No fin fight, OK?

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The Chairman

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I bought my first pair of Jet Fins in 1969 from Hal Watts. I have never been satisfied with any other fin design until I tried the Hollis Batfins (F1s). They are less negative than a jet fin, but they are a bit. Still, I don't seem to have a problem with them. There are two stand out features for me. The first is the comfort of the foot pocket. I have high arches and most other fins simply hurt. The softer material used in the F1 is simply awesome. Secondly, the fin tips are more flexible than most other fins and that makes certain kicks, like the back kick, far easier to accomplish. I can move easily from frog to flutter and have superb power and control. They are the best fin for me by a long shot.
 

SnorkelLA

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I'm currently wearing Seawing Gorillas on my all Hogarthian/ DIR setup, which I suppose is highly unacceptable and grounds for shunning from that community. Just kidding guys.

But anyways, they are actually very similar in propulsion characteristics to my JetFins, however, they are a fair piece longer than them and a bit more flexible.

Also, when frog-kicking with Gorillas, you can't just give your feet and ankles a little pivot to be propelled like you can with JetFins, you have to give a much more followed-through stroke.

Being longer, yes, at first they are a bit harder to be aware of when inside of a wreck, but they become easy to control with time. I've done multiple penetration dives and they've done fine.

The foot pocket is very comfortable as well. They perform well in a current, and a standard hip-based flutter-kick is not as effective as a knee-pivot flutter kick, at least for me, as I have very very strong legs, knees and hips.

Helicopter kicking is not as effective as with a JetFin straight out the gate. But with time I developed a modified helicopter kick that is quite effective. But, I will admit that they are a little less responsive in that area, but are easy to acclimate.

Back kicking, I have not figured out yet. I have an extremely effective back kick in my JetFins, and haven't quite figured out the form of back-kicking in Gorillas


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Divedoggie

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My dive company and I have quite a few opportunities to try different gear with the variety of students who practice with us, and through relationships with manufacturers. I'm also a gear junkie. I have strong opinions on what I like and why I like it. Gear should be simple and functional. Any additional gadget must have a true benefit without a trade off in durability or function. Gear should be high quality/high value. You don't need to pay an arm and a leg for the best performance.

For me, fins need to perform in a multitude of ways. They have to be durable and they have to be comfortable. They need to afford fine movement in any direction, and powerful movement when it is demanded. I have a wall where there are 50 pairs of fins hanging, and I find myself going back to one certain pair day after day. They get used hard, and I'm hard on equipment, but they are durable.
The fins that keep going on my feet whether Im working or traveling, or diving in a cold and challenging environment are the Hollis F2 fins.

Here is an off the top of my head list of fins that I have thoroughly used and tried:

Hollis F2 Great fin. Small, light, versatile, great built in spring straps, slightly negatively buoyant. Great foot pocket for drysuit boots or Seasoft Stealth boots. This is hands down the best fin I've ever used for back kicks and directional kicks. It's only drawback is strait on power. The F1 is the best for power.

Hollis F1 Great Fin. Powerful, versatile, great built in spring straps. Heavy. Great foot pocket for drysuit boots or Seasoft Stealth boots.

Virtually every rocket/jet fin from SP to HOG. Powerful, effective, proven, but also heavy, stiff, overly negatively buoyant. I see why they are so well liked, but I never swore by them.

US Divers.Pulse. Stiff and powerful with very satisfying blade snap. These used to be my go to fins when diving dry in demanding conditions. Seem to be very much like the DR EXP. I just like the Hollis F1s and F2s better.

Mares Quatro. Stiff and powerful. Good overall fin.

Mares XTreme. Super light and cool looking. Until I used them. I can feel a "bump" each time I kick and the fin hinges until it bottoms out against the stopper. If the fin was designed "not to hinge", it would be a great recreational fin.
Mares Volo Power. The older version with the shorter, stiffer and broader blade was pretty nice.
The Volo race is long and floppy, and they fall apart.
TUSA Imprex TriEx. Stiff and powerful. Too long for really good directional and back kicks.

Oceanic Viper. OK, but too soft and floppy

Atomic Splits. Horrible, heavy, no versatility.
Apollo Bio Splits. Felt like wet noodles on my feet.
Aeris Splits. Horrible
Aqualung Slingshots. These are horrible. Heavy, Multi failure points, mechanical feeling and unruly.

I wish the gimmicks like the power corded slingshots, the hinging fins, and especially the ridiculously expensive yet horribly limited split fins would go away. But for now, I'll just keep trying to get to new divers before the marketing machine which sells the high dollar crap gets to them.
 

cocoajoe

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I think that compared to splits, any stiff fin is going to feel a little weird at first. But once you get used to them you realise how much power those "plywood" fins give you.

Personally I love my F1 fins. Awesome for all kicks, great amounts of power. They are big, heavy, and negatively buoyant. However they never presented me any problems warm water diving them. I have just bought some F2's but that is to save on the travel weight, not for buoyancy reasons. Once I dive them I'll report back.

View attachment 156280 View attachment 156281

The pictures are me diving them with a well compressed 3mm shortie on and I didn't struggle with them being negatively buoyant at all. Trim is more about technique than the particular fin.

There's also the OMS slipstreams which i've tried which are apparently neutral in the water. I didn't mind them at all, just not as comfortable as the F1's and I felt not as good at the back kick, with maybe slightly less power. It's all very subjective though.

Thanks for your reply. I have 'looked' at F1s, F2s, Slipstreams & Dive Rite's online. Next step is try some out.
.

---------- Post added June 3rd, 2013 at 08:07 PM ----------

Thanks to everyone for taking the time replying. leaning toward DR EXP....that's what intructor suggested. But the proof is in the pudding, try some fins that have been suggested and go from there.
 

darushin

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Try the f1 or for cavern use you could get away with the cressi reaction fins. The reaction find are moderately stiff and perform a frog kick well.
 

ccx2

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I saw some Split Jet Fins at our local dive shop that were priced at 80us, didnt know they even made them. Any one off you tried them ?, they seemed realy soft and noodled.
 

decompression

Instructor...seriously...
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Novas are frowned on for cavern and cave diving, because their construction makes them line traps.

For a neutral fin, I really like the Dive Rite EXPs.

Any paddle fin you try is going to feel like the Mafia have put you in concrete boots for the first dive or so. You'll get used to them.


Good call......no cave line in the pool.:D
 

Hatul

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Any divers using Force Fin Pro for cave/technical diving? I find these really comfortable as an open-water diver.
 

SnorkelLA

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Any divers using Force Fin Pro for cave/technical diving? I find these really comfortable as an open-water diver.

Never personally tried them myself. They look really, really flimsy to me. Also, paying $220+ for some duck feet looking fins that look flimsy just isn't a great idea to me.

They seem gimmicky as well, like putting your foot forward in the foot pocket more is actually going to greatly increase performance, and I've never once felt like there are "planks on the end of your feet" like the founder likes to say all the time, and I've tried lots of fins.

I've also seen a video of someone "frog kicking" in said fins, and to put it nicely, the diver was in a 45 degree angle of trim and not getting anywhere.

I hate to bash a product that I've never tried so badly, but they just seem like they don't offer enough power or durability to justify the absolutely insane price.


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https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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