Best Snorkeling Fins of 2018 – Your Buyer Guide!

Fins play a big role in your snorkeling excursion because they propel you forward through the water, allowing you to snorkel with least effort. They enable you to explore more areas without you getting out of breath.

And if you run into any current, your fins will help you swim through it! Knowing the benefits of wearing fins is essential but it’s not enough, you also need to know what type to choose.

This article walks you through the best snorkeling fins of 2018 so you can make the right choice for your snorkeling excursion.

1. US Divers Trek Travel Fin

All fins are designed for specific type of activity as they come in different shape, length, and style. The US Divers Trek Travel Fin can be used for snorkeling, and also for bodyboarding since they are wide and short.

The foot pocket is comfortable and soft with adjustable straps to secure the fins on the feet. The US Divers Trek Travel fins are easy to put on and off, comfortable to wear and easy to transport everywhere. One thing is for sure is that they will save you a lot of places in your baggage, and you’ll be able to pack other items:)

These are less powerful than longer fins but perform well in calm water. However,  I wouldn’t suggest using them for intense swimming or diving.

Average Rank: 3.9 out of 5

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  • Easy to pack in your suitcase
  • It is easy to walk in
  • Comfortable
  • Comes with a mesh bag
  • Easy to adjust
  • The strap tends to pull out of the buckles.
  • Run narrow, need to break them in
  • Provide less propulsion than long fins

    Weight: 1 lb. 16 oz.
    Style: Open Heel
    Dimension: 9″ x 14″
    Material: Latex

2. U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins

The U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins comes in a wide variety of sizes, which give you extra options. These feature dual composite material with rails on the side, providing a powerful thrust. Meaning, they will propel you forward through the water with a simple kick!

These are called full foot fins since they enclose the heels. With this type of fins, you don’t need to wear booties or water socks as they protect and hold well the feet. Also, these are made of soft rubber material, providing a super comfortable and snug fit!

Because the U.S. Divers feature dual open water channel, it is easy to control movement in the water. You can use them for a variety of water sports such as snorkeling, swimming, tube fishing, and free diving.

Average Rank: 4.3 out of 5

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  • Very durable
  • Fit great
  • Flexible
  • Provide excellent propulsion
  • Comfortable
    • Fit tight on large feet

Weight: 1/3 lb. 21.33 oz.
Style: Full Foot
Dimension: 24 Inches length
Material: Soft Rubber

3. Cressi Light Short Swim Full Foot Fins

As its name suggests, Cressi fins are lightweight and short, these also give you good control of movement in the water. These fins are made of ultra-light and highly reactive material that enable you to kick at a high rate without tiring your legs.

Cressi engineers have studied the length of the blade to allow swimming long distances without getting calf or legs cramps. These are full foot fins that enclose and protect the heels, so you don’t need to wear booties inside.

The foot pocket is anatomically designed to fit the natural shape of your foot and the inside is made of soft rubber elastomers, which add softness and comfort to the feet.

The Cressi Light fins are often utilized for intense swimming workout, but they are also very appreciated for snorkeling. These are cute, comfortable, powerful and they won’t take much place in your suitcase!

Average Rank: 4.3 out of 5

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  • Fit well
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to walk in
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Run large, may need to choose a smaller size

    Weight: 2.1 lb. 33.6 oz
    Style: Ful Foot
    Dimension: 16 Inches Length
    Material: Foot Pocket is from soft rubber elastomers.

4. Cressi Pluma Full Foot Lightweight Fins 

This is another great pair of fins created by Cressi company. The Pluma Full Foot Lightweight Fins are made of reactive polypropylene. A durable and lightweight material. For Pluma construction, Cressi used a combination of three different elements to provide lightness, high performance, and comfort.

This model is designed for snorkeling, scuba diving, and free diving. The fins’ foot pockets are made of a soft material called “Thermo-Rubber”, which increase comfort and reduce blister issues. Additionally, the sole is thick and comes with non-slip inserts to keep your feet in place and to protect them from broken shells, and pebbles in the water.

