The Purpose of Fins for Snorkeling

Snorkeling fins work well in the water, providing tremendous underwater thrust and enabling snorkelers to move around with speed and power. The propulsion that snorkeling fins achieve comes with a minimum of movement. Snorkelers can focus on exploring reefs and wrecks rather than dealing with the problems bare feet can cause.


Believe it or not, the human body is reasonably hydrodynamic. With arms against the sides and using the hips to move the legs, scuba divers can propel through the water without much interference. Snorkeling fins require skill, but snorkelers easily learn from imitation and examples. By confining leg motion to the hips and feet, snorkeling fins achieve a powerful thrust. This is important because the downward plunge of a snorkeler is vital. With snorkeling fins, snorkelers can get to depths faster, before they must return to the surface for air.

Unlike scuba divers, snorkelers look for fins that are both lightweight and flexible. Lightweight gear is easier to carry on shore and is simple to control in the water. In addition, flexibility is important because snorkelers don't want to expend the energy that rigid snorkeling fins require. A good snorkeling fin helps snorkelers move with ease around objects of interest. Check out the variety of snorkeling fins at Key West Snorkel Tours to get an idea of what's available.

Energy and Resistance

Stiff fins optimize the amount of thrust snorkelers enjoy, but increase the amount of resistance they encounter too. When choosing a fin, consider how much energy you want to use while snorkeling. Stiff fins are effective for maximizing thrust, but snorkelers can tire easily with stiff fins. Flexible fins moderate the effort.

Open Heel or Closed Heel

Snorkeling fins come with open heels and closed heels. When looking at the selection at Key West snorkel, consider three factors:

The climate
The beach surface
Personal preference

Many snorkelers like to slide their bare feet into closed fins, so a snug fit is important. Open heeled fins are best when the user wants to wear light footwear while snorkeling. This choice is determined by two factors: How cool the temperature of the water is, and how rough the walk path to the beach is. With soft, warm sand, a barefoot stroll to the water is pleasant, but with a rocky coast or cold temperatures, wearing swimming boots is the practical choice. Closed fins work well in warm climates; open heels are practical in colder climates. Anytime a walk to the beach requires footwear to perform, regardless of the climate, it may be best to use open heel so the footwear can be worn inside the snorkeling fin during snorkeling.

Snorkeling fins are an important piece of equipment for snorkeling and the best way to experience the advantage is to compare diving with fins against diving in bare feet. To get the most out of your snorkeling time, fins provide the power and maneuverability that divers desire.