Your choice of fins for Spearfishing is likely going to be based on cost. At least, at first. When you’re starting a new sport or hobby you just want equipment that’s reliable to get you hooked. And when it comes to starting out Spearfishing, your fins need to be just that. A reliable piece of equipment. It’s really only when you’re more experienced when you’re going to question the efficiency of your fins. And that, is the basis of this article. Here we’ll explore the different materials Spearfishing fins are produced with, the pros and cons of each, and the audiences each are aimed towards.
Plastic (Polymer) Spearfishing fins are 99% of the time going to be what your first set of fins are. They’re a great option for beginners and are featured in most Spearfishing starter kits. The pros and cons of Plastic fins can be seen below:
- Cost – Plastic fins are very cost efficient. They are cheap in comparison to other materials, which is usually the driving force for people looking to buy their first pair.
- Durability – Plastic fins are very robust. When you’re starting out you want sturdy equipment that you can rely on. And plastic fins are exactly that. With these you don’t have to worry about damaging them whilst you’re perfecting your technique. As you develop and overcome bad habits such as kicking off the bottom and from structures the last thing you want to worry about it damaging your equipment.
- Weight – Plastic fins are heavy in comparison to Carbon or Fibreglass fins. Although this isn’t necessarily a problem for a beginner as they’d have no comparison, it takes more energy to utilise them and get the same performance as a Carbon blade.
- Power – Plastic fins have less snap, which means they have less power transfer. This means that you need to use more energy to fin than you would with another blade material.
- Deformation – Over time Plastic fins will start to lose their shape as the material weakens. Bending a plastic over and over will cause a stress line and Polymer blades are no exception.
Carbon Fibre Blades:
Carbon fibre blades are the premium material when it comes to Spearfishing fins. They are light, reactive and just look a whole lot better. Although Carbon blades are the first choice for many experienced Spearos, they do have their drawbacks. The pros and cons of Carbon fins can be seen below:
- Weight – Carbon Blades are exponentially lighter than Plastic Blades. Carbon is a material used universally in industries for its impressive strength to weight ratio. And Spearfishing equipment is no exception. The weight of the blades means you’re likely to get fatigued slower in the water. Which also means you have to use less energy to get the best out of them.
- Power – Due to the reactivity of the material, Carbon Blades enable more power from each stroke without using excess energy. This enables divers of all levels to get the most out of their dives. As well as this, Carbon Blades are available in different levels of Stiffness. This allows you to chop and change Blades with using the same foot pocket to find a stiffness that suits your stroke.
- Cost – Carbon Blades are very expensive when compared to Plastic fins. Where you would be able to find a decent pair of Plastic fins for £60, a good pair of Carbon blades with a foot pocket will cost around £150. I say with a foot pocket, as a lot of high end Carbon blades will be sold as just the blades. Some premium Carbon blades such as those manufactured by DiveR can cost around £400 alone!
- Durability – The main reason why i’d never recommend Carbon blades to a new Spearo is purely out of worry that they’d spend a lot of money just to break them during their first few dives. These fins are very fragile. The Carbon material is very prone to cracking under stress. I’m sure most experienced Spearos have a story about how they broke a Carbon blade by doing barely anything at all!
For information about Spearfishing fins, check out our Getting Started page!