When picking out a snorkeling fin, most shoppers aren’t looking for performance in the water. They want fins that aren’t utterly unmanageably long, fit snugly, and, yes, it is nice when you can take a few strokes to get halfway across a bay without being completely exhausted.
Despite not having the same flash in the pan design as fins that are either really short or really long, the Voda fins by Phantom Aquatics surprisingly fit all of the above desires that snorkelers want in a set of fins.
The Voda features a short blade design which means they are shorter and a little wide, but not so short and wide like other models such as the U.S. Diver’s Trek fins or the Cressi Agua. So does that mean that they have less power because they are not as wide? Not at all. In fact, because they still have some length to them, they can afford to be slimmer than other short fin models.
As the Voda doesn’t feature vents on the blades like other fin models, you have to work a little harder on the recovery stroke, but the trade off is that you get a little more power back. Yet because the blades are reactive and really lightweight, they don’t contribute as much to muscle fatigue. These fins were actually designed for those in swim training to ensure perfect muscle training and decrease the likelihood of cramps, but those are benefits that even the causal snorkeler can reap as well.
There is one point of contention with these fins, though. Some may like it, others may hate it. Instead of a half pocket, the Voda feature a full foot pocket. This provides a tight fit, but also means that you need to be very particular about what size you pick. If the foot pocket is too big, those fins will fall off your feet. If the foot pocket is too small, those fins are going to hurt like hell. Even if it runs even a little bit over or under the perfect fit, you will still have to content with blisters if you don’t wear protective snorkel socks.
However, because the full foot pocket can provide the best stroke for your dollar, which is why so many people prefer them despite the risk of problems that you will have to overcome. As the full foot pocket fins like this one cost less and are lighter than other models, it is worth it to just invest in a neoprene sock and enjoy your fins.
The Voda by Phantom Aquatics runs the perfect middle ground in every respect. It is not weirdly wide, it is not too long or too short, and it still gives you the great performance that you need in a good pair of snorkel fins. Whether or not this is a buy or not a buy wholly depends on your feelings about full foot pockets.