Apollo Bios vs Smoke on the Water fins

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Altamira

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Do any of you have experience using Apollo Bios and Smoke on the Water fins? After three knee and two hip replacements, I no longer have the legs/knees to use anything other than split fins or a Mares x-stream type of fins so please don't bring conventional paddle fins into this discussion. I have been using my Apollo Bios for about 6 years, and love everything about them except being really heavy and negatively buoyant. Every time I remove them in the water, I am mortified at the thought of me, or a boat crew member, dropping one and watching it head for the deep blue. During a recent trip to Curacao, a fellow diver loaned me his Mares x-stream fins to try out during a SI, and subsequently bought a pair primarily for their comfort, light weight and positive buoyancy. It is a good fin, pretty easy on the knees, but am not in love with them. So now I am trying to collect some comparative feedback from divers that have had more than just a few dives with the Bios and SOTW fins. I really appreciate any comments, positive or negative.
 

-JD-

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I have not tried the Bios so I can't give you a direct comparison, but I can give you some input on the Atomic Smoke on the Waters.

I have a pair of the SotWs with the spring straps and actually really like them. I can't comment on back-kicking, but I had no problem with flutter, nor somewhat surprisingly frog, and could do helicopter kicks. They are comfortable to flutter with and seem to provide pretty good thrust. If you hadn't run across it, the SotWs are made from a stiffer compound than (most) of the Atomic splits.

My size "M"s are( just under): 25"L (excluding straps) x 9"W and 5lbs. They are neutral to just slightly buoyant in FW. They fit quite snugly (not uncomfortably, but stiff to remove) on my size 9 Deep Sea Safe-Sole Ergo boots. I no longer use those boots for local diving and moved on to other fins when pushing doubles or traveling.

If you think the "M" size will work for you, I'll be happy to send them to you to let you try them.


That said, I've moved on to Force Fin Pros for travel diving and find them effective for flutter and much more convenient for packing. The Force Fins are a soft-kicking fin that gets it power on the down/extension stroke and are very easy in up/recovery. The sweet spot seems to be a faster cadence mid-amplitude kick - think spinning instead of grinding on a bike.

For comparison, my size "L" (very slightly larger foot pocket in effect due to more height and open toe than the "M" SotWs but with a very rounded bottom rather than squared off) are about: 16.5"L (excluding straps) x 12.8"W and 3.4lbs. They are slightly negative in FW. If you have square-bottom footwear you would be well served to either upsize by one or round the sole edges if practical to better conform to the pocket.
 
OP
Altamira

Altamira

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@-JD- Thank you for the very informative post on the SOTW, and offer to let me try your mediums. Unfortunately, with very wide feet and high instep, I am likely go to need a size XL Thanks again for your comments, which have been extremely helpful to me.
 
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