These are lightweight and give an excellent boost, but they run a bit large. So you may need to wear neoprene socks with. Also, be aware that they don’t correspond to U.S. size.

Average Rank: 4.3 out of 5

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  • Provide great propulsion
  • Comfortable
  • Can be worn with or without socks
  • Flexible
  • Great value for money
  • These are quite long fins, and it may not be easy to travel with unless you use a large suitcase.
  • Some reviewers on Amazon said that these Tend to crack after a while

Weight: 3 lb. 48 oz
Style: Full Foot
Dimension: 24 Inches Length
Material: Lightweight polypropylene

5. Seavenger Snorkeling Swim Fins

The Seaveger fins are made of durable and lightweight material. These come with adjustable straps with large loops on the side. This feature enables you to slip them on and off and to fit the size of your foot with ease. The foot pocket is soft and flexible making them comfortable to walk in.

These should be worn with neoprene booties so you can protect and keep your feet warm in cold water. The short design, allow you to kick fast and snorkel into tight areas.

The Seavenger fins are suitable for snorkeling, swimming workout, bodyboarding, and diving. As for the propulsion, they perform well in the water but not as much as long fins. These come in a variety of stylish colors and with a handy fast-drying mesh bag to keep your fins secure.

Average Rank: 4.0 out of 5

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  • Easy to pack
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Fit well
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Provide less propulsion than long fins
  • Plastic buckles are not durable

Weight: 1.5 lb. 24 oz
Style: Open Heel
Dimension: 15 Inches LEngth
Material: Silicone plastic.

6. Cressi Palau Short Snorkeling Swim Fins

The Cressi Palau fins are short with an open style. These are convenient to wear with neoprene boots and to travel with. Cressi brand is reputed for creating high-quality diving gear. They prove it once again with the Palau short blade! These are built with Cressi’s patented manufacturing technology, making these fins extremely durable.

You will find them very comfortable to wear for swimming as well as for snorkeling. These are quite short, thus provide less propulsion than the standard size. Yet, the Palau fins allow you to turn and kick fast in the water. Which is a detail not to overlook when swimming.

Like all short blade, these are more for swimming in the shallow and calm water but not in strong current. The foot pocket is made of soft rubber and features adjustable straps that are easy to tighten around the ankle. Palau comes in 4 different sizes and a mesh bag to store your fins.

Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5

Top Pick!

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  • Compact, thus easy to pack in a carry-on
  • Comfortable
  • High quality
  • Easy to walk in
  • The straps are easy to adjust
  • Thick material, thus less flexible
  • Provide less propulsion than standard fins

Weight: 1 lb. 16 oz.
Style: Open Heel
Dimension: 18 Inches Length
Material: Foot pocket- Soft Rubber

7 . U.S. Divers Sea Lion Floating Fins 

The U.S. Divers Sea Lion Floating Fins are great for snorkeling in calm water since they are short. Of course, you can not expect from short fins to provide as much thrust as long fins. So if you plan to venture into a current, then you better check for longer blades.

The nice thing about the U.S. Divers Sea Lion is that they float on the surface. So if you lose a fin by accident, you’ll be able to find it easily. They are lightweight and reduce the overall drag. These are made of soft and flexible rubber material, making them comfortable to wear. But for people who have wide feet, they may be too snug.

That’s something you should check when you buy a pair. These are full foot fins, meaning they enclose the heel and holds your feet well. Overall, it’s a great pair of fins for vacation. They are comfortable, lightweight, inexpensive, and they float. What more could you ask for!

Average Rank: 4.1 out of 5

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  • Provide good propulsion for short fins
  • Comfortable
  • Soft on the feet
  • Easy to pack
  • Durable
  • Run small
  • The blue paint color mixes with yellow color, but reviewers said that it goes away with time

    Weight: 1.0625 lb. 17 oz.
    Style: Full Foot
    Dimension: 19 Inches Length
    Material: Flexible Rubber

8 . Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Adjustable Snorkeling Fin

The Phantom Aquatic open heel fins come with adjustable straps which are easy to fix to the size of your feet. These can be worn with or without neoprene booties. Since these are made of polypropylene material, they are quite stiff and durable too. They are comfortable, lightweight, and easy to pack in a carry-on.

