Best Dive Fins for Strong Currents

Swimming against the tide is always a challenge – whether in life or while swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

However, preparing beforehand can help you gracefully overcome any obstacles. And if you are talking about underwater activities, this means plenty of training and buying the right pieces of dive equipment, including the perfect pair of fins.

Also known as flippers, a suitable set of fins can help you conserve energy while you are underwater. As a result, you may be able to dive deeper, faster, and for longer. However, not all fins are made alike and different models are better suited for specific situations, such as when diving in dangerously strong currents.

fins for strong currents

Moreover, a diver’s choice of fins can depend on other factors, such as comfort, skill level, or even style and color. On that note, I have shortlisted some of the best fins for strong currents on the market to make your choice easier.

Best Fins for Diving in Current – Top 5 Picks

1. TUSA SF-22 Solla

First established in 1952, TUSA is perhaps one of the oldest scuba diving equipment manufacturers in the world. Armed with decades of experience, the company combines quality, utility, and a hint of style in the SF-22XS-BK model. Indeed, these fins are available in some exciting colors and a chic design.

What I like about it

TUSA remains one of the leading manufacturers of scuba diving gear, and its commitment to providing quality and excellent craftsmanship is evident in this product. Considering the rich and long history of the brand, these fins are a relatively newer model with innovative and state-of-the-art features for high performance and optimal comfort.

For starters, each pair is equipped with patented blades that are angled at 20 degrees from the multi-compound foot pockets to help increase power transfer. The foot pockets themselves have been redesigned to enhance comfort and come complete with anatomic fin straps.

These features are shaped to significantly reduce slippage and offer flexibility, which are prerequisites for kicking against a strong current. On that note, the three-channel blades are stiff enough to stand the test of harsh underwater conditions and maximize propulsion with the help of a nifty crescent tip.

What could be better?

Finding snug and well-fitted fins is essential if you want to dive in strong currents. That said, you want a comfortable pair of fins that won’t choke your feet or fall off underwater.

Unfortunately, the sizing chart provided by TUSA is a tad tricky to understand, and most products are larger than you would expect. For instance, a medium will be well-suited if you wear size 12 shoes, which the manufacturer considers a large size.

PROS
  • Stiff and well-constructed blades
  • Comfortable anatomic foot pockets
  • Excellent propulsion
CONS
  • Tricky sizing chart
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2. Scubapro Twin Jet Max Split Fins

Featuring twin jet split fins and an open heel, this product boasts an attractive design. You can go for the bright yellow model, and the fins will stand out in every photograph or video you shoot underwater.

What I like about it

As the name suggests, this twin jet model is split down the middle to mimic a propeller so that they are easier to maneuver even in a strong current. While the blades are heavy and oversized, the added weight is balanced by the patented split hydrofoil shape, which delivers optimum power with minimum effort.

Moreover, the dual-compound construction provides feedback to those divers who prefer it. At the same time, the drag-reducing vents ensure that the equipment does not anchor you down and cause strains. Overall, the makers have cleverly designed this model to balance the different mechanisms.

But perhaps, the highlight of these open heel fins is the ease with which they slide onto the foot and attach securely. That said, the spring-loaded heel piece smoothly goes over scuba boots and won’t need any more adjustments, even when you are fighting against an aggressive current.

What could be better?

Like several other fins on the market, fitting can be tricky with this product, and you may have to experiment with various sizes before finding the perfect fit. That said, the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer recommends about one size too big for anyones needs.

On that note, you may want to go with a medium if your shoe size is 11.

PROS
  • Easy to wear and attaches securely
  • Adequately heavy and stiff
  • Reduced drag and easy maneuverability
CONS
  • Sizes are a tad large
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3. IST Rocket Scuba Fins

Made of high-grade, industrial-strength material, these fins are so reliable that you can count on them for years. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that the super-strong IST F1-M model remains the number-one choice for the U.S. military, among many of its other long-time users.

What I like about it

The design and high-quality construction of these military-grade fins are apparent right off the bat. Made from industrial-strength rubber, the rugged build is tough enough to stand the test of aggressive waters while also offering flexibility. Apart from strong currents, the material is resistant to harsh weather and extreme temperatures.

Moving on to the design features, the model is equipped with hydrodynamic structural ribbing that propels the diver forward with a spring-like return with every thrust. Additionally, the high-powered blades are uniquely curved and tapered to provide maximum power with little effort.

And to top it all off, the deep vents on the blades efficiently propel water backward to mimic the working of synchronized turbo-powered water jets. All in all, you can expect to enjoy swimming and diving in harsh sea waters and oceans for years to come with this one at hand.

What could be better?

Reliability, speed, agility, and strength — these are the pillars of this military-grade product and some of the characteristics it shares with defense personnel. And to make full use of these fins, the manufacturer recommends wearing them with the compatible stainless-steel coil spring straps from IST.

