Choose the Right Type of Fin

Those preparing to go snorkeling or scuba dive Bahamas need to choose the proper fins for their needs. The right fin allows divers to use less energy--and as a result, less oxygen--while swimming. It is generally better to learn what constitutes the "right" fin for your needs before you are actually relying upon it.

Closed or Open Foot?

While the more recognizable type of fin would be the closed foot, some swimmers prefer an open foot, which holds the foot into the fin by an adjustable strap on the back. The ability to adjust open foot fins gives divers a better fit than their closed counterpart. It also allows divers to wear a boot that both insulates their feet and allows them to walk over rocky shores. However, these fins also tend to be stiffer, heavier and bulkier, in order to compensate for the drag created by diving gear.

A closed foot fin is generally cheaper; not only because the fins are usually less expensive, but because there is no need to buy additional boots. These fins are also lighter, which means less work swimming and a lighter suitcase when you are traveling to go diving in the Bahamas. Tests have also shown, surprisingly, that these fins are also more efficient than their open counterparts, despite their lighter weight. The biggest concern with these fins is one of fit. The fin should, ideally, fit a diver’s foot without being tight on the toes or so loose it may slip off.

Split Fins or Paddle Fins?

Shoppers should also consider whether they want a traditional paddle fin or a split fin--which looks much as it sounds. Both have their benefits, and often the final decision is a matter of personal preference. Paddle fins are familiar to most divers or snorkelers, and these duck-footed fins allow for maximum acceleration speeds in the water. For those looking to get up-close and personal with coral or other sea live, paddle fins also provide swimmers with good control over their movements, and as a result, greater maneuverability.

Split fins are designed so that more of the water force is directly behind the fin while swimming. As a result, divers don’t need to put forth as much effort to swim, which allows them to sustain fast speeds longer than with the paddle fin. However, swimming with a split fin is a different experience for divers accustomed to the long, forceful strokes of the paddle fin. The split fin requires smaller kicks that may take time to learn. Often, the decision between these fin styles comes down to a diver's comfort level with this swimming technique.

What About Travel Fins?

Travel fins are designed to be packed in luggage easily with their squat design and light materials, but as a result, they lack power and efficiency. Generally, it is better to eliminate other items you might pack in your luggage to make room for a set of fins that will serve you better snorkeling or diving in the Bahamas. Travel fins can hardly compare to a closed foot split fin, which is a diver's best option before heading into open water.