10 tips to keep your dive fins always looking like new
by Jorge Mezcua on Aug 29, 2023
If you're a diver, you know: diving fins are an essential part of any diver's gear. Indispensable. They allow us to move, propel ourselves underwater, and control our buoyancy. They might seem like an accessory to non-divers, but we grow quite fond of them, value them greatly, and once we get used to them, it's hard to do without them.
So, if you want to keep your fins in perfect condition, give them the proper care and maintenance to prolong their lifespan and maintain optimal performance during dives, pay attention. In the following 10 points, we provide you with a comprehensive guide of tips for caring and maintaining your diving fins, ensuring they're always in the best condition to accompany you for years.
1. Rinse them after each dive
After each dive, you'll see your fellow divers rushing to rinse their masks, regulators, torches, and dive computers. But few do this with fins. This is one of the most important habits for caring for diving fins. Just as important as any other piece of equipment. Sea salt is corrosive to the materials your fins are made of and can cause long-term damage. Rinsing the fins with freshwater removes salt residue, protecting their integrity and prolonging their durability by preventing gradual degradation.
Image by Phuket@photographer.net
2. Let them dry properly
After rinsing the fins, it's crucial to ensure they're completely dry before storing them. Shake off excess water and use a soft, clean cloth to thoroughly dry them, paying special attention to the straps and buckles. Avoid storing the fins in a damp or enclosed space, as this could promote mold or bacteria growth, causing unpleasant odors and gradual degradation.
3. Store them the right way
The place where you store your fins also affects their condition. It's recommended to store them in a cool, dry place protected from direct sunlight. A well-ventilated shelf or cabinet is an ideal option to keep your fins in good condition. To prevent deformation, avoid placing them vertically, always lay them on their sides, and never put heavy objects on top of them.
4. Inspect them regularly
If you don't dive very often, perform regular inspections of your fins to detect any signs of wear, damage, or breakage before your dives or dive trips. Check the straps, buckles, and blade for cracks, scratches, or signs of excessive wear. If you find any issues, address them immediately to prevent further deterioration.
5. Address repairs and replacements
If you detect any damage during the inspection, it's crucial to address it promptly. Some minor damages, like cracked straps or worn-out buckles, can be easily repaired. However, if the damages are more significant, it's better to replace the damaged parts or consider acquiring new fins.
6. Lubricate the buckles
The buckles of the fins may require occasional lubrication to ensure proper functioning and prevent them from getting stuck. Use a silicone-based lubricant specifically designed for diving and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Proper lubrication will extend the lifespan of the buckles and make them easier to use.
7. Avoid walking with fins on
Although diving fins are designed to be sturdy, walking with them on outside the water can damage the blade and decrease their efficiency underwater. Avoid walking with fins on hard or rocky terrain and instead, use appropriate footwear to move comfortably on land.
8. Avoid contact with chemicals
Diving fins can be affected by contact with chemicals, such as oils, solvents, or insect repellents. Avoid exposing your fins to these types of products as they can deteriorate the materials and affect their performance.
9. Take care of the blade
The blade of the fins is the most crucial part for achieving efficient propulsion. Avoid hitting it against hard objects or using it to push or displace objects underwater. Try to maintain a smooth and fluid kicking motion to avoid potential damage.
10. Use travel protections
If you plan to travel with your diving fins, consider using special protections to prevent damage during transportation. There are covers and padded bags designed to protect your fins while you travel, ensuring they arrive at their destination in perfect condition.