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View Full Version : APS MantaRay or DeepOutdoor SixGill Fins?



RonFrank
July 27th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Would anyone that uses, or has tried these fins care to share an opinion?

HERE (http://www.apsmantaray.com/finworks.html) and HERE (http://www.deepoutdoors.com/sixgill.htm) are links to the websites.

I'm looking for a comfortable non-split fin for dry diving. I think these may fit the bill.

MarkUK
July 30th, 2007, 08:31 AM
I've used the Deep Outdoors Six Gill fins. They came out favourably in the group fin tests we did, so much so that my chief test team member actually bought them when we were done.

He uses them for travelling abroad and for diving in the UK in a drysuit. They are lightweight, short, give plenty of power, are great in confined spaces, you can do every fin kick you want, and even though the straps look a piece of crap, they actually work extremely well.

Mark

El Tiburon
July 30th, 2007, 02:48 PM
I'm a twin Jet user. I like the splits becasue I tend to cramp in my calves. I wanted a more versatile fin to use differnt kicks but also low impact and went with the APS Mantaray's. I used them yesterday for the first time and was totally impressed. Beginning of the first dive they felt stiffer than I'm used to, but as the dive progressed they got easier and easier to kick. By the second dive they felt just as easy as my Twin Jets. Now, my question is what is the difference between the APS Mantarays and the Deep Outdoors Six Gills. They look identical, both have the same strap design, both tout the same dual channel propulsion technology, both claim many years in R & D, both have patents. The only difference I can see is that the Mantaray's come in different colors and are cheaper.
Edmundo

RonFrank
August 3rd, 2007, 04:24 PM
The only difference I can see is that the Mantaray's come in different colors and are cheaper.
Edmundo

The Mantaray's black fins are stiffer than the other colors, and slightly negative vs. slightly positive to neutral.

I like the white as it would be cool to use them for white balance which is what they were designed for.

After a bit of research online, my conclusion is that Mantaray, and Deep Outdoors are identical, just sold under different names.

So what color color were the fins you bought?

Dive Right In Scuba
August 3rd, 2007, 04:28 PM
Ron,

One of my Instructors has the Deep Sea....says they are great for student work, but anything where he wants to go fast or a current....not the best....Other than that, he loves them

Hows the Sealent?

Mike

Divin' Dave
August 3rd, 2007, 04:33 PM
My wife and I bought the APS fins for a Roatan trip as they're shorter and lighter than our Apollo splits. Like them so much we're probably switching to the APS for all our diving.

RonFrank
August 3rd, 2007, 05:20 PM
Ron,

One of my Instructors has the Deep Sea....says they are great for student work, but anything where he wants to go fast or a current....not the best....Other than that, he loves them

Hows the Sealent?

Mike

It's always interesting to hear that fins that otherwise work well, don't in current. People say that about the Biofins, and I love mine in current.

I'm really looking for a non-split to dive dry where I tend to want more traction, and also am in environments where it's easy to silt things up. The bio-fins are great, but they are floppy compared to most paddle fins.

I recommend the mask sealant to anyone that asks. However I purchased an Atomic Frameless mask, and it just does not leak! :lotsalove:

I think I've found my mask! Figures they are about the most expensive on the market! :10:

RonFrank
August 5th, 2007, 11:56 AM
The APS Manta Ray reps were at CO dive days yesterday, and I was able to demo these fins on a dive. The vis was so poor that I was spending more time focusing on Navigation and my buddies than on the fins. However I purchased a pair, in WHITE!

One first impression is that this strap system is the best I've seen in a rubber strap. I'm a die-hard spring strap user, but these straps are just like spring straps in that you set the length and then to get in and out of the fin you just pull the rubber tab over the back of the foot. This worked as well as spring straps with the set it and forget it method. They may not be as durable over a long period of time, but the rubber is quite strong so unless they start to dry out and crack, this is a great innovation. Time will tell. The tabs are larger than on my biofins, so a standard spring strap that is designed for many of the fins out there is not going to work unless the initial opening is larger than is on my current spring straps.

I will post a better write-up after I have a few more dives on them. My first impressions were good, they were comfortable, and worked well with all kick styles.

As to the question if APS, and Deep Outdoors are they same fins, they are. Deep Outdoors wanted to be the main distributor for these fins, however they are more tech, and did not want to carry any other color than black, and the market was limited. The parent company decided that Deep Outdoor would remain a distributor, but they wanted to promote this fins to a wider audience, so they are sold in four colors under the APS Mantaray name as well.