The downside of these is that they provide less propulsion in the water as they are short. So it wouldn’t be a good idea to use them in heavy current. But, its dual open water channel allows you to maneuver well in the water and to kick powerfully without getting cramps.

Also, these come with a mesh bag to store your gear that can be worn as a backpack. If you are looking for a good pair of fins for snorkeling, at a reasonable price. Then the Phantom Aquatic is the right choice for you!

Average Rank: 3.8 out of 5

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  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Fit well
  • Easy to pack in
  • Good price
  • The clips are made of plastic
  • Propel less than standard fins size

Weight: 1 lb. 16 oz.
Style: Open Heel
Dimension: 18 Inches Length
Material: Polypropylene

9 . Cressi PRO LIGHT Open-Heel Diving Fins 

Cressi Pro Light fins are an open heel design. They are made of polypropylene material, providing great flexibility and don’t require much effort for kicking in the water. These fins feature stringers on the side and two flaps situated at the end of the fins, which allows you to have better control while snorkeling.

Cressi used computer technology for the design of the Pro Light to give more precision of movement as well as more thrust underwater. The upper part of the foot pocket has more surface area than traditional fins of similar length. Not only these are incredibly soft to the touch and comfortable to wear, but they also keep well the feet in place, making the kicks more powerful.

Additionally, the foot pocket is wide with soft edges for maximum comfort around the feet. Some fins have low-quality buckles. Either the buckles break, or the straps slip out, which is quite annoying. But these feature rubber straps and corrosion resistant, quick release buckles, which is extremely durable and practical! These enable you to adjust them quickly as well as to put them on and off easily.

Average Rank: 4.1 out of 5

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  • Easy to adjust them
  • Super comfortable
  • Provide excellent propulsion
  • Great quality
  • Solid straps and buckles for easy adjustment
        • The feet area is spacious
        • Stiff material, but that could be an advantage.

        Weight: 6 lb. 96 oz
        Style: Open Heel
        Dimension: 26.6 Inches Length
        Material: Polypropylene

      Guide to buying the best snorkel fins

      Why Do You Need Fins For Snorkeling

      Fins enable you to move forward faster without getting tired; thus you are more likely to enjoy your snorkeling experience. Also, if for instance, you get caught in a current, your fins will help you swim through it, which can be very useful in certain situations.

      How to Select the Right Fit

      Fins that slip off while snorkeling is not only annoying, but it can ruin the underwater adventure. So it is crucial to choose the correct fit!

      Full foot fins need to be snugly, but not too tight. When feet get into cold water, they shrink; thus the fins may get looser and slip more. Your toes should not exceed from the pocket window. If you can insert several fingers between the fin and the skin, it means the size is too big.

      The best way to get the right fit is to try them on in the water; in a pool or why not in the bath:) If your feet fall between sizes, then you may wear a pair of thin neoprene socks. Not only it fixes the size, but it also adds comfort and prevents rubbing issues.

      As for open heel fins, you should try them on with booties to ensure you get the best fit! Since they are adjustable, they fit comfortably different foot lengths. These usually come only in small, medium, large and extra large, but not in numbered sizes.

      Type of Foot Pockets

      There are two kinds of fins on the market that are mainly used for swimming, snorkeling, and diving: open heel and full-foot. Both types are useful and practical, but each work differently.

      Open Heels Fins

      Open heel fins are open in the back and feature adjustable straps that can be fixed around the heel to keep the feet in place. These are usually worn with neoprene boots or socks to provide a comfortable fit. Snorkelers and divers often use open heel in cold water because the booties offer thermal protection. The material used in the open heel is usually more rigid than full-foot fins. Also, they typically run larger to accommodate the boots inside the foot pocket.

      Full Foot Fins

      The material of full foot fins is thinner than the closed heel, making them more flexible and lighter. These enclose the feet entirely like a shoe and don’t require booties, which is a plus as there is no need to buy a pair.

