Open Heel Fins
As a Scuba Instructor I have tried most of the Open Heel Fins on the market today. Some were great, some were expensive, and some weren’t worth the box they came in. Here are some of my favorite fins
Apollo Sports Bio-Fin Pro
This one of my favorite open heel fins. The price is something to cheer about also. This fin gives me one of the fastest kicks over a straight line as I have ever seen. Made from 100% rubber this fin is extremely durable and long lasting. It feels as if you do not have a fin on in the first place. Many times, I will loan these fins to one of my students who bought one of those paddles fins, just so they can swim to the float. In the end, I have never found a student who did not purchase a pair.
Atomic Aquatics SplitFin
If you need to make a lot of sharp turns through a coral tube, then you will appreciate the Atomic Split Fin. While this fin is fast too, the price tag is usually $75 more than the Apollo Bio-Fin. The blade of this fin is a bit longer than the Apollo fin and a lot stiffer. This fin offers one of the best buckles assemblies for removing your fin strap that I have seen.
Atomic Aquatics Liquid Blue SplitFin
The Liquid blue version of the Atomic Fin is using a softer rubber that gives this a little more bounce back. This fin is lighter than the original Atomic fin, but not as light as the Apollo fin. And yes it is still expensive.
Mares makes a decent fin with the Volo. The Volo uses a pivot point called Optimum Pivoting blade (OPB). This blade pivoting fin helps give the maximum thrust directly behind the scuba diver. The Volo has a comfortable foot pocket and is pretty quick at the start; this fin is not as fast as either the Apollo or Atomic fin. Overall this is fin has a pretty easy kick.
TUSA X-Pert Zoom (SF-8)
This open heel fin is alright and it is pretty cheap. If you cannot afford the Apollo Bio-Fin than this is a decent fin when you look at the price per performance ratio. The blade is bent downward to allow a little more performance. The fin strap is universal, so most dive shops carry the strap in from one manufacturer or another. I did not find this fin to be very fast, only about average.
This open heel fin has a flexible center panel to aid in directing the water directly to the rear of the diver. This fin works well in the frog kick.
Aqua Lung Blades II
The Blades II is about average in speed and is stiff. This is the main open heel fin from Aqua Lung. The fin strap makes it easy to take on and off.
Aqua Lung V-Tek
This fin is pretty slow. It is your standard paddle fin.
While there fins also use the Mares OPB they are a lot slower in speed. The fin is said to be identical to the Mares fin, but just relabeled. I suspect there is a lot more different, it is a slower fin.
Dacor Tiger (Blue)
This Dacor scuba diving fin is faster than the Panther, but it is below average. The Dacor Tiger does uses the OPB like the other Mares and Dacor fins
Genesis Scuba Aquaflex
The Aquaflex scuba diving fins are about average in speed, but they are one of the fastest paddle fins. It is a little like saying it is the fastest VW. This is a very stiff fin and I would not recommend it to those with weaker kicks.
Genesis Scuba Blitz
These fins are a step down from the Genesis Aquaflex. The foot pocket is comfortable, but again these fins are way too stiff.
Mares Avanti Quattro
These are the fastest paddle fins, they are pure power. They are too heavy for snorkelers and the foot pocket is too short.
open heel fins to Scuba Fins
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