Everyday we get a lot of questions via email, live chat or social media, by freedivers or spearos who don't know which pair of Alchemy fins to buy. Even though getting new carbon fins signals exciting days ahead, the procedure of actually choosing the right model - especially with all the available info online - can be daunting. Are the PROs suitable for spearfishing? Are the S30 up to the job for competing freedivers? Are the V330 Plus good for UW photography? Well, there is no better place to ask those questions than our customer service department.
Just before you do though, please have a look at our new graphic chart illustrating the best use for each model of Alchemy fins, as we think that it will save you a lot of time thinking what to do and clear up the air!
It All Starts With The Footpockets
Before we get into the stiffness of the blades, we're first going to start with the footpockets and choosing the right footpockets is not so much about selecting a certain brand, it's more about finding what fits you best. You want a tight fit but you don't want any discomfort and you certainly don't want any pain. By having a tight fit, we can maximize the transfer of energy down into the blades and it's going to give you more propulsion in the water. The foot pocket that you choose will determine which angle you have available and the angle that you have will determine how a certain stiffness of fin will feel in the water.
Here at Alchemy we offer two different angles, we have the V3, S and V3PRO with 23 degrees and the V330, S30, V330PRO and V330 Plus with 30 degrees. The key difference between these two angles is that the increased angle of the V330 will make it feel like a certain stiffness of fin is softer than if we have the V3 and 23 degrees. Alchemy offers five different stiffnesses: soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-hard and hard.
Soft fins are great for smaller people, let's say in the 50 to 70 kilo range. The softer fin you're going to feel like you have less lactic acid build up as you are doing a deep dive and they're also going to be great for teaching and recreational purposes. Times when you're gonna be using the fins for long periods of time throughout the day and again you're gonna feel less wear and tear on your legs.
Medium soft blades are great for slightly larger people, let's say 60 to 75 kilograms and because they're slightly harder, you're gonna feel a little more power and you're going to be able to move more quickly through the water. The downside is that you may feel a little more of wear and tear on your deepest dives so this is one consideration if you are one of the smaller people. They're a great all-purpose fin good for underwater photography, teaching, spearfishing and recreational purposes.
Medium stiffness fins are again for slightly larger people I would say from 70 kilo+ and they're gonna have all of the same benefits as the medium soft, but they're also great for spearfishing, because you have the extra power so if you're moving through current or using a thicker wetsuit and more lead, then you're gonna have that extra power.
The medium to hard, again this is for larger people, I would say guys at least 80 kilograms maybe even more. Great for spearfishing, maybe not so much for deeper dives but if you're hunting in the 20-30 meter range and you need that extra power especially when you're bringing up large fish or if you're propelling yourself through cold water again with heavy weights and thicker wetsuits.
The hard stiffness fins are for larger guys, let's say 100 kilos plus and for special conditions. The extra stiffness is gonna mean that you have more power available to you but it's not going to be great for deep performances. But however any times when we're pulling out large fish, maybe moving through cold water with extra buoyancy, extra weight and moving through a strong current you're gonna find that these work very well.