      Open Heel vs. Full Foot Fins?

      Each type of fins is used for different purposes. Let’s see below.

      The open heel is usually worn with booties to keep your feet warm in cold water and to protect them from pebbles when entering the water. Also, they offer a wider variety of design, which gives you more options in term of maneuverability, powerfulness, etc.. These are also heavier than full foot fins, which is an important detail not to overlook when traveling!

      Full foot heel fins are usually lighter and cheaper as there is no need to invest in booties since they don’t require any. The downside of the full foot is that they often cause blister issues, which is why divers usually wear thin neoprene socks with them. Also, with full foot, you need to walk barefoot before you enter the water, but they are great for a boat dive.


      If you are serious about snorkeling or diving, you would want a pair of fins that provide great thrust underwater. All fins are meant to propel you forward, but some designs do the job better than others merely because they are built differently. For instance, some fins feature side rails to provide more propulsion.

      Some are created with vents to cut drag. Others are designed on computers while others contain ribs to prevent them from wobbling. In one word, fins come in different design, length, colors, and stiffness, which play an important role in your snorkeling experience.

      Fins Blade Styles

      Paddle Blade

      The paddle fins are quite large and feature rails on the side to channel the water at the end of the fins instead off the sides. The paddle fins provide powerful thrust, but on the other hand, they require more effort to swim since they tend to face more resistance in the water. These are durable and lightweight, thus easy to pack and transport in a suitcase!

      Channel Blade

      Channel fins have molded flexible center channel to let the water passes through the fins when kicking, which allow swimming faster without tiring the legs. These are more utilized by professional because they are quite heavy, which help to keep maintaining balance in the water if you want more stability while seating or kneeling. The channel fins are quite efficient using some swimming styles but work better with frog kicks. Of course, not everyone shares the same opinion as we all have different tastes. So it really boils down to personal preference.

      Split Blade

      The split fins provide excellent propulsion in the water and perform exceptionally well with specific finning techniques, but not with all of them. For instance, many divers state that split fins are very efficient with flutter kick but not with frog kick. However, these are comfortable and require almost no effort to swim with.

      Split fins are very useful when it comes to speed. These are hugely appreciated by divers as they increase kick effectiveness and reduce the amount of resistant in the water, making the dive more pleasant. If you are prone to calf cramps, then split fins are perfect for you as they eliminate them!

      Snorkeling vs. Swimming Fins?

      Swim fins are usually shorter and stiffer than snorkel fins since they are designed to help build legs and ankle muscles. They can be used for snorkeling, but they won’t provide as much thrust as snorkel fins.

      Snorkeling fins are usually longer and more flexible than swim fins. They allow you to maneuver well in the water while propelling you forward with effortless kicks.

      The shorter the fins, the easiest it will be to control your movement in the water. Short fins tend to move less water, so it does require more energy to kick at the same rate as longer fins.

      If you want to swim faster, you will have to kick more quickly, but it may not take much time before your strength runs out. In this specific situation, the short fins may restrict your maximum speed. But who needs speed when snorkeling? As far as I know, no one, unless you get caught in a current!

      Short vs. Long?

      It will depend on where you’ll be snorkeling! If you snorkel in shallow water, then you better off with short blades. But if you snorkel in deep water, then the long fins are better.

      Budget Snorkeling Fins

      There are many types of fins, and some of them are relatively cheap. Unless you are a professional diver, you don’t need to spend a high amount of money for a decent pair of blades. Typically, snorkel fins range from around $40 to $100, and some may even cost few hundred bucks.

      As opposed to full foot design, the open heel is usually more expensive since you need to wear booties that go with them. Renting fins is an option, but you may not find the right size, and some tourist places, charge quite a lot. If you plan to use them a lot, then buying a pair would be best.

      What Material is Best?

      There are several materials used in snorkeling fins such as rubber, silicone, and plastic so they can suit different diving styles and snorkeler preferences. Some snorkelers will choose stiffer fins to get more propulsion.

