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makecoldplayhistory
March 28th, 2010, 12:41 AM
My wife and I are pretty new divers. We're only on dive number 20.


We bought our own masks last year (Mares X Vision) and love them. The difference over the cheap ones we used to borrow from the dive centres is amazing.

Is the same true of fins?

I haven't ever had a problem with the borrowed fins. My wife finds them quite uncomfortable though.

Is there a noticable difference when you spend a little money on them?

There seem to be soooo many different kinds at each price point that I don't even know where to start looking.

Thanks a lot


Mike

Tortuga68
March 28th, 2010, 02:44 AM
Is the same true of fins?

Is there a noticable difference when you spend a little money on them?

Yes

And at $70 Jets are a bargain

makecoldplayhistory
March 28th, 2010, 02:50 AM
Thanks.

Do you mean these?

scubapro . com / europe / uk / scubapro - products / fins / blade - fins / jet - fins

I can't post links untill I've posted 5 times so had to put spaces in the url :(

David Wilson
March 28th, 2010, 02:50 AM
Some people will say that you get what you pay for, but experience will show that the most expensive fins in the world are not necessarily going to be the best fins for each one of us. Fins, like shoes, are very personal items of gear. They have to match as closely as possible our feet's three dimensions: length, width and arch height whether we're planning to wear the extra bulk of socks/boots or not, so we're best off trying them on for size before purchase, wearing those extra socks/boots if that is going to be our normal use. It's a veritable odyssey finding fins that fit perfectly, not least because individual models are commonly labelled "Small", "Medium", "Large" and "Extra Large", each of which can mean anything. It's appalling that in this day and age fin makers don't provide exact measurements in millimetres (the Mondopoint system) of each fin pocket size's foot length and foot width, using the specifications of a National Standard such as DIN 7876.

Choosing fins isn't only about getting the right size for your feet but also about the right blade stiffness to suit not only your physical strength and stamina but also your priorities, whether it be power, manoeuvrability or endurance or any combination of these. There is no such thing as a "universal fin" in terms of sizing or performance. And you will find if you read some of the threads in this forum that there is a lack of consensus about the science of fins, which is hardly surprising as people often forget that the word "science" comes from the Latin word for "knowledge", i.e. what we currently know, not an absolute eternal fact or truth. We may understand how finning works better in ten or a hundred years' time. At the moment, there are just too many variables to control before we can reach a conclusion.

Note that I haven't so far made a recommendation of a make or model of fin that will be perfect for you and your wife. I don't intend to do so in this message because it's a distraction, but I will reveal that I use traditional all-rubber full-foot fins when I snorkel (I don't scuba-dive) in the North East of England and I'm very happy with the few fins of this type that I own because they fit my feet exactly, they suit the gentle style of snorkelling I enjoy now I'm in my sixties, and they're relatively cheap compared with the plastic-bladed fins I dislike (fin choice is partly rational (science) and partly irrational (fashion) :)). It took me quite a while, and plenty of experimentation, to locate what are my now favourite fins. The fact that my choice of fins suits me is totally irrelevant to you, however. You will have to make your own voyage of discovery when it comes to fins, and if you are in a position to borrow pairs of different types, then you can make up your own minds by testing the fins in the water and seeing whether they do what you want them to do without causing you fatigue or flopping about inefficiently. I recommend that you don't blindly follow anybody's advice which is limited to "Buy Brand X" or, even less helpfully, "Buy Model Y", because you will be on the receiving end of somebody else's choice of fins for themselves, not you. We live in a diverse world where everybody's dimensions, priorities and preferences are different. Don't rush to a solution, particularly somebody else's solution, focus on defining the problem of fin choice more precisely first, from your perspective, not excluding the criterion of cost, of course, but not letting yourself be over-influenced by it.

makecoldplayhistory
March 28th, 2010, 02:56 AM
Thanks David.

I'm not really in a position to try other fins. Our diving friends are like us... new and tend to use the dive resort's equipment.

We can obviously measure comfort / fit in a shop.

Other than that though, I'm really clueless.

I guess that longer fins are more tiring, but you can go faster.*

Split fins offer more manoeuvrability.*

*generalisations, of course...

