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Egypt, South Sinai Governorate, Dahab
Stories of divers

Blades or Jets? What is your fin preference?

  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Tec Diver
John Hauxwell
PADI - Open Water Scuba Instructor

As the song goes, “When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way” and that really does seem to be the case. You often hear that only a jet will do for manoeuvrability in tight or silty environments. The same goes for blade users. They are passionate about their power and versatility and speed in open water.

Let’s examine the arguments and the features they have so that you can make an informed choice when it comes to buying your next set of fins.

Jet fins are termed ‘military-style’ as they were designed for public service divers. They’re made from durable thermoplastic rubber without joints which makes them extremely hard-wearing.

The blade is short but heavy and powerful, and while their size lends them to easy packing, you might want to keep an eye on the weight of your bag. The blade features vents that reduce the strain on the ankle and improve thrust by channelling the water flow. This type of fin was designed to meet the toughest demands of special ops and coast guard activities, and they’re popular with advanced divers who favour frog kicking, helicopter kicking and have the need to reverse.

Jets tend to be

  • Tough and durable
  • Have short vented blade
  • Open Heel design fitted with Spring heel straps
  • ‘Military-style’ short paddle with vents - around 50cm
  • Heavy for their size weighing around 3Kg

Blades are the original fin. Simple blade fins have been billed as the ‘instructors’ choice’ forever, and while today’s model has been tweaked and updated the popularity of this style has not abated.

Tried and tested, this is the fin-type you will see the most while diving and always makes it into top fin selections. Various manufacturers swear by this format such as Mares with the amazing Avanti Quatro. This simple blade fin type offers great stability and has been designed so the foot pocket transfers the most power to the blade.

Blades tend to be

  • Long-standing industry favourite
  • Open heel with channels (usually 4) within the blade
  • Open Heel with a spring heel strap
  • Longer Paddle with channels for flow - around 90cm
  • Lighter weight around 2Kg

Depending on your kicking style and the conditions you're diving in your fin choice can make a huge difference. You can use kick style in both, however less experienced divers will find it MUCH easier to use more advanced kicks like reverse using jet fins.

What is your fin preference?

John Hauxwell
PADI - Open Water Scuba Instructor

About author

I am always well prepared and organised in my teaching, following standards and make certain they are communicated and adhered to by my students. Being patient is vital. Learning should be open, fun and entertaining — to encourage engagement, memory and mastery — so I always assess my students’ capability and capacity for learning and temper my training style to their needs. Diligent, punctual, hardworking and focussed on results — whilst...

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