Click to order
If you are ordering gear to pick up at a Fins and Foam dive day, you can try on and exchange or return anything before getting in the water.

The best fins for freediving

When you are first starting out with freediving, I recommend you get a pair of tough rubber fins like the ones below. They are easy to learn with, and training with them is the best way to develop good finning technique.

Cressi Clios
Tough, high-visibility fins for learning and training.

What's good about fins like these

  • Good for learning
    If you are finning incorrectly, these fins won't do the work for you. You will get instant feedback to improve your technique.
  • Will never scratch or break on rocks
    It is easy to scratch or break expensive carbon fins during a rocky entry, but these fins will last forever.
  • Full foot pocket
    Strappy scuba fins are ok to rent for your first ocean day, but if you are going to buy fins, make sure they have a full foot pocket, to efficiently transfer the force of your kick to the water.
  • High visibility
    Ideally, your fins will be a visible color, such as white or yellow, to help your buddy track you underwater.
  • Fit in a carry-on bag
  • You can train with them in the pool

What to avoid when buying fins

  • Straps on the back
    Scuba divers often use fins with straps on the back, to fit around their boots. This kind of fin does not efficiently transfer the force of your kick to the water, wasting energy and oxygen which are more precious to freedivers.
  • Paying too much
    There is a "dead zone" of $40-150 in the freediving fin market where a lot of older models are priced. These include fiberglass fins, huge plastic fins, and scuba fins with weird contouring that look like they have been developed by NASA to withstand re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. If you want to upgrade from training fins, skip all these and go straight to carbon fins (see below).

Carbon Fins

Carbon fins offer much more power than any other type of fin. Carbon has 100% "memory" so it snaps back to its original position with no loss of energy. It is not a good idea to learn with carbon fins, because you can develop bad habits, but if you have been freediving for a while and are reaching depths from which it is hard to swim up, this type of fin offers a quick solution.
Best mid-range pick: Leaderfins
230 with shipping
Leaderfins make 100% carbon freediving fins at relatively affordable prices. Pictured here in basic black, they have lots of other colors to choose from. Their long carbon blades provide plenty of power. They are heavier than higher-end carbon fins like Alchemy's.

Note: avoid what they call "Carbon Fiber Bi-Fins", which actually use a mix of carbon and fiberglass in the blades, and look for what they call "100% Carbon Bi-Fins", which use blades made only from carbon.

Note: factor in their shipping when checking your budget - it is currently about $60.
Top of the line pick: Alchemy V3
The ultimate competitive freediving carbon fin. Alchemy's carbon fiber is lighter than some lower-priced carbon fins such as Leaderfins, and has different hardnesses along different parts of the blade.
A final word... another interesting option is to buy your footpockets and blades separately. Footpockets don't involve much tech, and are all about getting the right fit. By contrast blades can get very high-tech. So start with footpockets that fit your feet, add some short cheap durable blades, and then you only need to upgrade the blades when you are ready.

You can get a good pair of footpockets like the Leaderfins Classic for $54 and a good short durable blade "specially designed for diving in shallow waters and rocky environments" like the Leaderfins Abyss Pro Short for about $100.