Gear Check Fins
Hi-viz, hi-power fin June 2007
Apollo has introduced just the fin for turbid Northern waters and night diving. It Bio-Fin Pro C models are available in white, which is a one
of the few colors that can be seen in dark waters. Fins are molded with 70 Durometer rubber or 75 Durometer for the stiffer XT model,
which is available in black. The split-fin design is said by the company to improve propulsion while reducing energy use and fatigue by as
much as 40 percent over conventional non-split designs. Fins extend from the foot at a 20-degree angle to take advantage of natural resting
angles of the ankle and knee. Foot pockets are generous enough in size to accommodate both wetsuit booties and drysuit boots, and the
open toe design allows water to drain from the pockets when the fins are carried after a dive. Fins are available in five sizes from extra
small to double large, each with its own length of spring strap to optimize the fit for comfort and performance. www.apollousa.com.
Short fin scoop July 2007
Backing into mild surf zones or zipping around inside wrecks without silting may be a bit easier with new fins from APS Mantaray. APS
stands for advanced-aqua propulsion system, which is how the company describes its patented dual-water channeling system. Channels
molded into these short fins are said to create a venturi effect that maximizes the thrust of water off the blade, providing more power with
less exertion. Besides helping to maneuver in such tight spaces as inside wrecks, the short configuration of the fin blade makes it easy to
pack for dive travel. A simple strap system streamlines the fins on the foot and eases putting on the fins or taking them off. Fins are
available in three sizes and in black, white and two shades of blue. Learn more at www.apsmantaray.com.
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Fins to go December 2006
Who hasn’t been troubled by tripping over fins while stumbling from a dive boat seat to the platform. The Amphibian’s hinged blade allows
divers to walk as easily as if they were wearing street shoes, and then snap the blade in place just before taking the plunge. Foot pockets are
available to accommodate everything from a small foot to a serious drysuit boot. And detachable fin blades can customize the fin to personal
preferences in length and thrust. www.omegaaquatics.com.
Viper fin suits dry divers September 2006
Oceanic’s new Viper fin is designed to efficiently deliver power, starting with a blade that is larger and longer than many other fins. A
Power Thrust Channel molded into the fin maximizes the water flow over the entire surface of the blade. The thrust of this flow is
contained with side rails that prevent the force from spilling over the sides, so the forward energy of the entire length of the blade is
directed to the tip. Foot pockets are large enough to accommodate boots of drysuits used by Northeast divers or booties with heavier
molded soles preferred by many travel divers. Although the blade and foot pockets are large, materials used in forming the fin make it lighter
than many comparable open-heel fins. Viper fins are available in three sizes and in three colors to coordinate with other pieces of gear in
your kit. Learn more at www.OceanicWorldwide.com.
Kick off your fins July 2006
Divers wearing the hefty protection suits and sturdy gear needed explore cold northern waters will get a kick out of Aqua Lung’s new
Blades 2 Flex fins. They feature a patented hands-free release strap that enables the fins to be kicked off the heel without fumbling around
to find the buckle. Quick-adjusting buckles on the side adjust the strap length for personal comfort. Fins are available in giant size to fit dry
suit boots or thick booties as well as regular and small. The Flex fins are based on the Blades 2 design, but are made of more flexible
material to put more elasticity and snap into the blade, which some divers find to ease kicking. Divers who prefer a stiffer action may be
better off sticking with their Blades 2 fins. Fins are available in black with either blue or gray accents. Learn more at www.aqualung.com.
Morph in flippers December 2005
They look like no other flippers with their fish-tail-like extension, but the makers of Mor-Fins claim the design is delivers more power with
less effort. The extension that resembles the tail of a shark and the foot pocket were developed during years of computerized study of
hydrodynamics. Step kicking no wider than the width of a diver’s body delivers power on both up and down strokes of each leg. Dry suit
divers will like the generous foot pocket with flare tabs that readily adapt to wide boots. Boot heals extend beyond the pocket, reducing
skidding on deck surfaces. The fins are color coded, with yellow being the softest, blue with medium stiffness and black as the stiffest.
Learn more at www.mor-fin.com.
High Velocity fins September 2007
By combining engineering design advances with new materials, Aeris claims its new Velocity XP fins are 30 percent faster than other fins
on the market. The company says its patented Nature’s Wing design channels water through semi-rigid battens and rubber flx channels to
optimize power and reduce drag during the fin stroke. Oversized side rails add rigidity to the oversized blades to further increase their
power. The blade is angled from the foot pocket to enhance the leg movements used in kicking and the foot pocket is designed to
accommodate a wide range of foot sizes and boot styles. A thumb loop is molded into the fin strap to ease donning the fins, and easily
adjustable quick release buckles ease removing them. Fins are available at local dive shops in four sizes from extra small to extra large in
blue, ice, black and yellow colors. www.DiveAeris.com.
Tusa kicks off new fin September 2007
Tusa says that the creative use of materials make its new SF-5x fin the world’s most advanced urethane fin. Tusa’s patented Hybrid Blade
System features stiff urethane side rails and an ultra-responsive membrane blade to boost kicking power by improving efficiency and
power transfer. Urethane was chosen as a material for its rebound, memory and performance. The SF-5x fin, which will be available in
black and shark silver, will featured at Tusa’s booth at DEMA this fall along with its new cousin, the Tech SF-5xT. The T model is
designed for divers who prefer a stiffer fin than the SF-5x. Tusa’s new TA-80 spring strap will be standard on the T model. See these fins
as participating Tusa dealers. www.tusa.com.
