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Dilemma on which fins to get: Atomic, Twin Speed, Aries, AL Blades

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks & Snorkels' started by Luango, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Luango

    Luango Registered

    I have changed my mind several times and just need to buy something. I have 2 decisions left: cheap or expensive which also means paddles or split, then which ones in the chosen category.

    General questions--
    How long will fins last?
    Will something better come along?
    What will I do with the old ones when I want new ones?
    Is having 2 sets of fins useful?
    All good fins on my list so does it matter?

    I took PADI OW at my junior college, used their gear, but still need to do OW checkout drives with a LDS. I have only ever used full foot snorkel fins in the water, not any on my list to buy and I don’t really have a way to try them either. I don't mind paying more for better fins, but I don't have any dive buddies so I may not get to use them much. I expect to go on no more than 1 dive excursion a year.

    I do not want to start another flame war on splits vs. paddles. My philosophy on splits is that they are better most of the time for most dives, but is the cost justified? Since I am not accustom to either splits or paddles, I may not have trouble learning how to use splits?

    My thoughts and concerns on fins in order of preference--
    1. Atomics = high price, big and stiff so the most like a paddle fin- a good compromise, open toe?, much loved
    2. SP Twin Speed = Too new for reviews and opinions, lifetime warranty, FYI they're a copy of Tusa's Xpert Zoom
    3. Aeris Velocity = Paddle that is most like a split, still new to be tested or just uncommon, cheap
    4. Blades = 99% as good as Mares Quartos, which is better original or Blades II?, cheap
    5. Tusa Xpert Zoom = not as praised as Atomics or Apollos, ??
    6. Dacor Tiger = high price for a paddle, not volos, cannot handle strong current

    The Rejects--
    I hate the Mares foot pocket, the worst ever no Quartos for me.
    I don't think I want floppy split like Apollos.
    SP Twin jet way huge pocket

    Leisurepro.com prices
    AQUALUNG BLADES FINS $ 49.95 / BLADES II $ 59.95
    DACOR FIN TIGER $ 104.95

    Side note:
    I know I need extra fin straps, but do I need extra buckles?
    Spring straps? Wouldn't those hurt your heel?
    If wearing tall booties does the wetsuit tuck in or go over the boot.
  2. rcohn

    rcohn Contributor

    "My philosophy on splits is that they are better most of the time for most dives, but is the cost justified? "

    As I understand it ,you've yet to dive the open water, so how could you have a "philosophy?"

    You really should try to test fins before buying, or be able to return them. different people choose different fins. My wife loves her Biofins, i hate them. I like my freediving fins and Atomic aquatics splits, neither is right for her.

    You make no mention of the type of diving you intend to do, it can make a difference in fin choice. I use Atomic Aquatics fins with my dry suit and for rocky New England shore dives. For warm water diving, and cold water wetsuit freediving or scuba from a boat I use freediving fins.

    I carry extra buckles along with other essential spares. I tested the twinspeed fins, nice fin very similar to the AA fin, but IMO a very lousy buckle. You should definitely have extra buckles with these. See:

  3. MasterDecker

    MasterDecker Guest

    I am OW certified

    I usualy dive in the warm waters of Cebu Philippines.

    I have used differing fins from the OLD flats, to the "vented fin" to the newer Tusa Xpert Zoom split fins. I regularly dive near old wrecks from WWII that are in Cebu. I have found that to get to the wrecks 30 meters under. I get exhausted fast, until I spent some money nad bought a pair of the zooms. They have worked well for me, and I love them.

    I can get to the wrecks not necessarily faster, but with less effort. and being able to have more bottom time, sine I dn't exert myself so much to get to the bottom.

    In all, I would recommend spending the little extra and getting the Tusa Xpert Zoom series of fins. Mind you I bought mine over in the philippines, for about 1/2 of what some one in the states would pay, just simply because of the market and economy there.

