In January I will be traveling to Belize for a week, and intend to do a fair bit of scuba diving. For that, I'd like to bring my 26" fins, and ideally, I'd like to avoid checking a bag, so I don't have to worry about losing it. However, Delta's carry-on limit is 22" in the longest dimension. Their limits for personal items are much vaguer though. One example given is umbrellas, some of which are considerably more pointy and unwieldy than scuba fins.
If I don't mind holding them the whole way, are my 26" likely to be considered "personal items"?
To clarify, I am only asking about fins and not any other gear because they are the only piece of my gear that I need to bring that is above 22"