Put spring in your kick December 2008
Inventor Giovanni Battista Beltrani demonstrates the new Slingshot fin he designed for Aqua Lung. The fin allows divers to fine tune fin
stiffness to adjust for diving conditions and personal preferences. The fin blade is attached by a hinge to the foot pocket, while silicon
power bands attach to the pocket and the blade. The bands can be adjusted topside or underwater to increase or lessen the stiffness of the
fin and extend the power of the kick stroke. Sides of the fin are channeled to transmit the energy of the stroke to the end of the blade,
adding efficiency to the stroke. Slingshots are available in three colors: blue, black / silver and red, and in four sizes from small to extra
Zippy de scoodah November 2008
Add zip to your dive or power-blast away silt to hunt artifacts with the Cuda from diveX, scooters that were a mere four weeks old when
it was unveiled at DEMA. Two models are available, the 550 and the 850. Both can speed up to 256 feet per minute at depths to 600 feet.
The 550 weighs 50 pounds on land, is 33.5 inches long, and has a run time of 35 minutes at full speed for up to 1.7 miles. The 850 weighs
60 pounds, is 42 inches long, has a run time of 54 minutes at full speed for up to 2.6 miles. Both are powered with rechargeable nickel
metal hydride batteries. Controls are on an ergonomic t-handle, Accessories are available for mounting a compass, cameras or lights.
Pack a freedive outing April 2009
Just in time for a full summer of freediving, Aqua Lung's U.S. Divers line is offering selections of its masks, fins and snorkels in a handy
pack to take to the shore. One pack contains the Admiral 2LX mask, Bikar LX snorkel and Proflex open-heel fins. The mask is a
one-size-fits-all model with a hypoallergenic silicone face skirt supporting two windows in a low-volume design. The snorkel has a
splashguard to keep out water, a contoured barrel around the face, flex-tubing for comfort and a purge valve. Proflex fins have long blades
for power and dual-composite rails to direct the force of the kick. They have adjustable foot straps and are available in foot-pocket sizes
from women's small to men's large. All the gear packs into a durable 22- by 12- by 5-inch Travelite bag with a shoulder strap for easy
carrying and mesh panels that allow the gear to drain and air dry. The whole ensemble weighs 4.25 pounds. www.usdivers.com
Aeris fin takes wing February 2009
Aeris has incorporated several design features into its new Velocity X3 fins which are intended to boost efficiency, ease kicking and
improve comfort. Power enhancing vents and flexible channels molded into fin are said to direct water toward the fin tips to create lift and
improve forward propulsion. Aeris claims its patented Nature's Wing technology reduces stress while accelerating water over the blade to
further improve propulsion. Oversized side rails add rigidity to the fin, and are said to increase lift, power and efficiency. The blade is
angled from the foot, a design preferred by divers. The fin pockets are designed to accommodate all sizes and styles of booties. To ease
donning and doffing the fin, Aeris included a thumb loop in the fin strap. www.DiveAeris.com.
Hydrofoil your kick strokes August 2009
Aquatec has come up with a fin that is intended to maximize the energy that divers put into propulsion. Its Duo-Vortex model incorporates
a hydrofoil design that Aquatec says produces forward motion with less effort. The blade of the fin is an elastic material that is reinforced
with ridges in a double-layer construction. Paired flexible flaps are designed to generate two complementing vortices to boost thrust toward
the tip. The tip is a rigid "whale-tail" construction that is said to provide even more thrust and improve control. Fins are available in silver
with black trim or blue with black trim in sizes from extra-small to extra large. Aquatecusa.com.
Turbo charge your kick May 2010
ScubaMax has updated its fin design in the FN-320 Mach II Turbo fin. The fin's main design nuance is a trap door near the foot pocket
that directs water along the top and bottom of the end of the fin with each kick stroke. This design is said by the manufacturer to more
efficiently direct the water along the fin to the tip of the blade instead of allowing it to roll off the sides of the fin, where it simply creates
turbulence and drag. The fin is molded from neoprene rubber for flexibility, which can be adjusted to personal preference in stiffness by
snipping up to three power tabs between the trap door and the fin blade. The more tabs that are snipped, the more flexible with a caveat:
once snipped they cannot be restored to provide additional stiffness. Fins are available in three sizes: small, for men's shoe 6 to 8 sizes;
medium, 8 to 10 shoes; and large, 10 to 12 shoes. Straps are attached with quick release connections to ease removal to climb boat ladders
or to walk through the surf zone at the end of a dive. The fins are negatively buoyant and available only in black. www.ScubaMax.us.
Fin design's a new switcheroo May 2010
Ultimate Innovative Designs just unveiled an interesting option for travel and shore divers in its new Switchblade fin. Blades tuck in
compactly under the foot pocket for travel or walking on the beach. Drag your foot backward and the jointed polycarbonate blades splay
out in front of the foot pocket, ready for kicking action. Interchangeable blades allow divers to choose the flexibility for the diving
conditions. Plus different color combinations are available for the fin blades, allowing divers to match the color to different sets of gear.
When collapsed, the fins are 17 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches thick. Stacked in a gear bag they're only 3 inches thick. Yet
they open to 29 inches long, 10.5 inches wide and as thick as your bootie expands the flexible rubber foot pocket. Quick release fittings
ease doffing the fins at the end of a dive. Polycarbonate was chosen for its light weight and near indestructibility, allowing Ultimate to
extend a limited lifetime warranty on the product. www.SwitchbladeFin.com.