How to Use Fins

Fins are pieces of equipment that go on your feet, like shoes, to propel you through the water. They work a lot like fish fins. They are also sometimes called flippers.

Fins are not essential for snorkelling, but they allow you much better propulsion through the water.  When you see the interesting marine life below you can duck down to get a closer view.

How to use fins

There are two basic types of fins.


Full foot fins are like shoes coming in a range of sizes.


fins pink (2)


Open heel fins are sized from small to extra-large with an adjustable strap on the heel to secure the fin to the foot. The adjustable strap allows for the foot shape and size change at depth.


Choose fins that are snug but not too tight. If they hurt or curl your toes especially, you may develop cramps while snorkelling. If they slip off your heels, they’re too big. Better a little big than too small. They will slip on easier when your feet are wet.

Once you have them on your feet, it is an excellent idea to work backwards or sidewards to the edge of the water.

How fins work

Laying flat down in the water, you should do a scissor kick with the whole of your leg from your hips, keeping your legs straight with your knees slightly bent and toes pointed. Keep your knees and ankles relaxed to avoid leg muscles cramping.

Fins should remain below the waterline. Next, point your toes in the opposite direction from where you wish to go.

Fins propel you through the water. You will hardly need to use your arms and let them rest easily at your side or fold your hands over your lower back. Loosen the heel strap by pulling out on the buckle and pulling on the middle of the heel strap simultaneously.

Next, explore the Great Barrier Reef and see brightly coloured fish and coral.

Next, see our snorkel tips.