Can SCUBA Fins Be Used for Snorkeling?

Can SCUBA Fins Be Used for Snorkeling?
Snorkeling and SCUBA diving share many of the same pieces of equipment and are often interchangeable at shallow depths. According to the PADI Open Water Diver Manual, fins are used primarily for propulsion.

Types of fins

There are two primary types of fins: adjustable strap fins and full foot fins. Adjustable strap fins are more versatile for use with a wetsuit. Full foot fins are custom-fit to the bare foot and are preferred for warm water snorkeling. Adjustable strap designs are preferred for SCUBA

Design options

There are several options for fin design, but all are appropriate for both SCUBA and snorkeling. These designs include split fins, ribs and vents. Each feature is designed to aid in water flow and provide maximum propulsion.


Fins are shaped to resemble the fins of aquatic mammals, such as whales and dolphins. Propulsion is based upon an up-and-down motion, instead of side to side.

Material options

There are many fin materials, including neoprene, composite material and plastic. Composite fins tend to be lighter and can affect buoyancy.


Fit is the most important factor in any fin purchase. Whether snorkeling or SCUBA diving, look for a snug fit without rubbing or irritation. Your choice in fins affects not only your comfort, but also your speed through the water.

Article Written By Rachel C. Murphy

Rachel C. Murphy has been writing professionally since 2005. Specializing in the arts, travel, dining and gardening, she is the associate editor of "Northland Lifestyle Magazine" and a contributor to the "Kansas City Star." Her work has also been featured in "Her Life Magazine," "KC Home Design" and "Urban Times." Murphy holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and theater from Avila University.

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