I got this from the rep, who may also be one of the higher ups in the company, but I'm not sure on that.

El Tiburon
August 5th, 2007, 01:06 PM
I wanted the Carribean Blue but it wasn't available so I bought the Aqua Blue ($10.00) discount for it not being my first choice in color. So I got them for $89.99. Also, LeisurePro has Stainless steel spring straps for them for $9.95. So I got mine w/springstraps for $100.00 :D .

RonFrank
August 5th, 2007, 01:48 PM
I wanted the Carribean Blue but it wasn't available so I bought the Aqua Blue ($10.00) discount for it not being my first choice in color. So I got them for $89.99. Also, LeisurePro has Stainless steel spring straps for them for $9.95. So I got mine w/springstraps for $100.00 :D .

Do those spring straps fit over the tabs? I know LP lists them as an accessory, but have you received the fins, and attached the straps?

El Tiburon
August 5th, 2007, 03:47 PM
I live in New York, so I picked them up at Leisurepro in Manhattan. The straps fit right over the rubber knob then you slide them in to the smaller hole. They don't come off easily. I wear a size nine shoe and I got the size large fins and the size large Spring straps. They fit perfectly on my Henderson Gold Core 7mm boots. Not too tight, not too loose, but fairly easy to doff. I dove with them last week, first dive they felt a little hard to fin, but by then end of the dive the difference was barely noticable. By the second dive they felt just as effortless to fin as my Twin Jets and I was practicing different kicks with no problem.

scubablue67
August 8th, 2007, 01:14 AM
I have been using the Six Gills for over a year and love them. I just found out about the Manta Rays and we now carry them in all colors. I have to disagree with anyone that thinks they don't work in current. I find them to have as much or more power than any fin I've tried. I originally purchased them for tech diving but due to the advantages of being short and easy to pack I use them all the time plus the white fins are awesome for teaching. My students never lose sight of me in low viz they really stand out even better than yellow. The strap that ships with the mantas works well but i really prefer the Deep Outdoors spring straps. The Manta Ray fin also has an upgraded fin post that works much better than the six gill version. I'm excited about the fin and hope that recreational divers find the fin appealing also with the muliple colors.

Rich

NitroWill
December 20th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Those of you that are using either of these fins..

Do you use spring straps or prefer the mantarays "universal strap"?

If you do use springs, which do you use and how do you like them?

Thanks :)

RonFrank
December 21st, 2007, 03:07 AM
I've been using these for a while with Manta Spring Straps. The straps provided with the fins work REALLY well. Very much like spring straps, only in rubber. IOW's set them, and forget them, and just pull them on over the heel.

They are still rubber, and subject to the cracking and failing over time, but I'd say that one would be very well off using the straps supplied for many years, or even decades. The ONLY reason I put spring straps on is I had a pair, and they are more durable over the long run.

NitroWill
December 21st, 2007, 11:19 AM
Which springs did you go with Ron? Someone said they had bigger post and most springs would not fit. Scuba.com lists a set of springs but they have quick release buckles which I don't care for.

NitroWill
December 22nd, 2007, 10:06 PM
I saw some used manarays my size on scuba.com last night for $50 so I jumped on them! Will give them a whirl in a couple of weeks!

scubablue67
December 24th, 2007, 02:14 AM
I really like the way the Deep Outdoors spring straps work on the fins. They are easy to spread to fit over post and then tighten down for secure use. I sure hate to use the straps that require altering the fins.

RonFrank
December 24th, 2007, 11:38 AM
I really like the way the Deep Outdoors spring straps work on the fins. They are easy to spread to fit over post and then tighten down for secure use. I sure hate to use the straps that require altering the fins.

Spring straps don't required any alteration of the fins if that is what you are getting at.

I initially thought that the posts on these fins were larger than on other fins, but that did not turn out to be the case.

Divin' Dave
December 24th, 2007, 04:56 PM
I was using spring on my fins, that was until I left them (and a hood) behind on a Catalina dive weekend. I liked the springs better than the supplied straps.

NitroWill
December 24th, 2007, 05:00 PM
So if the post seems to be the same size - any spring should work..


