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5 Best Freediving Fins (An Instructors Picks)

Table of Contents

There are a lot of different types of freediving fins out there and some are better than others. They also have different purposes and different skill levels.

Most people try to sell the ones that they can make the most money on and have a relationship with that company.

Here at OtterAquatics, we will just go over what are the best ones in our opinion, how to choose, and the nuances of each type of fins.

This article was written by Teagan Kane, a scuba and freediving master instructor with PADI and Molchanovs. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into our favorite free diving fins.

Best for Travel
Best All Around
Budget Option
Best for Training
Best for Spearfishing
~$500
N/A
$149.95
$44.99
$175.00
Best for Travel
Best All Around
Budget Option
Best for Training
Best for Spearfishing
01/30/2023 04:23 am GMT
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Best for Travel
Lazyfish Air
5.0
~$500
Pros:
  • Extremely Light
  • Choice of multiple foot pockets
  • Small and easy to store
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Carbon fiber is fragile
  • Limited styles
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I have had a few pairs of fins from plastic and other carbon and have traveled with them, but by far these are the best have found. The blade weighs from .26 to .42 lbs (120 to 150 grams) depending on the stiffness and is only 24.8 inches (63cm).

These are not the shortest fins out there but for the short size, the power is amazing. I have the medium stiffness switch the Pathos Pockets.

While these are expensive at around $ 500.00 USD with pockets, I have used them for safety at competitions, teaching courses, and training. The website is half in Chinese and English but if you have any questions they respond quickly and thoroughly.

Best All Around
Fins – Molchanovs
4.5
Pros:
  • Multiple types of fins
  • Lots of different colors
  • Reliable product
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Fins can be heavy
  • Fragile
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Alexey Molchanovs and his late mother are two of the most renowned freedivers in the history of the sport and for good reason.

Not only have they set records and helped to pioneer the sport Alexey has been intricate in developing gear from the monofin to the newer silicone bi-fins.

The monofins are the best on the market and most deeper divers use these.

The regular bi-fins come in carbon and fiberglass with custom pockets to fit your feet to get the most out of each movement.

The new silicone bi-fins are great for training to improve technique and are easy to travel with while still getting a lot of power from them.

Best Freediving Fins
Cressi Gara
4.5
$149.95
Pros:
  • Attractive long fins
  • Good value for money
  • Light weight and very reactive
  • Increased performance and manoeuvrability
  • Long blades maximize thrust, minimizing work
  • Used by many world-class free diving competitors
Cons:
  • Not really suitable for scuba diving
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01/30/2023 04:23 am GMT

As with tons of other freedivers, these were my first pair of freediving fins. The reason that most buy these is that they are around $100.USD which is quite cheap for fins of this quality.

While they are a bit heavy and not the easiest to travel with they are extremely durable and you don’t have to worry about damaging them.

You still get solid power from them and a lot of spearfishers actually use them regularly as they are running into rocks and sandy areas.

A quick tip, if the pocket doesn’t fit perfectly use a hair dryer or a heat gun to loosen up the pockets.

austin tuwiner holding Cressi fins for freediving
Best for Training
TYR Crossblade Fins 2.0
4.5
$44.99
Pros:
  • Small and lightweight
  • Can use them in all disciplines
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • Need good technique
  • Hard to safety with them
  • Can rub the heels
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01/30/2023 04:31 am GMT

While it has been popular to use your freediving fins for training and practice as well the larger fins make it easier for you to train.

Training should be a bit more difficult so freedivers have now been using short fins to make it harder to kick and have to focus on technique and CO2 resistance.

The TYR are short fins that are sturdy and will help you out with your training, as I mentioned above the new silicone Molchanovs are good as well but for a higher price point. 

Best for Spearfishing
Leaderfins Blue Camo
5.0
$175.00
Pros:
  • Value for price
  • Very responsive
  • The color scheme is good for spearing
Cons:
  • Get scratched easily
  • A little heavy
  • Stiff
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01/30/2023 04:49 am GMT

While I am not a spearfisher, I have used these fins and enjoyed them. They are Fiberglass and the price is reasonable for the pair. I see a lot of instructors using them to teach as well spearfish as well.

The fins are very responsive and you get excellent propulsion from them to get where you need to go. The weight is not an issue and the durability is on par with the price that you pay.

FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen

What makes up a freediving fin?

Freediving fins are made up of two to three parts the foot pocket, the blade, and the rails.

The foot pocket is most often made of silicone. The blade is most often made from being made from plastic, carbon fiber, or sometimes fiberglass.

The rails are usually again silicone or rubber and some fines don’t even have them. The photo below is of a pair of short carbon fiber fins with a silicone pocket and rails.

What are the different types of Freediving fins?

Freediving fins do kind of all look the same, they are usually black, long, and rarely colorful (I add stickers to accent mine).

While they may look the same the fins’ blades vary in material and as react differently on the type of material, this I not to mention the price of some carbon fiber fins can be 5x a plastic pair.

Each fin has a different stiffness level, length varies, rails change, you get the idea.

Below are the factors you should take into consideration when buying or using a pair of freediving fins.

Your Experience Level

If you are a beginner and just getting into the sport there is no need to buy a $500.00 pair of long carbon fiber fins (no matter what the shop tells you). I used plastic fins from day one to a few months after my instructor course.