      Others will like thinner and more flexible fins to snorkel with less effort. There are many designs and colors to choose from. And the best material boils down to personal preference.

      How to Care For Your Fins

      It’s pretty easy. You just need to rinse your fins after each use with fresh water and dry them thoroughly. If the salt or chlorine penetrates inside the fins, they will deteriorate very quickly.

      Once they are dried, store them lying down in the bag that comes with so they don’t get any deformation. The sun is great, but unfortunately, it destroys things quickly. So try to keep your fins out of the sun.

      In Conclusion

      You don’t necessarily need to wear fins for snorkeling, especially if you swim in shallow water. But if you plan to snorkel in a large body of water, then it would be best to have them on. Many people wear a buoyancy device to help them float while using fins to propel themselves forward through the water. It makes the snorkeling excursion much more enjoyable and safer!

      What fins do you use for snorkeling? Please, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.


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16 thoughts on “Best Snorkeling Fins of 2018 – Your Buyer Guide!”

  1. Thanks for this informative guide about snorkeling fins… It’s timely to read this as I’m heading down to the Florida Keys on a “staycation” soon (and as long as the weather gets a little warmer). I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of fins.

    I’m a big fan of the ones that double as bodyboarding or Boogie boarding fins & Cressi seems to have really stepped up their offering. Do you like the brand?

    I look forward to reading more here at Cruising Sea. There’s some great information here, Daniella.

    • Hi Jason,

      You are very welcome; it’s a pleasure!
      Cressi is an Italian brand, which is well-reputed in Europe for producing high-quality diving gear. They have been around since 1946 and are still very popular on the market today. My husband and I love this brand. All our diving and snorkeling gear are from Cressi, and we are very happy with them. All the people we know also use Cressi and they are pleased with the products, too. There is a reason for this!
      So yes, Cressi is a brand you can trust!

      Please, let me know if you need help with anything else. I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish a lovely day!

  2. I have been thinking that getting fins could be a good idea for me. I love boogie boarding and think fins could be a help. I live on the East Coast, so snorkeling is only on trips…we are for instance headed to Hawaii in January where some snorkeling will no doubt happen. I am thinking the Cressi Light Short may be my best choice…what do you think?

    • Hi Annie,

      That’s wonderful, I am sure you will have a good time in Hawaii, it’s beautiful, there:) 
      To answer your question, it depends on the depth in which you’ll be snorkeling.For instance, if you plan to snorkel only in shallow water, then short fins will be the best choice because you are likely to touch the sand or rocks when kicking with your fins, and this can be painful. If you snorkel over deeper waters, then long fins are what you need because they provide more thrust, thus it will allow you to explore more areas with almost no effort. Also, if you suddenly get caught in a current, which can happen, fins can be of great help. They can even save your life!

      I hope it answered your question:) Please, don’t hesitate to contact me with any question. I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish an unforgettable trip in Hawaii:)

  3. Great Post!

    I had no idea that there was such variety when it came to fins. To be quite honest, I had never even considered that there would be a difference between fins worn for swimming versus fins worn for snorkeling. In short, this article was really informative and, as such, has served to create a genuine curiosity!

    Are snorkeling fins suitable for scuba diving as well?

    • Hi Sherman,

      For someone who doesn’t practice snorkeling activity, it may be a bit confusing as there are many types of fins to choose from. As I’ve mentioned in the article, fins come in a wide variety of model, quality, and length. Some of them are used for specific diving styles. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between them. To answer your question. Some snorkel fins can be used for diving, but not all of them. Divers often carry bulky scuba gear, which is quite heavy. Thus they need thick and long fins to move them forward in the water.That being said, as long as your snorkel fins are long and thick, there won’t be a problem to wear them for diving. But again, it depends on the diving style and the environment you’ll be diving in.

