Nick Pelios Freediver, Creator
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When people get into diving, whether that's for freediving or spearfishing, they usually - as beginners - choose to start their adventure with a pair of plastic fins, and that's fair, we've all been there. No person in his right mind would opt for a pair of high-end carbon fins, spending hard-earned cash on something he wouldn't know if he kept using down the line. However, after a few months of diving, people normally want to progress at a faster pace and that's when the efficiency of their equipment gets questioned. That's when they start looking into upgrading their fins, and that's when they start looking into carbon ones. But are carbon fins really better than their plastic counterparts? And if yes, in what way? Livio Fakeye explains.

Why Choose Carbon?

Carbon is more responsive than plastic. That means it transfers energy more efficiently. Remember, we want to save energy as freedivers, and your fins play a mega role in that. There is a wide variety of carbon fins and they all have specific attributes. But before jumping into specifics, let’s see quickly the pros and cons of plastic fins.


Cost: probably the reason everyone gets plastic fins as a newbie, the price is much lower than carbon. 
Durability: they are almost « unbreakable ». They could last so many years, their footpockets will probably break before the blade. The problem is that people don’t care and hit rocks, corals, and so on, knowing that the fins will not break.

Power: compared to carbon, the transfer of energy in the plastic blade is very low. You are losing a lot of efficiency and wasting more oxygen.
Weight: as beginners, we do not think about weight. But after getting more experienced we are noticing the advantage of having lighter equipment.

What To Consider When Choosing A Pair Of Carbon Fins

Stiffness: You can choose from very soft to hard fins. Depending on your body type and strength, you will go for softer or harder. That way you will find the perfect balance. Alchemy offers a wide variety for everyone: soft, medium/soft, medium, medium/hard, hard. Pick the right one for you! If you do not know how, this might help.

Keep in mind this is an important topic. You don’t want to waste energy kicking too hard with a hard blade or at the opposite if the blade is too soft, you will not feel any power. It differs for everyone and every style of diving. You should know that with practice and experience. Try your friends' fins, even if they are plastic. Just check if they are softer or harder than yours, compare it, and try some more - then you will know.  For example, the first time I tried soft carbon fins from a friend, I directly knew it was not for me. I could feel the kick and had the feeling I was not going anywhere. Then I tried medium ones, it felt super comfortable and adapted to me. It was such a better feeling than my hard and heavy plastic ones.

Length: As you might have noticed the freediving fins are longer than the scuba ones. It gives you more power in each kick to help you go deeper and save energy. Nevertheless, Alchemy has a shorter version of carbon fins named Pro. They are amazing for photographers like myself. They are very powerful and give you more maneuverability. And yes I forgot, much easier to travel with! It’s the perfect companion that you will never leave. There are also 2 dedicated pairs of fins for spearfishing, the Alchemy S and S30. They are longer than the Pro but a bit shorter than the « performance » freediving ones. Finally, for competing freedivers, there are the V3 and V3-30. And if you want the longest fins in the range, go for the V330 Plus.

Foot pocket: The foot pocket will be glued to your fins, so it’s good to know which one your feet are comfortable in. Make sure they are not too tight as you might have numb toes. Keep space so you can add a neoprene sock for example. Maybe it will be more comfortable and warmer depending on where you dive. Remember, you want a tight fit but you don't want any pain on your feet.

Customize: With Alchemy you get to customize your fins with 13 different colors for the logo! How cool is that? Even the water-rails get the matching tone. You can as well add your own logo or design for more personalization.

In Summary


As your freediving career and experience grows, you will always seek better performance, more comfort, more efficiency, and maybe more style. That’s so many reasons why we all use carbon fins at some point. You can do a lot with plastic ones, but at one point the switch is inevitable. 

I would personally not recommend buying carbon fins for beginners. Start with the basics, having a pair of carbon fins when your technique is not good yet, will not make you a better freediver. Learn first, get experience and knowledge, then invest in your favorite Alchemy fins. It took me years before getting some, now I will not go back. 

Alchemy Pro
Livio's Carbon Fins Of Choice

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