That being said if you are going to take the sport a bit more seriously and train more, for your leg’s sake and to improve your technique it would be a good idea to find a pair that would suit your needs whether it be for the pool or depth.

Purpose for the Fins

As an instructor, safety diver, fun diver, and traveler I need something that can fit into all of these categories. I go with a short pair of carbon fiber to travel and be all-encompassing.

You need to think of what you are using them for, just a weekend diver, traveling freediver, pool, depth, instructing, etc. There are a pair of fins for everyone and you just need to find what is right for you.

Blade Length

You will find that freediving fins will vary widely. Some are super long and you will need a good technique to use them while others are shorter and need a different type of technique to use them effectively.

Even a short pair like mine (Lazy Fish) are not wide while another pair of popular fins are shorter but stubby (Alchemy). Long fins are becoming less popular as size doesn’t always matter.

Whatever find that you want to use try it first as this is a large investment. The freediving community is close-knit and friendly, you should be able to rent or borrow a pair to try before you buy.

Fin Rails

I put this on here as some think it is huge and they may be right. The idea is that the rails channel the water and make your movement more effective. I do believe that but you first need to have good form and technique to make a difference. Most plastic ones don’t even bother with this. So, yes have a rail but it is not a game-changer.

Fin Material

There are three main materials are made of plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. They all have positive and negative here is a brief rundown of each.

Plastic

Plastic freediving fins are durable and affordable. They are the best for someone that is starting out and those traveling and not wanting to worry about their fins being broken.

They are not as efficient or responsive as carbon fiber or fiberglass fins and will take a bit more effort to use. Every freediver has used them at some stage and not a bad option.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass freediving fins are between plastic and carbon fins in all aspects of value and efficiency.

While the is an upgrade to plastic for the money I don’t see real value. I would rather pay a bit more for the carbon as they are just as fragile but don’t give all the benefits of carbon.

Carbon Fiber

They are the most expensive and for a good reason. Carbon fiber fins are the most responsive and lightweight. You don’t have to kill your legs if you have good technique. The negative is that besides the hefty price, they are the most fragile and you need to be careful when transporting them.

Durability

Material, durability, and care go together.

For example, carbon fiber fins are the best-performing fins but the easiest to get scratched and break. I worked at Dahab Freedivers in Dahab and rarely would bump into corals or rock as it is usually calm there but had plastic fins.

When I worked at Freedive Taiwan there were a lot of choppy waves and rocks so my carbon fibers took a beating, they are still functioning fine but this could lead to issues.

Price

I put this at the end since I didn’t want to scare you with the prices of fins. Freediving fins range from over $600 USD  to $100.  All the factors above of into what the price is, also in the brand name.

I am a Molcanovs Instructor and do believe it is the best organization to learn to free dive, but I don’t own much of their gear.

It is world-class and has owned a pair of the fins in the past but moved to a different company. Find a company that has gear that works for you and is willing to adapt.

FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen

How to Care for Freediving Fins

Now that you bought a nice pair of fins you will want to take care of them and get the most out of them. They can last a long time, even carbon fiber if they are clean and taken care of. 

Rinse with Fresh Water

After you use them rise them with fresh water every time. This is most important when diving in salt water.

Keep out the Sun

As with everything UV rays destroy plastics and carbon. In some countries, it gets extremely hot and usually black fins that can lead to damage.

Lay Flat to Store

You don’t want your fins to warp or get a natural bend. Storing them flat or in a rack prevents that.

Other Freediving Equipment You Might Need

If you’re new to freediving, I would rent a wetsuit and see what works. I have an open cell custom-fitted one that I use for freediving, scuba, and staying warm in the pool. It was well worth the price tag.

While a wetsuit and fins can be expensive. The rest of the gear, mask, snorkel, and weight belt are fairly inexpensive and you should acquire them first.

Can you travel with freediving fins?

I bring mine in my carry-on and have only had issues in the airport in Kuala Lumpur. They fit my carry-on bag and I don’t show them off or ask if I can take them on.

I know most freedivers do carry the carbon in the carry-on with little issues, they do need to wrap them up. You can get special hard case luggage to store them.

Why are freediving fins so long?

Freediving fins allow the freediver to move in one direction efficiently. A long blade converts the energy of the kick through to the tip of the blade, propelling the freediver forward. Freediving fins tend to be less agile compared to scuba or snorkeling fins, as freedivers don’t tend to turn as much.

How much are freediving fins?

This again ranges from $100 to $600 USD depending, there is no set price. 

Are freediving fins worth it?

Yes, they are. If you want to do the sport recreationally, for spearfishing or competition it just makes sense. I even use mine for scuba and snorkeling as well. They don’t have to be just for freediving.

Can you use scuba diving fins for freediving?

Yes, I use them for both and it is not a big deal. You have to be wary of the size when getting near corals and the bottom but other than a tank a quality pair of fins are fine to use for scuba.
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
Welcome to our blog!
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I am a PADI Divemaster based in South Florida. With nearly 10 years of diving experience, I have accumulated the knowledge to help readers become better divers, buy their next piece of gear, and plan their dream dive vacation! Please contact me if you have any questions.

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FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen
FREE Scuba Gear Care Tips
Essential gear care knowledge
PLUS tips and tricks for cleaning, maintaining, and storing your scuba gear! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.
Scuba Gear shown on an Iphone screen