There is always the question around the scuba diving fins, like what is the difference between the split fin to the full fin, and does one have the advantage over the other. The full fin is as known as the paddle fins, blade fins, and of course the full foot fins.
The choice of fins is decided by the needs of the diver. There are different styles and brands of fins available with varied strengths and weaknesses. This can make them more, or less, appropriate for certain or different diving conditions.
There are three main attributes of scuba diving fins. These are as follows.
- The ease of use and efficiency.
- Power and speed.
- And maneuverability and better control.
Read more on common questions asked by divers
What Is The Difference Between Split Fin And Full Fin?
The split fin and the full fin are very different. They offer divers different advantages and disadvantages in different situations. Let’s take a look.
The full fins do not have a slit down the middle of them as they are the traditional fins. This solid design is best for experienced divers. The full fins allow for a more powerful stroke. Full fins have a soft, flexible foot pocket that you wear like a shoe.
While they do require you to have a more perfected stroke, they can allow for better efficiency when you know what you are doing.
Pros Of The Full Fins
- The material full fins are made from makes them strong and are great in going against the current. If you think you will be diving in a strong current, we recommend using full fins, as split fins do not perform as well.
- Full fins work well in confined spaces, making them good for the cave, and wreck dives.
Cons Of The Full Fins
- Full fins are made from a material that makes them strong but it is a stiffer plastic, which means they can a bit heavier and fatter than split fins.
- Need a strong kick especially those who do not have a good kick may experience calf and ankle cramping.
You can tell that fins are split fins easily by as they are the ones that have a slit down the middle of them. Because split fins are made of a less stiff material but with more flexible and durable rubber, this makes the fins easier to kick.
With the split fins having a split in the middle, they met with less resistance, and therefore less fatigue. The split design gives snorkelers a more robust kick with less effort.
The improved efficiency comes from the water flowing through the middle of the slit which improves speed. Their efficiency makes up for any limits inform that more novice users may have.
Pros Of The Split Fins
- Split fin is good for beginners, particularly for those with a weak kick and for those who love to bicycle kick or flutter kick.
- Split fins have less resistance than the full fins, this means the diver will experience less fatigue. Making them good for long dives.
Cons Of The Split Fins
- Split fins may not be the right fin for more advanced divers as they do not work as well as full fins when frog kicking, turning and backing up.
- Split fins do not work as well as full fins when going against a current or if towing someone.
Which One Should I Use?
What is needed is an understanding of what performance you need from the fins. If you are looking for speed, and efficiency the split fins provide improved speed with less work on your legs by reducing muscle demand.
For more general use the full fins are more suited. As it provides good all-round performance but isn’t a top performer in any single area. They a good for general scuba diving and are more affordable price.
More General Factors Include
The are other factors to consider, they are a little more general but are quite important.
Price – This is important if not a critical factor for most. Here you need to try and strike a balance with lifespan and needs to determine true value for money.
Size, Weight, and Portability – The size and weight of the fins are important as most scuba divers travel to different dive sites around the world. This makes portability important. Full fins typically save on size and weight. Whereas the others either are typically larger and weigh or need some case protection.
Finally, the full fins are the fins that you will use when you are learning to dive. Even when doing fun dives you will be using the full fins, unless you bring your own fins. The full fins will give you strength as well as precise maneuverability, especially in tight spaces that work well against the current.
Whereas the split fins offer more easy to kick, flexible fins that your legs won’t have to work as hard meaning less likely to get cramps and fatigue. At the end of the day to choose the right fins involves a little trial and error.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on split fin vs full fin, what is the difference between them has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.