t require dive booties. Full foot fins are comfortable and are suitable for pool or boat diving, however if you are shore diving, booties can make a huge difference on entering and exiting the water. Full foot fins should match or closely match your foot size; otherwise you’ll experience discomfort or blisters.

Paddle-no split scuba diving fins vs. split scuba diving fins:

Paddle scuba diving fins Are the more traditional scuba diving fins design and are good for casual diving. The fins move water on the downward and upward return kick with no design feature to allow the water to bypass the fin surface, this means you get a lot of power from the fins but in turn you need a lot of energy to swim in them. Pick this design of scuba fins for more power. 

Split scuba diving fins Reduce water resistance as you kick, making kicking more energy-efficient. Split fins are less efficient when it comes to frog kicking, frog kicking is essential when cave diving, or if you are close to the bottom.Pick split diving fins for saving energy (no power kicks)

Vented scuba diving fins:

Vented fins are designed to allow water run through the vented part of the fin blades as you kick. There are two different type of vented fin: one that allows water to pass through vents on the fin on the upward stroke and the other that allows water through the fin on the power stroke as you kick downwards.

The second design is more popular, as it saves energy during the power kick downwards.

Blades size and flexibility:

Longer fins give you more power when kicking. If you don’t consider yourself in great shape, you may find diving with long and stiff scuba diving fins feel inflexible and can cause pain or stiffness in your ankles during repetitive dives.

Finding the right size scuba diving fins:

Open heel scuba diving fins come in general sizes such as small, medium, large, normally they are worn with a scuba “bootie”. Make sure you have the correct size bootie, and the foot pocket reaches your ankle. Full foot scuba diving fins should fit perfectly on your foot. Stand up; lift your heel while keeping your toes on the ground. If the fin stays in place, and doesn’t pinch, you have just found the right size.

How to choose a scuba diving mask

Owning your own scuba mask makes a huge difference to your scuba diving experience.

Masks are available in many different styles, from single framed to double framed, to double frameless, single frameless, low-volume, classic single, three lenses, four lenses, wide fit narrow fit, reflective lenses etc, plus a whole spectrum of colors from the classic black through blue, red, pink, yellow, clear etc.

What are a scuba masks made of?

Scuba diving masks comprise a lens, or lenses, a mask frame, a nose pocket, a silicone seal, silicone strap, and strap buckles. Mask lenses are made from tempered glass that is stronger, more durable and safer than normal glass.

How to check for mask fit

Once you have chosen this style size and color mask you like, you need to make sure it fits correctly, to do this do the following

  1. Hold the masks and movie the strap over the mask to the front so that it is in front of the mask lens
  2. Place the mask against your face making sure that is no hair or anything else is between your face and the mask skirt
  3. Make sure the mask skirt is not folded or pinched against the skin in anyway
  4. Now take a deep breath inhaling through your nose, with your hands in front of the mask but not touching it look down towards the floor and shake your head slightly. If the mask seals and remains in position on your face with no air is passing through the skirt, then that is a good fit.

 How to clean and store the mask

Scuba diving masks are supplied from the manufacturer with a layer of silicone applied to both sides of the glass. This layer of silicone it is used to protect the mask during transit and when on display at the store or dive shop, however, if this silicone is not removed it very easily and rapidly fogs the mask and the diver is unable to see clearly. This will continue until the silicone Layer has been completely removed. The best way to remove the silicone layer from the tempered glass on the mask is to use toothpaste or a soft scrub, first make sure the mask is clean and dry, then using your finger apply a thin layer of toothpaste to both sides of the tempered glass. Using a circular motion making sure that the toothpaste covers all parts of the glass on both sides and rub it in gently for a couple of minutes. After doing this run the mask under cold or lukewarm water to remove the toothpaste. Do this at least twice, testing the mask in between applications, normally 2 to 3 applications are enough.

To keep your mask clean wash, it in fresh water after diving, and make sure there is no sand or debris left in it well and make sure to store it in a clean and dry area out of direct sunlight as this will damage the silicone seal.

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