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Duck feet

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by DaleC, May 6, 2009.

  1. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
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    Just bought these today (plus a pair of Aqualung rockets) $30 for both:

    [​IMG]

    Can anyone tell me about them (age, era etc...)? They have the following markings:
    Duck Feet
    Pure gum rubber
    The Spearfisherman
    Huntington beach Cal.
    Large
    Top side (does this mean that is the top side? It seems opposite to most other fins)
     
  2. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
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    They're horrible fins, if you try to use them you will die. If you send them to me I will arrange for a suitable disposition so that no one gets hurt. Be safe ... do not wait too long!

    P.S. "Top Side" means "this side up" when walking in them.
     
  3. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

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    Not sure how old they are but the markings on yours seem to indicate they may have been made for a particular shop, ie, The Spearfisherman. I checked out a pair I have and they are the same except for that designation.
    I also have the larger UDT model Actually I have two versions of them One is an AMF Voit UDT model and I have another set exactly like that but it says UDT FIN- CAL Mar. They look to be identical except for the markins. The mold for each is identical except for the wording so I am assuming Voit made these fins and re-branded some for local dealers. Does anyone know if this is correct? Seems that the gum rubber used in my fins holds up well as they are in good, usable shape.
    I like the fin and it is a good score. Not too crazy for the Rockets. I have a bunch of them but I like Scubapro jets better. Similar in design but seem to work better.
     
  4. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

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    The top looks like the bottom, but use them as marked. You'll love them, I love mine. Don't bother with the Rockets.
     
  5. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    I have seen those before, The Spearfisherman. If the foot pockets and straps are in good shape you have a prize there. The pure gum rubber, paricularly the amber colored versions are highly sought after but given the age of these things even stored well most are actually rotten, if these are not---GREAT!

    The top side is the side with the writing on it. I imagine those are as stiff as boards, might need some fin socks.

    N
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    The Spearfisherman Company is one of the oldest skin diving equipment manufacturers in the world, trading between 1945 and 1955, when the owner Arthur Brown sold the firm to Swimaster, later absorbed by Voit. It was based in Huntington Beach in California. The company made Duck Feet fins and also a range of shorty and full-length drysuits, advertised in the first issue of "Skin Diver". You can see some of their advertisements at

    Skin Diving History - Spearfisherman - Mfg & Retailers

    They prided themselves on being the original makers of Duck Feet, as the image below on the Skin Diving History site eloquently shows:
    31.jpg

    The 1955 edition of the Carriers' book "Dive" records that The Spearfisherman Company Duck Feet fins, made from "true gum rubber, translucent", retailed in four sizes at $8.95, with a fifth, extra large, going for $12.95.
     
  7. mts0628

    mts0628 Manta Ray

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    Hey Dale:

    Those are neat fins! The nostalgia that they bring of great years past I simply can't put into words. Of course I'm only 35 :popcorn:; I was speaking of reading about the great years past! :D Those fins look similar to the old skool UDT fins from WWII. They also look to be in great shape and I think you got an awesome deal. Congratulations!

    With kindest regards,
    Thomas
     
  8. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
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    Thanks all for your replies.

    David, does that mean these things are from 1955 or older? That would seem incredible as the rubber is in very good to excellent shape, supple with no cracking at all.
    There were some other fins there as well (second hand shop) and some old masks. Someone must have cleaned out their garage. I think I will go back and see what's what and at least take some pic's for analysis.

    Thal, it's nice to know someone cares about my welfare. Can you dispose of an old reg set for me as well? It seems "all mixed up" as it has two hoses but only one mouthpiece.
     
  9. captain

    captain Captain

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    I have an identical pair except they are labled Swimaster. Pure gum rubber in excelent like new condition.
     
  10. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    The new versions that are USA made, vss had them for a while, they are very nice, brand new complete with Voit box. Of the UDTs I have owned I like the new reproduction Voit UDT best. The ones from Mexico are awfully stiff.

    Body surfers have a cult thing going with them and that is their major use, vintage body surfing.

    http://flexspoon.com/pics/udt/udt1.htm

    The Deet's version came in the marbled version and the black version, they are pure natural rubber and smell like the smoke from the rubber pots.

    VOIT UDT Duck Feet Fins

    I enjoy using mine but lately I tend to use the Nemrod Super A Professionals more.

    N
     

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