Smudge wrote:I see a lot of these suggestions to go from plastic to FG with one of the prime reasons being durability for shore diving and general newb-ness. I have to disagree. If you have the cash, go with the best quality carbon blades you can get. Durability is not an issue with C4 or Moanas, I can't speak for other brands. I dove my C4 Falcons very hard for 5 years before I handed them down to Chuam after getting a screaming deal on Skorpios. The only reason I haven't gotten Moanas is that my Skorpios are still going strong and I'm not diving as much as I did in San Diego and Hawaii.
Those C4's saw shore dives all over Oahu and a few shore dives on the Big Island and as well as all over San Diego county and even up to Jenner. Never an issue and they're still being used...
For me it's more of a psychological thing. When I have plastic fins on, they're the absolute last thing I'm thinking about because I know that I could easily replace them. As soon as I strap $300-$500 to my feet, I get a lot more conscious of what's going on at foot level. When I'm diving, the pros of carbons far outweigh any cons. But when I end up caught inside and have to choose between swimming back out or finishing my exit by sprinting up a rocky beach, that extra hesitation can be the difference between coming away clean and getting throttled.
Obviously, the more you dive the better you get at navigating those situations (or, better yet, avoiding them altogether). But for a new diver, particularly a new diver with limited experience in the ocean, I think it helps to be 100% focused on what you're doing instead of worrying about your gear. Granted, in my case, this is 100% a function of me (1) having tried carbon, fallen in love, and now not wanting to go back to plastic and (2) not having a replacement set of carbon fins in my budget for the foreseeable future. But I do think it can be a real--and unexpected--concern, especially when you find yourself out there with your first set of shiny, new fins.