For more than 20 years BREIER has been manufacturing fins for all disciplines. Here we have put together some tips and tricks that we have experienced or that have been given to us by participants of all sports that use fins. If you know of any others, please share them !
Putting your foot in your footpocket
This is sometimes the test that starts before the kick-off and the nightmare when it's hot and you've already locked your wetsuit !
If a sock is used, it is often sufficient to wet it and the inside of the footpocket to make it easier to put on.
For open heel footpockets, you must first push your foot all the way into the footpocket before trying to pull up the heel strap.
If you are using the fins barefoot, you can simply use soap or washing-up liquid when putting on your fins. This is a simple trick that has proven to be effective.
When using mono-fins it is easier to put on the footpockets on the ground, but don't put on the footpockets too far from the water...
Comfort in the footpocket
Not everyone has the same perception of comfort...
For some people, if the foot is not completely compressed and the pain is bearable for more than 15 minutes, the footpocket is too loose and you will lose propulsion !
For others, a simple rubbing will certainly lead to blisters.
The skin of the foot, when it is in the water, can be easily altered and with repeated training, it is difficult to regenerate. In any type of fin footpocket, there will always be some shafing, but the effects can be limited
You can use anti-shafing creams, but with water, their effect dissipates after a while.
On the other hand, never use Vaseline, it deteriorates the rubber which will become like cardboard.
In the same way, some people recommend coating the shoe with Vaseline if it is not to be used for a certain period of time, especially in hot and humid regions. This treatment will deteriorate your fins. It is best to store your fins in a box with desiccant bags.
The best is to cover the foot so that it is not in direct contact with the rubber.
Some people use a simple plastic bag and this is very effective !
You can also use a thin sock, either cotton or lycra.
Finally, you can use a neoprene sock of 1, 2, 3 ... or 8 mm !
Depending on whether you go into the water in the morning or the afternoon (the foot is more swollen), the temperature of the water and the length of immersion, the volume of the foot will change. It's a good idea to have several socks of different thicknesses so that the footpocket always fits properly.
With the open-heel custom-made footpocket, you may also experience friction on the Achilles tendon. To improve comfort, you can sew a piece of neoprene around the strap. Your fins will be much more comfortable.
Protection and hydrodynamics in the pool
When you wear neopene socks in the pool without a wetsuit, whatever the sport, you are exposed to the 'trumpet' effect.
But what is this?
In fact, when you swim with your socks on, the water will rush in as if it were in the bell of a trumpet and this considerably impairs hydrodynamics.
What to do?
You can simply buy quarter socks instead of neoprene socks, or you can take your socks and cut them off flush with the footpocket.
To protect the malleoli
All feet are different, especially when it comes to the position of the malleoli. It is therefore very likely that you will have a pair of footpockets that will irritate you at this level.
Wearing a neoprene sock is effective, but you can also use sandpaper to smooth out the area that irritates you.
With branded closed heel footpockets, be careful not to damage them.
With custom-made footpockets you can sand generously but on a wider area so as not to create a point of weakness on a too precise area. The curvature of the footpocket must be maintained.
To limit snagging
In the natural environment, it can happen that algae, ropes or pieces of net get caught on the fin's water rails.
To avoid this, you can cut the corners of your water rails with a cutter.
Protecting your fins
It is best to store fins flat.
The trailing edge is the most fragile part of the fin. To protect it, use an insulation sleeve that you cut to the right size.
After use, dry your fins in the shade, not in direct sunlight. Avoid leaving your fins in your trunk for too long if it is hot. Heat will damage the fins.
Fins are light, on a boat, if ever the wind gets under the blade, they will end up in the water! On a boat, it is better to tie them up.
Adjusting your frontal snorkel
Take the headband, the snorkel and a screwdriver.
Stand in front of a mirror, position the headband in the middle of your forehead, above your eyebrows.
Insert the snorkel into the headband and take the mouthpiece into your mouth. You should not have to strain to keep the mouthpiece in your mouth, you should not feel any tension in your jaws or you will cramp when you swim.
Once the snorkel is properly positioned, tighten the screw on the hoop. If you want to take the snorkel apart, make a mark on the tube and don't forget to put a screwdriver in your bag !