  4. pescador775

    pescador775 Contributor

    Luango, the Zooms are highly regarded by SCUBA divers and do well in the tests. They have an unusual offset blade which would rule them out for spearfishermen as they tend to break the surface resulting in splash and inefficiency. The Atomic and twin speed are competent fins and, as noted, the Atomics have undergone some early changes to materials and I believe the latest version is fairly stiff as you say. The expensive Bios usually test a bit faster in all out speed trials, etc. The standard Pro model is very soft and might be suited to someone who doesn't dive a lot. It really is nice but watch the sizing (a medium will fit size 10 + boot). Same for the Bio Pro XT which is made of hard rubber and fairly stiff. No speed advantage except for triathletes, etc. Everything else being equal, no strap fin can outperform a full foot (closed heel) fin. In this regard I mention the very highly rated Oceanic Caribe and Mares Avanti Tre. Both of these rather low priced fins have comfortable foot pockets that can be sized for thin socks or thick boots if the diver's foot is not too big. They can be used for SCUBA or freediving. The light weight Caribe is as easy to kick as the Biofin, and equally as fast. The Tre is a little more stiff and also slightly faster, 3.1mph. Frankly, I like them better than the plastic long fins like Sporasub and Cressi. The Ssub Variant Master tested to 2.6mph.I've never used the astronomically priced carbon fiber mods. The full foot Bio seems to be something of a dud with extremely large foot pocket and smaller, stiffer blade, 2.9mph, slow for a FF. The Dacor fins regularly score at the bottom in speed and slalom. The original USD Blades generally outperform the Blades II. The Aeris Velocity is highly rated. The FF model is about as fast as the Caribe.

    If you get two pair, the Bio Pro and Oceanic Caribe would be good. To save on cost, you could substitute the XS Power fin for the Bio Pro The Power Fin is a vented paddle fin, the highest rated of that group, I believe. Changing back and forth might be a bit unsettling but not that bad.

    I usually wear cut off boots or short socks. The long shank boots, I wear them on the outside. It's easier, IMO.
  5. scubajoh44

    scubajoh44 Instructor, Scuba

    I just got the Apollo Bios, Twin Jets, and some Genesis Response fins. I like them all for different things. The twins do have large foot pockets but are great to wear with booties. I use them when walking alot, especially when walking to a current dive. If I don't walk, I use the Genesis. I like the bios for pretty much everything. They are the most comfortable. I didn't like the thought of them being flimsy either, but they are great fins! Guess it just depends on what you want 'em for. :eek:)
  6. robbcayman

    robbcayman Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Temecula, CA
    I would go with either the Apollo Bio fins or Scubapro's Twin Jet Fins. These are the top two split fins on the market. If you want to try them both and have the money buy both jet fins & bio fins just look for them on ebay.

    Fins last forever so don't worry about the price tag. Ebay is your friend.
  7. pescador775

    pescador775 Contributor

    My first use of Apollo bio fin was in Oct, 1999. I'll never forget the old timey scent of pure gum rubber when removed from the box. Just like my original pair of Duckfins. Gad, what memories. Like getting a new car. The fins lay around the dive locker for awhile and didn't get a chance to try them until a dive into the Gulfstream off Bimini. I did my usual route, upstream, looked for something to shoot (camera) but didn't see anything except one shark. Very uneventful dive. With respect to the fins several things caught my attention. Being used to stiff paddles, the Bios seemed to offer almost no resistance to kicking even at high kick rates. My air consumption seemed to be the same as when at rest, even when kicking straight into the 1 knot current and wherein I covered a fair distance, 1/8 mile up and 1/8 back to the anchorline. When swimming back I noted that the current wanted to tip my fins up sometimes.I became a little chilled in the 74 degree water, primarily because I wasn't working very hard. Like you say, they are as comfortable as an old shoe. I don't particularly like the long, floppy fin straps, and I don't trust plastic buckles, but none of these things have caused me any trouble so far.
  8. BuoyantC

    BuoyantC Instructor, Scuba

    For your limited experience with fins, it sounds like you have some pretty wide parameters - sort of like deciding if you need a 2dr. sedan or an SUV.

    Everyone here is going to give you recommendations for what works for them, but unless you just want to go with the majority it's only going to end up being a crap shoot. You just simply have to try fins and use them a bit. Even then you may change and like something different in a year or so - way before you wear out a decent pair of fins.

    My suggestion is to stop agonizing over your choice, get a decent pair of fins that are comfortable to get on and off, and get out diving. Later if you really , really find something you like better, upgrade.

    I believe everyone's physiology is individual enough that subtle differences like leg and ankle angles make one fin great for one and miserable for another. That's probably why there are a zillion fins on the market and someone loves each of them.

    Good diving,
  9. Scottri

    Scottri Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tigard Oregon
    You really need to spend some time trying different fins. You can read all the opinions you want but without actually trying the fins it's pretty meaningless. But you asked for opinions so here is mine. I love my Aqua Lung Blades. I can't stand split fins but I know a lot of people that love them for all the reason I hate them.

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