Jet Fin vs Rocket Fin
The diving fin. A perfect example of how a few subtle changes in engineering can have a tremendous impact on what is fundamentally a piece of rubber.
Though you would assume that diving is more about the fancy high-tech gear and gorgeous location, a quality fin can really make all the difference when it comes to the overall experience. When you’re stuck with the wrong fin, you may find yourself wishing you spent a little extra time researching the perfect fit.
And, to the untrained eye, the difference between the two is minimal. With their open heel, both styles are suitable for any temperature water. They both have a stiff paddle design. They also both enjoy a long history of success, in constant competition for the title of best diving fins on the market.
So, what, really are the differences between the two?
Let’s start by explaining the products and looking at the basic differences between them.
These fins have been manufactured by the company ScubaPro for over 50 years. They’re widely used in recreational settings, technical diving, and military training because of their reliability and durability. Made from thick rubber, they’re characteristically stiff, requiring a pretty strong diver to make the most use out of them.
In terms of heel straps, they come in adjustable rubber or spring heel.
According to its manufacturer, Aqua Lung, these fins were the first of their kind to be sold in North America, making them a highly recognized brand. Over the years, the design has been so successful with professionals and the military, it’s only been updated slightly, staying true to its unique vented blade. Like the Jet, this fin has an all rubber construction to withstand rough and prolonged use.
Heel straps come in traditional or quick release buckles, or the standard fin strap.
Both brands call their product the best, but what differences can they point to in support of their claims? Here’s the breakdown.
Consider, first, the most obvious difference: the horizontal vented blade. This design is meant to reduce drag, making for a more energy-efficient kick.
There are two versions of this model, both with an improved foot pocket, though the more recent iteration includes a larger foot pocket with holes for drainage as well as a traction hole at the tip of the fin. They are both made of heavy-weight rubber, available only in black. Many divers can attest to the maneuverability and speed of this fin.
Though this fin is also vented, it differentiates itself with an arched vent design with horizontal holes instead of the rectangular vents. Water is filtered through the fin in such a way as to reduce drag specifically on the down-kick.
Like the Rocket, this fin is also made purely of rubber, but it does come in a variety of colors, including military camouflage.
When it comes down to making a decision between the two, both the Jet and the Rocket are great options for any diving experience. So how can you possibly choose? Here are a few final considerations when you’re ready to make a purchase.
Both brands are going to cost over a hundred dollars, with the price of the Rocket ranging just under the Jet at $110 to $150. The Jet, on the other hand, ranges from $140 to $190 depending on the size, strap, and color.
Finding the right size is crucial to your diving experience. You don’t want your feet to be suffocated, but you also don’t want too much wiggle room in the pocket. The Jet comes in sizes Medium to 3XL or US men sizes 8 to 14, whereas the Rocket accommodates shoe sizes 9 to 12+.
For women, those measurements are US sizes 9 to 15 for the Rocket, and 10 to 13+ for the Jet. So for those with smaller feet, the Rocket is slightly more accommodating. Of course, keep in mind that you’ll require diving boots with both models, which will change your sizing a bit.
So what are others saying about the product? Not surprisingly, both have a pretty loyal following. Rocket Fin followers say that the fin is great for flutter, side stroke, and even breast stroke-type swimming, but there can be some wear-and-tear over the years.
On the other hand, Jet Fin users swear by the brand’s true ability to last, not just for years, but for decades. These swimmers prefer the Jet Fin for flutter stroke, with slightly less maneuverability than the Rocket.
Clearly, there is a case to be made for either fin. With their sturdy material and thoughtful design, both the Rocket Fin and the Jet Fin are sure to withstand the toughest use in any setting. And while they may differ in how they reduce drag, both are well-suited for strong swimmers, under professional and military-grade conditions.
Your choice may well come down to the slight discrepancy in price or size, and the wise choice would be to listen to the advice of your fellow divers’ reviews. After all, the best advice comes from experience.