This is our review of the Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins.
Born from four years worth of Research and Development by Scubapro, the Seawing Nova’s were designed to provide the power and acceleration of a paddle fin, combined with the efficiency and effortlessness of a split fin.
In this review we’ll dive into whether the Seawing Nova’s are the best fins suited to your needs, and what makes them such a popular fin, including;
- Who they’re best suited for (and who not!)
- Their various pros and cons
- And we’ll also present you with some popular alternatives
Check it out!
Scubapro Seawing Nova Overview
Blade Style: Hinged/Paddle Blade
Foot Pocket: Full Foot or Open Heel
Weight: 3.45 lb / 1.6kg
Length: Small 23″ / Medium 24″ / Large 25″
Colors: Available in 6 colors
Scubapro Seawing Nova Features
The articulated hinge joint is what makes the Seawing Novas unique.
A traditional style fin will curve as you kick with it, but not all of the energy you put into the kick goes into actually thrusting you forward.
This is because some of energy ends up being lost and wasted as you’re effectively pushing some of that water downwards or upwards, which isn’t going to aid you in your forward movement.
But the entire blade of the Seawing Nova pivots right up to a 45 degree angle, giving it tremendous acceleration and thrust through the water as it is able to deflect more water directly backwards from you.
The angle of the blade on the Nova’s will also pivot very well whether you are kicking hard, or whether you are kicking soft, which a traditional fin can’t do.
Imagine when you kick softly with a regular fin. The blade isn’t going to flex a lot if you’re kicking gently, so therefore you won’t get as much thrust.
But as the blade of the Nova will still pivot hard even on a softer kick, you can get better propulsion with a lot less strain on the legs and ankles, and therefore less energy expenditure!
Self Adjusting Bungee Straps
Buckle straps on fins can be a total pain to don, doff and adjust. And that’s even when you’re not wearing gloves!
Bungee straps on the other hand make donning and doffing ridiculously simple and quick, even if you’re wearing thick gloves.
With a bungee heel you simply slide it on and off your heel and you instantly have the perfect fit, and the large loop on the back of the heel is easy to grip or use to clip the fins to your BCD.
The bungee feel strap on the Nova’s is a marine grade strap that’s extremely durable and comfortable thanks to it’s soft heel pad, and it’s also easily replaceable if needed.
Ergonomic Foot Pocket
The foot pocket is comfortable and secure, and has excellent grip (both in and outside the foot pocket).
The bottom of the footplate is also moulded with grip pads to help you from skidding about on slippery boat decks and ladders.
Fairly unique to the Novas is the material they’re made from.
They’re made of a Monprene Elastomer that is really hard wearing, strong (Scubapro describes it as ‘indestructible‘), yet it is also really flexible and is what helps to gives the blade fin that snap.
What/Who Are The Seawing Novas Best Suited For
The Scubapro Seawing Nova’s are suited very well to a range of different environments.
Some scuba fins can be far too heavy and stiff for snorkel use, and some snorkel fins can be too flexible and lack power for scuba diving.
Frustratingly this can lead to people who enjoy both activities feeling the need to invest in multiple pairs of fins.
But the Scubapro Seawing Novas are great for both snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Seawing Nova’s are perfectly suited for recreational and warm water diving. And whether that be diving from a boat, or shore diving, the Nova’s perform great.
The bungee heel makes donning and doffing the fins extremely quick and easy (even with thick gloves), and they’re easy to carry or clip to your BCD thanks to the large loop located on the heel strap.
When it comes to kicking style, they really work best when flutter kicking with them. If that’s the kicking style that you lean to and really prefer, then you’ll gain a ton of benefit from the large amount of propulsion the Novas give you when flutter kicking with them.
Plus, thanks to the generous amount of propulsion they create, they will also serve you well in both calm waters, and hard current.
All in all, they’re great fins for both snorkeling and diving, and are perfect for recreational and warm water use.