David Wilson
March 28th, 2010, 03:39 AM
You're perhaps trying to arrive at your ultimate destination, your perfect pair of fins, too fast. It took me many years to find what suited me best. In the intervening time, it's a matter of finding the best approximations to what we're after. You've mentioned some of the benefits of fins, including speed and manoeuvrability, to which I would add endurance, i.e. you can wear the fins over an extended period without discomfort. You will have to decide what is the greatest priority for you in the kind of diving you do. No fin will fulfil every one of these criteria for you. Decide first which matters most, bearing in mind that speed isn't necessarily vital in anything other than competitive finswimming. In your own case, you sound pretty satisfied with the fins you have borrowed. Have you any reason to change them for something else, then? In your wife's case, she needs to determine why she dislikes the fins she is currently using. That's sometimes a good alternative starting point. List the negatives, then you can look round for something that eliminates those negatives, though often, in my experience, by putting other negatives in their place! :) To begin with, have you decided yet whether you prefer open-heel or full-foot fins? I know that many divers in the Far East, particularly Japanese divers, prefer full-foots to open-heels in the warmer water, but that's not a universal choice, of course. And before anybody tells you otherwise, you can wear full-foots with socks or boots, so long as you make sure they fit your fins before you buy them. I myself prefer full-foots, despite the fact that most British divers probably use open-heels, but none of this should influence you either way. Pick whatever fits you most comfortably.

Tortuga68
March 28th, 2010, 03:47 AM
Thanks.

Do you mean these?

scubapro . com / europe / uk / scubapro - products / fins / blade - fins / jet - fins

Dunno, even when I removed all the spaces the link went to the SP home page

But these: ScubaPro Jet Fins, Black (http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/SCPFJ.html)

(oops they've gone up in price since I last bought a pair)

They're not for everyone but you'll be hard pressed to find someone who uses them and doesn't like them

RJP
March 28th, 2010, 07:32 AM
you'll be hard pressed to find someone who uses them and doesn't like them

By definition, that's virtually true for anything/everything. (Few people use gear they don't like.)

:eyebrow:

That said, I do love my Jets.

spectrum
March 28th, 2010, 07:56 AM
Mike,

As you have seen here is a wide range of fin prices. What you get is a mix of quality, performance, hype and dogma.

We have used to fins so far in our household and both have served us well.

We started with the Aeris Velocity (not split) and really like them. For the newer/occasional diver they are easy on the legs, propel and maneuver nice and are not wicked heavy to pack for vacations. They have very high reviews when introduced (2003?) A successor version was introduced last year and it seems to build on the soft vented center design.

Last year when a fin finally cracked (600+ dives) I gave ScubaPro Jets a try. They swim very similar but being stouter I find them much more in tune with doing things like the frog kick. They are relatively heavy so they are a consideration when packing. That are also negative in the water and this will be reflected in how much weight you need and how you manage trim.

I think both can be had in the $100. per pair price range here in the U.S. spring straps enhance each.

Pete

Jorgy
March 28th, 2010, 08:01 AM
Perhaps you go provide more detail on what your wife finds uncomfortable?

My darling bride had traditional open heal blade fins and would get severe calf cramps......now she dives very soft split fins (Yellow SP Twin Jets).....no more leg cramps......

One of my dive club buddies would get sore on the top of his feet after longer dives when he used SP Jets so he finally bought Hollis F1 fins.......because of the foot pocket design

I think the fin thing is all about foot/bootie/fin pocket/kick style/leg strength relationship....and it is not one size fits all.......

I can say that my darling bride was on the verge of giving up diving until she switched fins.......so addressing the issue is important

M

SeaHound
March 28th, 2010, 09:02 AM
Yes

And at $70 Jets are a bargain

You know I cant agree with this more.SP jets arethe best fins I have ever put on.But it is a very heavy fin so people either love it or they would hate it.

scubafanatic
March 28th, 2010, 10:26 AM
scubadiving.com and divernet.com have both done MANY big fin tests over the years, I'd suggest you start there and do a bit of reading.

Nemrod
March 28th, 2010, 12:36 PM
My wife and I are pretty new divers. We're only on dive number 20.