Unfortunately, these are sold separately and may add to the premium costs you pay for these proprietary flippers.

PROS
  • Rugged and reliable construction
  • High-powered blades for better propulsion
  • Hydrodynamic ribbing
  • Trusted brand
CONS
  • Spring straps are sold separately
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4. Atomic Aquatics Split Fin

Full-footed fins with splits may not be for everyone — but if you prefer the design, then this product from Atomic Aquatics can offer a bang for your buck. And if you often go for scuba trips to the tropics, then this lightweight model can be your new favorite travel fin.

What I like about it

Underwater speedometers have often proved that split fins may deliver more propulsion with less effort. And while not all divers may agree with the fact, these well-built fins might just make them change their minds.

Inspired by the tail fins of fish, these split fins were designed to imitate a similar mechanism to reduce leg fatigue, strain, and cramping. Considering how harsh water conditions generally require strong kicks, the lack of resistance with this design may serve divers well.

What’s more, this model helps divers avoid kicking up the sand. That said, cave divers looking to maximize visibility underwater can use this feature to their advantage. Similarly, it can help prevent sending wash to the diver behind you.

Lastly, the sizing of these fins is pretty accurate; the 10.5 – 11.5 will snugly fit if you wear a size 10.5 shoe, with some allowance for fin socks.

What could be better?

For the most part, the foot pockets are comfortable and provide a light fit and adequate support without being too stiff. Owing to these flexible fins, you can effortlessly snorkel around reefs and dive recreationally.

And although these features allow more powerful kicks, better propulsion, and more comfort, some divers may prefer slightly stiffer fins for strong currents. Anyhow, it is best to practice with split fins in current and compare them with non-split models before deciding.

PROS
  • Lightweight and travel-friendly
  • Comfortable and low resistance
  • Accurate fitting
  • Excellent propulsion
CONS
  • May be a tad soft for harsh currents
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5. Oceanic Vortex V-16

The Vortex V-16 has a youthful character and a dynamic operation to match. Oceanic’s flagship product boasts a distinct design and split fins that are eye-catching and add to its functionality.

What I like about it

The Vortex V-16 is equipped with Oceanic’s patented Nature’s Wing Propeller Fin Technology, which features slightly “deformed” split fins that resemble butterfly wings. Apart from providing a distinct character, the fins are designed to funnel water towards the center, thereby increasing pressure to enhance propulsion.

Moreover, the fins are made up of four material compounds that are lightweight to support effortless kicking. At the same time, the semi-rigid battens and rubber flex channels ensure that the diver does not lose control even when faced with strong currents.

Anyhow, the oversized side rails provide additional rigidity so that divers can maneuver the fins with greater ease. With all the features combined, you can expect the Vortex V-16 to perform about 30 percent faster than other dive fins on the market.

Also, these open-heel fins are compatible with most diving boots and feature a quick-release strap for added protection.

What could be better?

Considering how these fins are meant to be worn in conjunction with diving boots, the sizing charts can get confusing. It is perhaps because the recommended sizes make allowances for boots. Although this inconvenience may not be entirely the manufacturer’s fault, you may have to experiment with different sizes before finding the perfect fit.

PROS
  • Unique split fins increase propulsion
  • Attractive design
  • Quick-release strap for added safety
  • Easy to maneuver
CONS
  • Minor fitting issues

 

Also Read: Best Fins for Beginner Divers

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Fastest Fins?

There is no straight answer. The pace at which you can swim underwater relies on various factors, such as the propulsion offered by the fins, blade type, current and weather conditions, and so on. For instance, a lightweight and flexible pair of fins may help you glide across a gentle tide, but it won’t be able to fight back a rough current.

Apart from adequate stiffness, vents on fins can usher you forward as you swim against a strong current. At the same time, individual skill and fin kicking techniques play a vital role in determining how fast you can swim with any pair of fins.

What Fins Do Navy SEALs Use?

The F1-M model from IST, sometimes dubbed as “Rocket Fins,” are military-grade fins trusted by Navy SEALs. And while this product may work as an excellent alternative while training for the Navy, there are differences in the actual products used by the U.S. military.

Conclusion

Whether you prefer split fins with open heels or full-foot duck-feet fins, there are plenty of excellent options on the market to suit your needs. Moreover, these models are available in attractive designs that may add a functional element and enhance propulsion.

At the same time, finding the right fit fins may not be as straightforward as sizing charts make it seem. In fact, my top pick — the TUSA SF-22XS-BK model, also suffers from fitting issues, and you may need to get a smaller size. But once you do find the perfect fit for your feet, these dynamic and well-built fins can help fight any strong current.

Alternatively, you can choose from the selection of split fins if you have weak knees or simply prefer the design. Rest assured, you will be gracefully swimming against the tide with these products in hand – or, more appropriately, with them on your feet.