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Whats the deal with fins these days

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by bbarnett51, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Little Rock, Ar
    So I'm in the market for a new pair of fins. This is something I don't buy often so I don't keep up with the latest and greatest. It seems like every fin has a gimmick and I don't know whats real or not.

    I had about 300-400 dives on my Dacor Turbo fins and although heavy I haven't been happy with any since them. Right now I have Aqua Lung Caravelle's and they are decent bit I don't get the power I did from my 25 year old Dacors.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  2. letterboy

    letterboy Not today, Mr ATF, not today. ScubaBoard Supporter

    I bought a pair of fancy fins when I started diving, they now sit next to my basic paddle fins in my storage area. . .

    unless you have knee problems a good pair of paddles should work perfect.

    of course I will now be crucified for not saying jets are the only true paddle and that people love split fins too.
    tracydr likes this.
  3. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    This is kinda funny. i had the same issues. I was using Dacor fins until one day the pocket finally died. This was about 3 years ago. I searched to find the fin that would perform like the Dacor and couldn't find it, until I tried on the Hollis F1 fins. Sure the Hollis F1's are heavy, but when I put them on, they felt just like my old Dacor fins. I love them and they're pretty cheap.
  4. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States

    1. Best freedive fin for scuba use or freediving : DiveR fins.....most divers should elect to get the soft model blade--see http://flfreedivers.com/diver-red-soft-1.html ( can be used with open heel Riffe silent Hunter pocket, or with full foot pockets).
    2. Best Precise Control fin for wreck penetrations and ability to deliver sustainable high speed in an up-current emergency--Accellerating Force Fins
    3. Best semi traditional paddle fin without Freedive fin length....Cressi Master Frog

    Bad list....
    • any split fin....Splits are GREAT if you do not know how to kick properly and don't want to learn optimal kick shape. Otherwise they are poor at frog kick--which is one reason so many split fin divers are always silting when near the bottom ( always farting in church--or parties).. A good diver can get around fine with splits most of the time, just not when it really counts, and they are highly likely to silt, even with skills.
    • Jet Fins...people think they are great, and while they are very precise for slow motion exploration diving and frog kicking, they are very poor at sustained high speed in an emergency scenario--like when you need to go upcurrent to an anchor or to a diver that needs you....Really not a "bad" fin, but they are assumed to be the best, and they ARE NOT due to inefficient flutter kicking when high pace is desirable !
    • Flip fins....made to flip up to walk in them...fine for swimming pool waters and for long hikes....have nothing to do with diving in an adventure dive site where any kind of current or potential need to move fast could ever occur. Don't plan on these lasting for 20 years like Scubapro Jet fins will :)
    sibermike7 and Scott L like this.
  5. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    There are indeed a lot of gimmicks out there. Power bands, fancy hinges, etc. One thing that is not a gimmick is spring straps. I consider those a must. I had to look up the Dacors as I have never seen a pair around here. But what you have is a basic rubber paddle fin. Still perhaps the best fin. You now have your choice of SP Jets, OMS Slip Streams, Hollis F-1's, the new HOG Tech fin, and a few others. Then you start getting into the different plastics or combinations fins like the old Aqualung Blades (not the newer blades II those are garbage), Dive Rite EXP's, and some others. These two are good fins as well and popular in the tech community to some extent. I have the old Blades and they are my usual fin for the pool for snorkeling and skin diving classes as they are lighter than the others and since I need to carry lots of fins, masks, and snorkels for the kids in the program. Very powerful and responsive and were my only fin until the Hollis F-1's came out and I got to be one of the first consumer testers.

    Still have that pair of prototype F-1 as well as a pair of the prototype F-1 yellow tips. I also just tried and have in stock some of the new HOG tech fins. Red and Black versions.

