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Forty years on: Cressi sub's Rondine-L fins and their modern replicas

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by David Wilson, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. David Wilson

    David Wilson Manta Ray

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    In this thread I want to report what I found out when conducting a little online research into Cressi sub's 1970 classic long-bladed fin, the Rondine-L. I also propose to write about three 2010 products of this all-rubber full-foot long-bladed fin technology.

    Exactly four decades have elapsed since Rondine-L fins appeared:

    1970. Rondine L long fins – The world leader of molding rubber fins, Cressi developed the Rondine L long fins, which enabled Jacques Mayol to go onto achieve his astonishing free diving records.
    http://www.cressi.com/flash/History/HistoryDati.asp

    Here are three pictures of these fins:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The first picture is from an Italian site offering the fins for sale in new in box condition at 30 euros:

    Pinne apnea cressi rondine l - Sports In vendita a

    Rondine-L fins have at least two reasons to be remembered in the annals of fin development:

    1. They were used by the legendary depth-record-breaking freediver Jacques Mayol in his ascent from 100 metres:
    [​IMG]
    Jacques Mayol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2. They were the only fins in the world, then and since, to be manufactured in "personalised" sizes, e.g. "45", rather than a range of sizes, e.g. "44-46". They were developed for use in "skin diving and finned swimming, made in non-floating black rubber. They (were) available in sizes from 39 to 46." (Cressi-sub catalogue, circa 1970).

    I would be interested in hearing about anybody's experiences with Cressi sub's Rondine-L fins.
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Manta Ray

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    My second message in this thread is devoted to a 2010 product showcasing the same all-rubber full-foot long-bladed fin technology as Cressi-sub's Rondine-Ls.

    Concorde fins are made by Adalilar Kauçuk, a rubber goods manufacturer based in the Turkish city of Istandbul:
    [​IMG]

    These fins are replicas of Mares Concorde fins, which like Cressi-sub Rondine-L fins were widely sold in the early 1970s. The Turkish manufacturer appears to be using the original Mares Concorde moulds. The fins are priced at 95 Turkish Pounds, which is about 45 Euros. They are available in matt black in five sizes, 38-40, 40-42, 42-44, 44-46, 46-48. According to Turkish online retailers Mcavmarketi and Silahdunyasi, they are manufactured from durable high-quality rubber and designed for use by underwater hunters:
    http://www.mcavmarketi.com/urun_detay.asp?pid=1987
    http://www.silahdunyasi.com/Default.aspx?MarkID=6921&CatID=20749

    I don't believe that Adililar Concorde fins are easily sourced outside Turkey, but both Mcavmarketi and Silahdunyasi are online vendors and may be prepared to work with international buyers.

    Again, I'd be interested in anybody's experiences of purchasing or using these fins. To follow: reports about two further 2010 products showcasing the same all-rubber full-foot long-bladed fin technology as Cressi-sub's Rondine-Ls.
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Manta Ray

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    My third message is about an all-rubber full-foot long-bladed fin currently manufactured in Japan, the Gull Barracuda:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Gull Barracudas may well be the most expensive as well as the hardest-to-obtain fins showcased in this thread. Sizes Medium and Large are available for sale, courtesy of Japanese online retailer Rakuten, for the king's ransom of 28900 yen, or 233 euros, at
    http://www.rakuten.co.jp/dive180/107770/421757/

    My usual request for information about anybody's experiences with these fins, whether purchasing or using them. My next message will be about another, much more economically priced, all-rubber full-foot long-bladed fin that has recently come on to the scene.
     
  4. hongrace

    hongrace ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The Gull Barracuda now has two models: Professional and Standard (which is softer than Professional). These fins have limited production, around 250 to 500 pairs per year. I have a pair on order and I am paying around 180 Euro.
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Manta Ray

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    I had no idea that there were two versions of the Gull Barracuda, Hongrace. Thank you for this information

    I promised a third all-rubber full-foot long-bladed "descendant" of Cressi's iconic Rondine-Ls. This Taiwanese-made prototype has various code numbers. Lung Win International (LUNG WIN INTERNATIONAL.CO., LTD.) dubs them "LW 702". Aropec (Water Sports Equipment Manufacturer - Aropec Sports Corp. - Taiwan, Asia, Wet Suit, Dive Boot Supplier, Exporter, Seller) names them "F-JS702". Gaw-Shiuan Diving Equipment Inc (GAW-SHIUAN DIVING EQUIPMENT INC. Website) calls them "F307". These companies supply the fins in all black, while Problue Diving Systems (PROBLUE) has a blue-sided variant of the fins, coding them "F-745".

    Here is the clearest image of the all-black fins that I can find on the Web, courtesy of the website of the Merehunt Spearfishing Club of Estonia:
    [​IMG]
    Here the fins are branded "Sopras sub Full Rubber Fins".

    The Sopras sub company (~SoprasSub~ diving equipement) markets its diving equipment mainly in Eastern Europe. Another European company, Seemann sub (http://www.seemannsub.de/), has also just started to sell the fins under the brand name "Stream". Seemann is planning to sell its range of diving equipment worldwide under the name "Sub Gear". "Stream" fins are now available in Western Europe. Here in the UK, they are distributed by the online retailer Simply Snorkel (Snorkelling Equipment | Simply Snorkel UK), which sells them for £59.

    Sopras sub and Seemann sub sell the all-black version of these fins in three sizes, EU 40-42 (US 7-9); EU 42-44 (US 7-11); and EU 44-46 (US 11-13). In Australia, Adreno Spearfishing Supplies (Adreno Spearfishing | Speargun & Wetsuit Online Megastore | Spearfishing | Freediving | Snorkeling | Brisbane | Australia) sells Problue's blue-sided version:
    [​IMG]

    One Taiwanese online retailer, Scuba Diving Equipment Fines (Scuba Diving Equipment Fines Website - Fins - Fin Full-Foot Long - Gs Rubber Long Fins) sells the all-black version of these fins in five sizes, adding XS (EU 36-38, US 3-5) and S (EU 38-40, US 5-7) to the M, L and XL sizes sold elsewhere. These smaller sizes may be really useful for parents seeking longer-bladed fins in more flexible rubber for their children's growing feet.

    The overall lengths of the fins are: XS, 65 cm; S, 67 cm; M, 69 cm; X, 71 cm; XL, 73 cm. They have quite stiff blades and their foot pockets are soft at the heel, less so at the toes. I have just purchased a pair and am waiting for a suitable moment to try them out in the sea.
     
  6. FarSideDive

    FarSideDive Garibaldi

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    I am in Japan now, and am considering forking out for some Gull Barracudas. How are yours? Did you go with soft or hard?

    As usual, I have left it too late to do this research - I am going to a little island with 25-28C water, probably 20-25m vis. and have no mask/fins!

    I am not doing SCUBA (sorry SCUBAboard!) I am more into freediving.

    EDIT: Also, first post! (I have a PADI Advanced Open Water, but haven't used it - I prefer freediving :) )
     
  7. diver_doug

    diver_doug Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
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    Jaques Mayol looks like Tom Skerritt in that picture.
     

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