Might give these a try unless someone else has something else they like better

Tilos Spring Straps, Fins, Tilos, Tilos Spring Straps (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=TilosProDiverSpringStraps)

ickis
September 26th, 2009, 01:45 PM
if you go tech diving i know mostly stiff fins or regular stiffness that generate large amounts of thrust and power are good.
go here for a little perspective (it helped me quite a bit for looking at fins objectively being a force-fins fan):
18 New Fins | Scuba Diving Magazine (http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/2007/11/18-new-fins)

i dont know your prior experiences with fins but still, from tech diver with 3000+ dives to a freshly certified diver anyone will get confused when facing an onslaught of diving equipment manufacturers trying to get you to buy their gear.

if youre set on getting a mantaray i suggest you get the black one- the blade is stiffer (providing thrust).

scubabooty
October 29th, 2009, 10:41 PM
I have just started diving with the Mantaray in White and really like them (I know they are not tech black, but I for one don't mind). I work a lot with students and they really like my fins too. I usually use a Jet fin, but find them too heavy to do any flutter kick with, hard on my knees. Having students bumping into your legs all the time makes for a difficult frog kick.

I find I get good response out of the Manatrays for speed and they have great agility. I have yet to use them in the wrecks but will soon, and plan on taking them to Mexico for a couple of weeks of cave diving. I love the strap that comes with them - it keeps the fin on without digging into my heel. My dryboot fits well in the pocket and I just need to cinch up one notch each side to get my wet boots to fit.

I think each individual has to find a balance between the thrust and power a fin gives for that person and the energy expended to get that result. Being a smaller person, too stiff a fin gives me good short term gains, but in the long term my legs feel it much more.

My only problem is that I had to change my weighting around a bit as the lighter fin changed my trim. I consider that a minor problem an am happy to deal with that. I find I have less effort with my kicks and my legs feel less tired after keeping up the the guys on the long runs.

Overall, I give this fin two thumbs up!

APS Mantaray
November 18th, 2009, 12:10 AM
To read some fair and unbiased reviews of the Mantaray Fin made by world class diving experts- with extensive experience using a number of different fins, follow these website links: apsmantaray.com/product_reviews.html and apsmantaray.com/testVideo.html

When testing a fin, it’s necessary to try them out more than once or twice under various conditions and circumstances. And keep in mind, what works well for one person may not work as well for another without some adjustment. To see what divers are saying about the performance of the Mantaray Dive Fins please go to the website apsmantaray.com/testimonials.html.

APS Mantaray
November 18th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Anyone interested in knowing more about the Mantaray Dive Fins performance please visit the following links:

Product Review (http://www.apsmantaray.com/product_reviews.html)
Test Video (http://www.apsmantaray.com/testVideo.html)
Testimonials for the APS Mantaray Dive Fins (http://www.apsmantaray.com/testimonials.html).

ablake
January 20th, 2010, 03:25 AM
Been diving with Mantaray fins for a while, I like my fins. I like them enough to use them for rental gear. for Als diving. try them its worth your while. and you won't regreat using them

rab1412000
January 30th, 2010, 01:17 AM
its wierd how subadiving.com rated the six gill outdoor fin as a testers choice and teh aps mantarays as a midlevel performer. theyre the same fins !

Chocula
February 7th, 2010, 09:28 PM
I switched to the SixGill fins after having a chance to test several types of fins on John Wagner's test machine in the Summer of 2009. The same machine as seen in John's Test Video. I was able to pull just as hard with the ASP Mantarays as I was with Scubapro Jet fins or my Avanti Quattros. The ASP Mantarays were the least fatiguing, especially at full power. I could not even come close to the same amount of thrust when testing the split fins.

What really sold me on them was my first surf entry with them on. They are are so much easier to deal with in surf than my Avanti Quattros.

I have tried both the steel spring straps and the included rubber strap. I prefer the included rubber strap, but both systems felt secure.

:thumbs-up I strongly recommend ASP Mantaray or SixGill fin. I am giving away my Avanti Quattros because I will ALWAYS choose the SixGill over them. I get all the benefits of a short and light fin with no drawbacks that I have noticed.

rab1412000
February 7th, 2010, 09:33 PM
I switched to the SixGill fins after having a chance to test several types of fins on John Wagner's test machine in the Summer of 2009. The same machine as seen in John's Test Video. I was able to pull just as hard with the ASP Mantarays as I was with Scubapro Jet fins or my Avanti Quattros. The ASP Mantarays were the least fatiguing, especially at full power. I could not even come close to the same amount of thrust when testing the split fins.

What really sold me on them was my first surf entry with them on. They are are so much easier to deal with in surf than my Avanti Quattros.

I have tried both the steel spring straps and the included rubber strap. I prefer the included rubber strap, but both systems felt secure.