Not Suited For
They’re not suited particular well to wreck, tec and drysuit diving.
It’s not that you couldn’t use them for these purposes (many do), but there are better suited and more efficient fins for these types of dives.
While the Nova’s really excel at flutter kicking, they’re not well suited to back kicking and frog kicking. (Their blade flexibility just makes them a little bit inefficient with these techniques).
Many prefer the Seawing Gorilla’s over the Nova’s (which are heavier and stiffer), and much better suited for this style of finning.
Scubapro Seawing Nova Pros & Cons
- Great power to weight ratio (i.e they’re lightweight yet produce really good thrust)
- Creating a lot of power with less effort can equate to less air consumption when diving
- Lower kicking effort means reduced strain on the hip, ankle & knee joints
- Limited Lifetime warranty
- Very good for both snorkeling and scuba diving
- Bungee straps makes donning & doffing really simple and fast, (and they’re replaceable)
- Really comfortable foot pocket, with added grip to prevent slippage
- Very good for flutter kicking
- Available in both full foot and open heel versions
- Available in a wide range of colors
- Positively Buoyant
- Super pricey!
- They’re not that efficient at frog kicking and back kicking (though the heavier/stiffer Gorilla Novas are)
- There are better fins for drysuit diving (like the Apeks RK3 for example)
Maybe you’ve got your eye on several fins and not just the Nova’s. After all, it’s best to weigh up your options!
There are a number of other highly rated fins on the market that are high performing and worth considering as an alternative.
Here are some of the most notable…
Scubapro Seawing Nova VS Seawing Gorilla
The Gorilla’s are virtually identical in appearance to the Nova’s, but there are couple of key differences in design and function.
The Gorilla’s are still made of Monprene, but they also have another additive in their construction that makes them stiffer than the Nova’s.
Because of their much stiffer blade they have more power, and are better than the Novas’s are at frog kicking and back kicking.
So if you prefer a stiff fin blade, require additional power, and frog kicking & back kicking are important to you then this is probably the more ideal fin for you than the Novas.
Scubapro Seawing Nova VS Jet Fins
The Scubapro Jet fins were first introduced 50 years ago and they are still incredibly popular today.
They’re pretty different to the Novas in that they are much heavier, shorter, stiffer and negatively buoyant. They’re basically the opposite of the Novas!
If you compare the weight of the Jet fins (5.25 lb / 2.38 kg), to the weight of the Novas (3.45 lb / 1.567 kg), there’s a sizeable difference there.
The Jet fins weight and stiffness makes them especially good for cold water drysuit diving, but they are really popular for use in all dive environments.
If you need or prefer a heavy stiff fin (and you have the leg muscles to use them!), then they’re a great choice.
For some though their weight can make kicking with them cumbersome, tiring, and they can cause muscle cramping – especially on long dives.
Scubapro Seawing Nova VS Mares Avanti Quattro Plus
The Mares Avanti Quattro Plus might just be the most popular fins on the market, period.
They’re also considerably cheaper than the Novas, Gorillas, & the Jets.
A choice between all the above fins is going to come down to preference as they’re quite different fins.
For epic speed when flutter kicking, with fins that are super lightweight, the Novas win. For better frog kicking and back kicking then the Gorillas and the Jets are most efficient.
The Quattro’s are pretty great for all kicking styles, but they’re long and pretty bulky so they’re not the most optimal choice for travel in comparison against the others.
To check out our recommendations of the best scuba fins on the market then check out our full length guide!
I recommend the Scubapro Seawing Novas for snorkelers and most divers, especially those who’re warm water lovers!
The design proves that a fin doesn’t have to be stiff, heavy or impractically long to give you exceptional thrust and acceleration.
Using their completely unique hinge style joint the Seawing Nova’s make great all rounders, that would suit anyone looking for good power but with low amount of energy needed to drive them. (So they’re especially good if you suffer from leg cramping or need to take it easy on your joints!).