Paddle vs. Split Fins | Which is the Best Option?

Paddle vs. Split Fins | Which is the Best Option?

This has been the topic of debate from divers all over the world. Some divers dislike the splits because they do not perform as good in currents; however, they are favored by some for providing good propulsion and ease on calm waters. Paddle fins, on the other hand, provides greater propulsion, great feel, and finer control. While the best option depends on one’s taste and perspective, we will cover arguments of both sides so you, the diver, can pick which you think is best.

Paddle Fins

This type of fins was born as early as late 1940s. Then till now, nothing much has changed on the design. Before, there were heavy black rubber fins that are stiff. Right now, fins have evolved into lighter and more comfortable models.

Best Paddle Fins

Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins

Scubapro Seawing Nova FinsPivot control, articulated joint, and durable Monprene construction – these are the main features that highlight the Seawing Nova Fins. It generates thrust, promotes efficient angle of attack, and reduces effort with every kick. In addition, it allows free flow of water at the blade’s working section; thereby increasing thrust and reducing drag. It also boasts an ergonomic foot pocket, which is designed with extended heel plate to generate more power and lessen leg strain.

Ivation Adjustable Dive Fins

Whether you’re diving for fun or sports, you can take your kicks up a notch using the Ivation Paddle Dive Fins. Among the features to love about this gear are extended sole plate, contoured foot chamber, premium polypropylene, and rotating hinges. It’s also easily adjustable, delivers efficient energy transfer, and keeps fin in excellent angle throughout movement.

Cressi Sub Frog Plus Scuba Diving Fins

Cressi Sub Frog Plus Scuba Diving Fins

If you are diving for the first time or occasionally, this is the best model to start. The blade combines the best of three materials – rubber, techno polymer, and silicone. It is super durable, almost indestructible, requires less muscular effort, provides great power in virtually all sorts of diving situations, and allows for more fluid kicks. Right now, it is available in four different colors – black, yellow, blue, and pink. According to user reviews, the Frog Plus Fins work best for snorkeling and free diving.

Split Fins

As the name implies, split fins are designed in such a way that there’s an empty space at the middle of the blade, so it is divided into 2 parts. The reason behind this design is so they can act as propellers with every foot stroke underwater. As a result, the diver is lifted and propelled as they navigate deep down under.

Best Split Fins

Oceanic USA Vortex V-16 Diving Fin

With this diving monster, anyone can reap the advantages of comfort, speed, and maneuverability. V-16 features a patented design that’s made from a combination of materials that improve style and performance. Unlike traditional fins, v-16 is more efficient, easier to control, and faster by 30%. Vortex V-16 comes with ergonomically designed foot pockets that can house almost all boot styles and foot sizes.

Atomic Aquatics Full Foot Split Diving Fin

The great thing about this fin is that it delivers better propulsion, without having to fully drag or kick. And when strain and stress are removed, you’ll get sustained comfort, power, and speed. Tests have also proven that the split fin design cuts back in air consumption.

Scubapro Twin Jet Max Open Heel Split Fins

Scubapro Twin Jet Max Open Heel Split Fins

Optimum power with minimal effort – this is what the Jet Max is designed to do. It features a split-hydrofoil design, along with dual compound construction; allowing you to fine tune ­­your performance and get the benefits of supreme maneuverability and comfort. At the front lies a spring strap, which enables quick and easy wearing. It also allows easy adjustment, so you don’t have to struggle when adjusting or in case your fins get twisted. With this revolutionary system, the fin will simply roll over your heel, while keeping it snug and comfortable on your feet. Apart from being flexible, its sturdiness and durability cannot be understated, ensuring your fins will last for a lifetime.

Summary of Pros and Cons

Paddle Fins

Better maneuverability than split fins
Promotes more precise movements
Easy pivots
Works well in confined areas
Can be too stiff for some divers
May cause calf cramps

Split Fins

Have unique flexibility
Reduces ankle strain
Splits allow diver to move rapidly underwater
Works best for people using the flutter kick method
Some do not feel the fins while kicking
Lacks body and stiffness for turning, backing up, and frog kicking
Are not ideal if you wish to back track or capture photographs underwater

So which really is the best fin? The decision is yours. Consider your desired features, material, and design and your next diving fin won’t be less than perfect.