:thumbs-up I strongly recommend ASP Mantaray or SixGill fin. I am giving away my Avanti Quattros because I will ALWAYS choose the SixGill over them. I get all the benefits of a short and light fin with no drawbacks that I have noticed.

are you using the black fin or the white fin?
i bought the white finad found it a little too flexible. it was a size too small though and i did try it out for only two dives.. i have since sold them but i am considering getting an xl pair of mantarays. idid like it while i used it thugh, for the ease of finning, weight, compact design, and the general cool looks
my question is whether the stiffness of the black and white models are significantly differnt.
cheers

Chocula
February 7th, 2010, 09:51 PM
are you using the black fin or the white fin?
i bought the white finad found it a little too flexible. it was a size too small though and i did try it out for only two dives.. i have since sold them but i am considering getting an xl pair of mantarays. idid like it while i used it thugh, for the ease of finning, weight, compact design, and the general cool looks
my question is whether the stiffness of the black and white models are significantly differnt.
cheers

I am using the black Deep Outdoors SixGill fin that can be found at Scuba.com. It is my understanding that they are a little stiffer than the non black ASP Mantarays, but I did not noticed a huge difference.

John Wagner who can be reached via the ASP website was very responsive to my inquiries last summer and can probably answer your question better than I can.

Hintermann
February 16th, 2013, 05:09 PM
I am using the black Deep Outdoors SixGill fin that can be found at Scuba.com. It is my understanding that they are a little stiffer than the non black ASP Mantarays, but I did not noticed a huge difference.



I bought a pair of Deep Outdoors Sixgills in 2007 about 24 hours after reading about them on Sport Diver magazine. Best 95 I ever spent and after nearly 300 dives with them, I would not change them for anything else. They are still as good as new.

As far as I know, Deep Outdoors manufatured those fins on licence from APS for a limted period and no longer do them. The black fins are exactly the same irrestective of whether they are Deep Outdoors or APS Mantaray and they are a bit stiffer than the coloured ones. For me, they are just right.
Contrary to some reports, they are quite OK while swimming against a current but where they really stand out is while making quick twist and turns underwater or positining oneself in awkward spaces. For that reason, they are brilliant for use during underwater photography.

coldwaterlloyd
February 16th, 2013, 08:18 PM
I am going to give mine another try one day . They felt so weird the time I used them I packed them away . Just so lite compared to what I am use to .

roydude
June 7th, 2013, 06:48 AM
Well after reading a lot, this thread finally helped me make up my mind - I'm about to buy a pair of APS (black) mantaray's, but can anyone advise me on the size I should get?

I'm a UK size 7 (I think that's a USA size 9.5?) and I'll be wearing 3mm wetsuit boots.

From the sizing chart I saw, it looks like a 'small' would be perfect, but I want to double check with someone who owns them before I blow > 100 euros on these (the local dealer here won't take refunds / returns for these fins and they don't stock them so I can't try the sizes).

buddhasummer
June 7th, 2013, 07:00 AM
Well after reading a lot, this thread finally helped me make up my mind - I'm about to buy a pair of APS (black) mantaray's, but can anyone advise me on the size I should get?

I'm a UK size 7 (I think that's a USA size 9.5?) and I'll be wearing 3mm wetsuit boots.

From the sizing chart I saw, it looks like a 'small' would be perfect, but I want to double check with someone who owns them before I blow > 100 euros on these (the local dealer here won't take refunds / returns for these fins and they don't stock them so I can't try the sizes).

This from APS Mantaray site:

APS Mantaray Dive Fin Size Guideline (http://www.apsmantaray.com/size.html)

Looks like you might be on he cusp between small and medium, I'd probably choose medium if I were in your shoes with a gun to my head. Good luck.

roydude
June 7th, 2013, 07:07 AM
Mmmm actually I'm not sure of that USA shoe size conversion - this website Size Chart - Womens (http://www.drmartens.com/us-SizeChart.htm) says a UK 7 is a US 8... ???

buddhasummer
June 7th, 2013, 07:12 AM
Mmmm actually I'm not sure of that USA shoe size conversion - this website Size Chart - Womens (http://www.drmartens.com/us-SizeChart.htm) says a UK 7 is a US 8... ???