    My feelings on the F-1 are well known here and I have posted a few reviews and foot pocket dimensions on the regular and XL sizes. Only ones I have. They are a great fin. Powerful, responsive, a bit on the heavy side and a full size fin. They are a bit on the long side for strapping to my roller back pack for travel. But they come with spring straps and those are adjustable. My initial review is here http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hollis/242445-hollis-fin-review.html

    Recently I've been diving the new HOG Tech fins and had a chance to compare them with the F-1's one dive after the other in my drysuit with a single tank. Here is my post re the foot pocket dimensions on them: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/fi...n-foot-pocket-dimensions-l-xl-xxl-anyway.html

    Having had a chance to compare them side by side a couple of observations. First the new fin is very responsive. Back kicks, helicopter turns, fine adjustments in position, and they are hard to beat for me. They are my new wreck diving fin hands down and being almost 4 inches shorter in general than the F-1's definitely my new travel fin. They are slightly negative in fresh water which works well diving dry or using thicker wetsuit boots. As are the F-1's.

    For me the F-1's still have their place though. For open water high current I'm likely to choose them as they just simply move a lot of water. But the trade off is that in doing so they can get tiring for those not used to them. The HOG fins are lighter and stiffness wise comparable. The foot pocket is comfortable and the springs on them are adjustable as well. In the quarry I saw no difference in performance. They were comfortable and moved me through the water quite well.

    The other deciding factor when someone chooses a fin is price. Luckily as a tester my F-1's cost me zip. But they retail for 169.99 and 209.99 at Leisure Pro for example. The new HOG tech fins have a MAP of 129.99. For some the 40-80 price difference may be a factor. It would have been in my case at the time.

    Whatever you decide there are lots of choices out there that will work. In fact there are few of the DACOR's on ebay of you do a Google search so you may be able to go back to what you know works.

    May sound funny coming from a person who'd like to sell a new pair of the HOG's to you but my goal is that you get what works best for you. Whatever that may be.

    I saw a few people beat me to posting as I tend to get long winded at times. Only exception I will take to their advice is on the issue of spilts. I generally don't care for them but out of all of them the ones I would try in open water would be the Apollo Bio's. And yes I do offer them but only because I have tried them and they work. That's why I agreed to carry them when I was asked to by Apollo.
  6. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    From what people have been saying the split fins from Apollo and Atomic seem to be better than those from other manufacturers.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
    Scott L likes this.
  7. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I've tried the Mares Xstreams, the Aqualung Slingshots, and the Seawing Novas. I didn't find any of them to be wonderful, although they were all usable. I was surprised at how "floppy" the Xstreams are.

    They have to do something to motivate people to replace something that lasts virtually forever, and they have to make it look complicated enough to justify a ridiculous price. I am totally convinced that most people could do just fine with some kind of standard paddle fin with spring straps. Whether you prefer a lighter fin or a heavier one, a stiffer or a softer, a shorter blade or a longer one, you can find a plain old, relatively inexpensive blade fin that will meet your needs.
    JamesK likes this.
  8. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Miami, Florida
    The people that generally buy new fins are new divers. What is their demographic? Lets face it the average American is overweight and out of shape so the manufacturers cater to them. If diving is as easy as walking more people will do it. If it is a strenuous sport then many people won't do it. Dan can complain the divers don't know how to fin but is that their fault or their instructors? Were they ever taught proper fining techniques? It has been some time since I did my open water but I don't even know if I was taught a kick. You just did a flutter kick because that was natural. It was only much latter did I learn different kicks.

    TS@M can say Sea Wings are less than satisfactory but yet she has posted that students in Sea Wings can outswim her if she wears her paddle fins. Students want to go fast with the least amount of effort. They may never want to go into an overhead environment where fin control is essential.
  9. BVickery

    BVickery Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    As still a new diver I want 2 things in my fin

    1) Fit properly (easier said than done with a size 15 foot)
    2) As you mentioned, fin control. My ultimate goal is to be able to just glide about the waves and not stir stuff up.
    grantwiscour likes this.
  10. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Palm Beach, FL
    1. Dan, I don't see a fin of that description in Force Fins's website. They would need to give me super human capability because they are way dorky looking. :)
    danvolker likes this.

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