      I hope it helped:) Let me know if you need more info. I am always happy to help!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  4. Hi, I’ve stumble on your post just at the right time;
    I need a replacement for my fins and I could actually go for one of your recommendation; I’m actually a Mares fins users but after many years it’s probably to time to try something new, I was thinking about Cressi, for snorkeling i prefer a full foot and I was thinking about the palau short ones, can you tell which colours do they have available? I’m not to keen on pink…

    • Hi Stefano,

      Mares makes excellent diving equipment!
      Cressi is also a well-reputed brand, and their diving gear is of high quality. The Palau short fins are an open design. So be aware that you’ll need to wear neoprene boots or socks with them.  Palau fins come in a variety of colors such as blue, pink, white, yellow, red and gray. You should take a look and see what suit you best:)

      I hope it helped and, please, feel free to contact me with any question. I’ll be more than happy to help!
      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  5. Hi
    I plan a trip to Egypt with my grandchildren especially to se pyramids but we want to go to sea as well as there are perfect spots for snorkeling. Any recommendation for snorkeling fins for kids? Both are girls, 10 and 8 years old, good swimmers but they have never done any snorkeling so this is their first experience.
    Thanks in advance
    Regards, Marty

    • Hi Marty,

      Egypt is a beautiful place to visit. I’ve been snorkeling a lot in Dahab and I can tell you that it was well worth it!
      I am sure, you’ll have the best time, there:)

      To answer your question about the kids’ fins. I would recommend you to choose the closed fins design as they are much lighter and easier to use. As for the brand, Cressi or the U.S. Diver Sea will be perfect for them, they are great and inexpensive. You don’t want to spend a lot of money for snorkel fins if you just start with snorkeling. 

      I hope it helped. Please, let me know if you need to know more info. I’ll be more than happy to assist. 

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic trip to Egypt!

  6. Thanks for the reviews! Very interesting.

    I’ve only begun snorkeling fairly recently, and although I’ve had the chance to do some snorkeling in the Caribbean, most of the snorkeling I have the opportunity to do is fresh-water, river snorkeling.

    Is there a specific brand or model that is recommended for snorkeling in a river, sometimes with or against very strong currents? Thanks.

    • Hi Jordan,

      You are very welcome, I am glad you found the review interesting!
      The Caribbean is a beautiful place to go snorkeling. I bet you had a good time, there:)
      To answer your question, there aren’t any fins that suit mainly to fresh water, but for strong current, I would highly recommend you to use long fins as they propel you powerfully in the water, thus help you swim through the current. The US. Diver and Cressi are the most popular brands on the market.

      I hope it helped. Let me know if you need to know more info. I’ll be more than happy to help!

      Tha k you for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

  7. Hi Daniella,
    Thanks for sharing a great article about snorkeling fins.
    I used to do some snorkeling when I was young, a few years ago, but I would love to do it again on my next trip to Mexico, as I plan to visit Cancun,
    I didn’t know there’s a difference between snorkeling fins and diving fins,
    I also planning to visit Las Estacas in center Mexico, where you can do some snorkeling in a cold water river where you can see some different sweet water tropical fish, it’s quite an experience.
    Your article will help me to pick the right fins.

    • Hi Alejandra,

      You are very welcome!

      Indeed, there are many types of fins and not all of them are designed for snorkeling as it is explained in the article. 

      Cancun is a beautiful place to visit, there is no doubt you will have a good time, there:)

      I am glad this review helped you find your snorkel fins for your next trip!

      Thank you for the kind comment and wish you a fantastic trip to Mexico!

  8. Dear Daniella,

    I never really went snorkeling, but I do like to go bodyboarding when I go on holidays to Mallorca!

    Your review about the US Divers tek travel fin caught my attention because when I tried to go bodyboarding with normal fins, they usually made it harder because of their big size apart giving u a fun push forward.

    But those shortened fins actually look like they would be a lot of fun, without having your feet washed away by the wave behind you!

    Thank you for the insightful review! Will definitely consider buying them before my next trip to Mallorca!

    All the best,

    • Hi Matteo,

      Mallorca is a beautiful place, there are great spots for snorkeling there. 
      Indeed you need to kick a lot to accelerate in the water with bodyboarding and the long fins do not allow to do so. The short fins are awesome for bodyboarding since they are large and short. I am sure the US Divers Tek will respond to your expectation!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!


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