Shoe Size Comparison Chart for UK, US, European and Japanese Sizes - SafariQuip (http://www.safariquip.co.uk/all-categories/mens-footwear/shoe-size-comparisons-tables/)

Assuming youre a man, based on this conversion chart you'd be a US 8, that being the case according the APS site I linked to you'd be a Small.

roydude
June 7th, 2013, 07:20 AM
Haha - I just realised that size chart website header was for women (it was showing mens shoe sizes though honest! ;).

I can't find any other size chart for these (and I'm fed up of looking!) so I'm just going to hope this is correct and going for it!

Gunrock
July 8th, 2013, 08:19 PM
How funny, I recently dug up my APS MantaRays and decided to Google them, only to find this resurrected thread. I'd like to hear opinions from some of the posters who have now owned these fins for a while.

I picked up a brand-new pair super cheap in 2009 from someone offloading an extra set. It was a timely purchase because I was set to go to Cocos, and I took these fins. I've been reading fin reviews and listening to "expert" opinions on fins for over a decade now and I just don't expect any fin to live up to the hype. For the most part, fins are fins, especially when you're doing recreational diving.

Having said that, I like these considerably less than my Atomic split fins I've had since 2005. There are some strong currents at Cocos and I felt like I was working a lot harder with the MantaRays than I would have been with the Atomics. I tried them back home in San Diego a few times as well but I finally just hung them up and decided to stick with the Atomics.

My MantaRays are white, which I like for visibility, however they are filthy, mostly from the black straps rubbing against them. I've tried scrubbing and cleaning them with zero results. They are kind of sad-looking: off-white with lots of black streaks. They look old and worn despite having probably less than 50 dives on them, and approximately ten in the last several years.

Considering that I've hardly used them I was disappointed to notice recently that the rubber straps were deteriorating, to the point that I felt that any further use would risk tearing the straps. I ordered a new set online and replaced them.

Now having said all of that, I'm hanging onto them and will continue to use them on occasion. They are much more compact than the Atomics, so that makes them ideal for traveling. I've done some inter-island traveling and diving here in Hawaii so a compact fin is a really good thing to have. And even if I have to work a little harder, if they made it through Cocos then they should be suitable for whatever else I encounter. So now that I have my new straps I'll keep using them for boat diving and travel. I just wish I could find a way to get them clean and pretty-looking again. I wouldn't recommend these fins over any others that I've tried for regular use, but if you need fins that don't take up a lot of space in your bag/luggage then I'd say this is a good option.

roydude
July 10th, 2013, 11:31 AM
Aaargh - I got the 'small' and the foot pocket is HUGE! I could probably wear my drysuit with these, they're so big I can comfortably wear my trainers with them ... which is probably what I'll do (saves me some packing space, so there's a plus heh).

If you're a US size 8 and want these fins, you're gonna want to invest in some VERY thick boots.

buddhasummer
July 10th, 2013, 11:42 AM
Aaargh - I got the 'small' and the foot pocket is HUGE! I could probably wear my drysuit with these, they're so big I can comfortably wear my trainers with them ... which is probably what I'll do (saves me some packing space, so there's a plus heh).

If you're a US size 8 and want these fins, you're gonna want to invest in some VERY thick boots.

ive said many times the sizing is wonky, the small is suposed to be from size 6, I'm a 6.5 and yes they are huge. I ended up swapping the 29cm spring for a 24cm spring this solved my issue, you might want to do the same, 25cm springs are relatively easy to come by. Hollis said last August that they were going to offer a smaller spring, I gave up waiting, it's been almost and year and still no smaller spring.

roydude
July 21st, 2013, 05:59 AM
Finally got in the water with these fins yesterday. Aside from the ridiculous foot pocket size, I love them!!

The last few years I've been using jetstreams and oms slipstreams so I'm used to a very stiff fin, with that reassuring 'hard push' against the water when I'm frog-kicking giving me the feeling that I'm moving a lot of water. The mantaray's don't have that, when I frog-kicked it felt like I wasn't pushing any water at all ... but I was! I had to look at the bottom (and the pace of my fellow divers) to convince myself I was actually achieving any thrust!

It's a weird sensation, but I was moving pretty much the same pace as I would've with my jetstreams (I 'guess'. this is only measured by the fact that I kept up with the other divers ... without feeling like I was actually moving any water).

They seem bias to the 'downstroke' though, so although I can cruise with no effort at all doing a frog-kick, if I had to drag someone through a current I'd probably flutter kick to tap into the extra force they provide on the downkick.

All in all a really lovely fin for me (although they'd be a *lot* better, I suspect, if the foot pocket was a more reasonable size).


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