We bought our own masks last year (Mares X Vision) and love them. The difference over the cheap ones we used to borrow from the dive centres is amazing.

Is the same true of fins?

I haven't ever had a problem with the borrowed fins. My wife finds them quite uncomfortable though.

Is there a noticable difference when you spend a little money on them?

There seem to be soooo many different kinds at each price point that I don't even know where to start looking.

Thanks a lot


Mike

Look for some Mares Avanti X3 on closeout. Not expensive, very good scuba fin. You will need medium weight boots, they run a little large. Or, the Avanti comes in a full foot version also. Google is your friend, should be under 50 dollars. Just got some for myself, my wife loves hers and has had them three years now I think. Me, the jury is out until I get them in the ocean.

http://www.leisurepro.com/prod/MRSFAX.html?ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=MRSFAX

or

http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/MRSFPT.html?Search=op%3ddtSearch%26Term%3davanti%2 6SearchFlag%3dall%26AdvSrchSortField%3dRelevance%2 6DescSort%3d0%26Description%3don%26Hit%3d1

N

FireInMyBones
March 28th, 2010, 12:52 PM
I love my Jets. A lot of people think that the split fins are the way to go. I have both split fins and a pair of Jets and the Jets are my favorite.

TSandM
March 28th, 2010, 01:10 PM
What you want for a fin depends in part on what you do when you dive. And fins vary, as you already know, from quite cheap to ridiculously expensive. Sometimes, you are dealing with small increments of improvement in some quality for relatively large jumps in price.

For example, for pool use, I have Deep See Pulse fins. They are plastic blade fins, and very inexpensive. They are stiff enough to do all the "alternative" kicks with. I have used them on one warm water dive trip, and I doubt I will use them again, because for ocean diving, I prefer the stronger "bite" of the water that my ScubaPro Jet fins can take. But I was able to dive perfectly well with the less expensive fins -- I'm just spoiled by having something I like better.

I have tried more expensive fins, like the ScubaPro TwinJets and the Seawing Novas. Both are good fins for swimming straight forward, but are less useful for precise maneuvering. If you are an underwater photographer, for example, precise maneuvering is often far more important than covering a lot of ground.

In the grand universe of scuba gear, fins are at the inexpensive end of the spectrum, and I suspect a lot of people try various makes over time, and it probably isn't all that unusual for someone to have several types that they use in different settings.

David Wilson
March 28th, 2010, 03:11 PM
>If you are an underwater photographer, for example, precise maneuvering is often far more important than covering a lot of ground.<

The Australian professional underwater photographer below, Pete Atkinson, has posted an interesting piece online about his choice of diving equipment.
http://www.divernet.com/siteimage/scale/800/600/91050.png
Here's what he says about the simple Eyeline full-foot fins he uses:

I currently use the best fins I have ever used, but no dive store in Cairns will stock them, as they aren't profitable enough. They are orange and blue, Malaysian rubber fins by Eyeline, available from a local sports shop for £20. From new, I could snorkel for a couple of hours without any hint of blisters. They are stiff enough that I can push a Seacam housing around all day. For the diving I do, such full-foot fins are by far the best. Manufacturers continue to dream up fancy expensive gimmicks to extract more money from us. I'll concede that a few of these might actually be useful but, offhand, I can't think of any.
My favourite kit - Pete Atkinson - Divernet (http://www.divernet.com/Diving_Gear/gear_features/334185/my_favourite_kit_pete_atkinson.html)

Keeping things simple and knowing what you want from your gear can pay dividends when it comes to fins.

scubafanatic
March 28th, 2010, 03:19 PM
>If you are an underwater photographer, for example, precise maneuvering is often far more important than covering a lot of ground.<

The Australian professional underwater photographer below, Pete Atkinson, has posted an interesting piece online about his choice of diving equipment.
http://www.divernet.com/siteimage/scale/800/600/91050.png
Here's what he says about the simple Eyeline full-foot fins he uses:

I currently use the best fins I have ever used, but no dive store in Cairns will stock them, as they aren't profitable enough. They are orange and blue, Malaysian rubber fins by Eyeline, available from a local sports shop for £20. From new, I could snorkel for a couple of hours without any hint of blisters. They are stiff enough that I can push a Seacam housing around all day. For the diving I do, such full-foot fins are by far the best. Manufacturers continue to dream up fancy expensive gimmicks to extract more money from us. I'll concede that a few of these might actually be useful but, offhand, I can't think of any.
My favourite kit - Pete Atkinson - Divernet (http://www.divernet.com/Diving_Gear/gear_features/334185/my_favourite_kit_pete_atkinson.html)

Keeping things simple and knowing what you want from your gear can pay dividends when it comes to fins.

based on this photo, I'm not 100% sure I want gear tips from a dude who dives a 'butt mounted tank'......that's the mark of an ultra-newbie diver.

Nemrod
March 28th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Yeah, and try to find those or anything like them. The Otarie, Voit Super Vikings and so many simple, rubber, full foot fins have disappeared under the onslaught of technology that largely does nothing but justify a higher price (read as more profitable for dive retailers).

People are sold a line of BS and they gobble it up hook, line and sinker.

Scuba fins today are too big and too complicated and too expensive.

Your average, usual, overweight, obese, out of shape, jelly butt, big gut scuba diver, take it however one likes, simply has no muscle power or aerobic capacity to push the gigantic sling shots, turbo vented, super duper triple stiff split finned super scooper wonder flipper they just bought for 250 dollars US and would be better off with a simple, smaller bladed fin of moderate stiffness and then spending the leftover towards a treadmill.

N

Jorgy
March 28th, 2010, 03:39 PM
I think the butt mounted tank is his pony....and an artifact of using a wide angle lens......

I will say that my wife really likes her expensive split fins......:eyebrow:

I have been know to grab my son's SP twin jets and jump in the water.....feels like not having a fin at all......:D

But I do prefer a stiffer fin (SP Jets) when I am trying to take pictures or diving in and around a wreck.....

M

FireInMyBones
March 28th, 2010, 03:49 PM
If you wanted a full foot fin like the one in the above picture, you can go to any swim store and buy a pair for about $20. These are great for swimming laps and practicing strokes. I like the stiffer open heal (that can be used with boots) for diving with gear.

See what you can find used. No use paying gobs of money for something too fancy. Best of luck.

Lindzi258
March 28th, 2010, 03:58 PM
i have bio fins and I love them with my spring strap! I have a very small foot.... size 5 and these always feel like they are in place.

David Wilson
March 28th, 2010, 04:10 PM
based on this photo, I'm not 100% sure I want gear tips from a dude who dives a 'butt mounted tank'......that's the mark of an ultra-newbie diver.

But he's not giving gear tips. He's simply describing how he made up his mind when he came to choose his fins. It's his problem-solving process, including the definition of his criteria and priorities, that is worthy of consideration.

David Wilson
March 28th, 2010, 04:29 PM
Yeah, and try to find those or anything like them.

Eyeline Fins
http://www.800allswim.com/DiveFins.jpg
Eyeline is based in Australia, Nem, but you can buy their fins in the United States at the online store of WBH Swimwear and Accessories, based in Dresher, Pennsylvania:
ALLSWIM.COM - Training Aids - Leggs & Feet (http://www.800allswim.com/training_aids-legs-feet.html)
These are exactly the same fins as the underwater photographer is holding in the picture I posted. I once ordered a pair from WBH and I can assure you that these all-rubber full-foot fins have much stiffer, powerful blades than most. They certainly compare favourably in terms of propulsion to Spirotechnique's and US Divers' vintage Otaries: I've tried both of these.


The Otarie, Voit Super Vikings and so many simple, rubber, full foot fins have disappeared under the onslaught of technology that largely does nothing but justify a higher price (read as more profitable for dive retailers).

I agree that the great all-rubber full-foots of the past, including the Cressi Rondine, have vanished from the scene, but there are still some comparable quality all-rubber full-foot fins around to maintain the legacy, for example Japanese-made Gull Hard Mews, which are now available in the USA too:
http://www.canamuwhgear.com/wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/mewfins.jpg
Gull Mew Hard Fin | CanAm Underwater Hockey Gear (http://www.canamuwhgear.com/products-page/fins-fin-keepers/gull-mew-hard-fin/)


People are sold a line of BS and they gobble it up hook, line and sinker.

