I have just started scuba diving in the past few weeks and I am slowly starting to buy my own basic gear (mask, snorkel, fins, rash guard, etc.) I have enjoyed it a lot, so I feel that I will continue diving and I will be putting the gear to good use. When i look around online for fins, a lot of them declare that they have eliminated "parachute effect" in their new designs. Is this something important that I should be concerned about? I tried researching online but all that comes up is products that eliminate the effect- however, nothing describes what it is. Can a more scuba savvy person help me out? Im sure its just something simple, but nevertheless it has made me very curious.

It refers to the hydrodynamic drag (such as it is) created by the foot pockets of the fins.

Granted, for competitive free-divers this might be an issue, but for SCUBA diving it’s pretty much irrelevant. Anyway, fins designed specifically for freediving are not really suitable for SCUBA diving in the first place–they tend to be overlong, and are usually full-foot designs (most SCUBA divers wear booties, for extra warmth and to protect their feet during entries/exits–and hence use open-heel fins).

Considering the drag that new SCUBA divers tend to create for themselves (through overweighting, inefficient finning technique, poor streamlining of equipment, etc.), and the drag imposed by SCUBA gear (bulky wetsuit/drysuit, BCD, regulator hoses, etc.), the drag from the fins is pretty much minimal compared to the total experienced by the diver.

So (IMHO) manufacturers’ claims to have eliminated this effect are basically creating a ‘straw man’ problem in order to hype their newest design.