Scuba fins today are too big and too complicated and too expensive.

Your average, usual, overweight, obese, out of shape, jelly butt, big gut scuba diver, take it however one likes, simply has no muscle power or aerobic capacity to push the gigantic sling shots, turbo vented, super duper triple stiff split finned super scooper wonder flipper they just bought for 250 dollars US and would be better off with a simple, smaller bladed fin of moderate stiffness and then spending the leftover towards a treadmill. N

No argument there, Nem.

Nemrod
March 28th, 2010, 07:59 PM
If you wanted a full foot fin like the one in the above picture, you can go to any swim store and buy a pair for about $20. These are great for swimming laps and practicing strokes. I like the stiffer open heal (that can be used with boots) for diving with gear.

See what you can find used. No use paying gobs of money for something too fancy. Best of luck.

No, I have tried those, they may be like the ones in the picture but they are not at all like an Otarie or Viking.

The Viking was actually a very smooth fin, frog kicked well, not too big and not too stiff but could move a scuba diver with authority, simple blade, nothing fancy.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b395/JRWJR/Scuba%20ads/69730997_o.jpg

N

Nemrod
March 28th, 2010, 08:04 PM
David, those Eyeline fins in your post, not so good in my opinion, too stiff and not sized fro scuba, pool toy quality. The Gull, not available in the USA but look like a good fin, look a bit too long but that is just a matter of taste, 90 dollars, ouch. But we have had this discussion before.

Stiff does not equal good.

N

Jorgy
March 28th, 2010, 09:09 PM
SP Lighting Jets are great fins.......as are many others.......;)

I still say that fins depend on the diver.........:crafty:

OP said his spouse did not like her fins......for whatever reason.......:confused:

Try a bunch and find the ones she likes.......as N said fins are cheap in the grand scheme of diving........:shocked2:

Here is darling bride and daughter descending on a Superior Producer wreck in St Thomas.......priceless......:)

Note the Yellow SP Twin Jets.........:D

M

scubafanatic
March 28th, 2010, 11:50 PM
SP Lighting Jets are great fins.......as are many others.......;)

I still say that fins depend on the diver.........:crafty:

OP said his spouse did not like her fins......for whatever reason.......:confused:

Try a bunch and find the ones she likes.......as N said fins are cheap in the grand scheme of diving........:shocked2:

Here is darling bride and daughter descending on a Superior Producer wreck in St Thomas.......priceless......:)

Note the Yellow SP Twin Jets.........:D

M

nice photo!

David Wilson
March 29th, 2010, 01:26 AM
David, those Eyeline fins in your post, not so good in my opinion, too stiff and not sized fro scuba, pool toy quality. The Gull, not available in the USA but look like a good fin, look a bit too long but that is just a matter of taste, 90 dollars, ouch. But we have had this discussion before.

Stiff does not equal good.

N

I somehow knew you were going to say that, Nem, and I respect your opionion, so we'll just have to agree to disagree :). At least let me say that the professional photographer below is satisfied with his Eyeline fins, not only because of the bargain price, but also because they perform to his specifications, and not necessarily anybody else's:
http://www.divernet.com/siteimage/scale/800/600/91050.png
As for the Gull Hard Mews, the underwater hockey equipment distributor and Gull Hard Mew retailer CanAm is based in the USA, Rapid River, MI to be precise.

Meanwhile, one model of all-rubber full-foot fin is experiencing something of a renaissance in Europe. The Najade, the standard fin of the East German military for several decades, is again in production in Hungary, using the original moulds:

http://www.debrecenibuvarklub.hu/bitmaps/uszony1.jpg

They're now popular with competitive finswimmers as well.

My own philosophy with fins, as in so many other things, is that it's "chacun à son goût", each to his own. One person's choice of fin is bound to be incomprehensible to another person. I for one have never understood what anybody else sees in plastic-bladed fins, because when I started snorkelling in the late 1950s, the few plastic-bladed fins around were solely designed for people who couldn't afford all-rubber fins and didn't mind their feet being cut and mangled by the hard plastic foot pockets.

In deference to the original poster, I would simply say: fin discussions on Scubaboard always generate a lot of heat, but they do generate some light as well. The diversity of responses simply shows that there isn't just one answer to the question "what is the best fin?", no matter what fin manufacturers and retailers try to tell us. The way forward is to rephrase the question as "what is the best fin for me?" and that's a question that only the individual can answer, after listing what (s)he wants, and doesn't want, the fin to be and do. Good luck with your quest.

BillH53
May 20th, 2010, 06:12 PM
David

You are so correct in "to each his own". I used the USD Otarie fins for "freediving" foryears and absolutelu loved them. I used USD Rockets for Scuba. The only drawback for the Otarie's was the Floatability. ( I think back then the Blue were Floaters the Black versions were not). When teaching Ditch & dons one had to weigh down the fins.

Now as I am trying to get back into snorkeling I miss the Otaries. The Eyelines in the picture of the Photagrapher sure look like Otaries. And the comments I've seen here make me want to try them. On the WBH Swimwear and Accessories site they say to order larger size for men. I've emailed them as to why. Hope to hear from them and be able to order them soon. Thanks for your informative postings

NAUIwowee
May 21st, 2010, 10:01 AM
I'm an assistant instructor at my LDS which carries ScubaPro, Oceanic, and TUSA gear. For new students who are not sure what they need and are just looking for a good starting point, I usually recommend the following:

TUSA Liberator X-ten
Tabata USA, Inc. - NEW : SF-50/5500 LIBERATOR X-TEN [SF-50/5500] (http://www.tusa.com/shop/sf505500-liberator-xten-p-41-c-15_19.html)

or the ScubaPro Jet Sport
JET SPORT - SCUBAPRO-UWATEC (http://www.scubapro.com/americas/english/scubapro-products/fins/blade-fins/jet-sport)

Both are relatively inexpensive, light-weight fins with good performance (I used the X-tens myself for years). I tell them that after they are certified and get a little more experience, then they can start experimenting with the more expensive, specialized fins until they find what suits them best.

eric_alo
September 18th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of buying the Scubapro Jet Sport Fins. However, I'm torn between buying the jet sport vs Jet fins.
Any comment on this?
I can't find any review on the Scubapro Jet Sport fins.

RJP
September 18th, 2010, 10:56 AM
Is there a noticable difference when you spend a little money on them?



It's important to get good fins that fit well and suit your dive style, but it's not important to spend a lot of money to get good fins that fit well and suit your dive style.

Figure out what style fin you want (paddles, blades, splits, etc) and then find the ones that fit best. Then ask how much they cost.

RJP
September 18th, 2010, 11:07 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of buying the Scubapro Jet Sport Fins. However, I'm torn between buying the jet sport vs Jet fins.
Any comment on this?
I can't find any review on the Scubapro Jet Sport fins.

Don't get distracted by the fact that they both have the word "Jet" in the name. They are two different fin styles.

Jets are "paddles" which are a touch wider than the blades, and a little bit shorter. They are very stiff and are well-suited to frog kicking and fine maneuvering. They are OK for flutter kicking, but because they are heavier and stiffer they aren't ideal for flutter kicking.

http://www.underwaterdivingequipment.com/images/scubapro-jet-fins.png

and the Jet Sports are "blades"

http://www.dolphinscuba.com/v/vspfiles/photos/FI_25.879-DPS-2T.jpg

Blades are longer and a bit more flexible, and also lighter. They are OK for frog kicking, but due to their longer length and flexibility aren't great, even less so for fine maneuvering. They are designed for, and better suited to, flutter kicking.

eric_alo
September 20th, 2010, 02:13 AM
Thank you RJP. I think I'll settle with Jet Sport since I'm doing mostly flutter kicks..

DrunkenParrot
September 21st, 2010, 10:30 PM
Behold the Holy Grail of Fins.......Been through hell and then some.
http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad15/brycebentley/IMAG0170.jpg

..... and proof they are the holy grail......
http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad15/brycebentley/poorly.jpg


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