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Are AMF Swimaster 3F98 Mini Mark X Fins any good? Can't find much out online.

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Ocean_ Hunter, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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    I just bought a pair online & haven't picked them up yet, I got them for $10 N.Z which is like $6.50 U.S I want to use them to free dive for seafood, Crayfish, Paua (Abalone) just want to know if they are any good? as they are vintage? I'm not a pro by any means but would appreciate any feedback... Thanks in advance.

    1214978301.jpg
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    The Swimaster 3F98 Mini Mark X fin is marked as "new" in the 1979 Voit-Swimaster catalogue:
    Swimaster_3F98_1.jpg
    Swimaster_3F98_2.jpg

    My collection of scans of AMF-Voit-Swimaster catalogues is incomplete. I have the 1977 edition, where these fins are conspicuous by their absence, but I don't have the 1978 version or any of the company's post-1979 catalogues, so I cannot say how long the fins remained in production. The fins pictured above in the 1979 catalogue are marked "Made in USA", which indicates that they are the "original" 3F98s. Voit-Swimaster outsourced fin production to Malaysia during the 1980s, so if the fins you purchased are labelled "Made in Malaysia", they will have been manufactured later than 1979.

    The name "Swimaster 3F98 Mini Mark X fin" implies that a series of Mark X fins preceded it. The Swimaster 2F93 Mark X fin appeared in 1974 as an unashamed Jet fin clone:
    Swimaster_2F93_MarkX.jpg

    The 1977 catalogue expanded the range of vented fins:
    Swimaster_2F96-8.jpg
    So your fins represent a new series of Jet fin clones made from gum rubber. This choice of material marks a return to the 1950s, when Duck Feet fins reigned supreme and gum rubber fins were associated with excellent quality and durability. Your fins may be heavier than those made from so-called "technopolymers" or "space-age" materials, but they will be relatively indestructible and their performance will not disappoint you if your kick is sufficiently powerful. I can't speak from personal experience as I only use full-foot fins.

    Do let us know how you get on with your recent purchase. A pair of gum-rubber fins for just over 6 bucks is a real bargain.
     
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  3. kablooey

    kablooey Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: San Diego
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    I don't know the "Mini" Mark X, but I've been diving the regular Mark X for about ten years now.
    Picked up my first pair on eBay to round out a vintage set-up, but found them to be a surprisingly good every-day rugged fin for our west coast cold water diving.
    When I started using them more I installed a set of spring straps, which is especially helpful for surf entries.
    Now they're my first choice go-to fins for local diving.
    But too heavy for travel.

    Since that time I've bought three additional pairs of Mark X's.
    Why three?
    I love them, and I keep finding them ridiculously cheap on eBay or at garage sales!
    I'm Swimaster Rescue, and I give them a good home.

    I paid $3 for my second pair at a scuba swap meet.

    My fins are older than most of my dive buddies.

    If SB readers are planning to buy a pair, be on the look-out for cracking in the rubber around the foot pocket. That's bad.
    Almost always the straps are cracking, but they can be replaced.

    K.
     
    dead dog and Sam Miller III like this.
  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
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    Don't freedivers generally prefer long and skinny fins vs short and fat like these? I've no idea why, but that's what I always see. Jets (and jet clones) have a solid reputation among scuba divers, though.
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

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    Ocean_Hunter intends to use these fins for underwater hunting. Compare the fins that the Haenyeo indigenous breathhold divers on Korea's Jeju Island opt to wear when they make a very good living harvesting seafood:
    bluefins5-png.551554.png
    haenyeo_lowres_shutterstock_1099157915-960x640-jpg.551552.jpg
     
  6. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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    Thanks for your input much appreciated.
     
  7. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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  8. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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    Thanks for taking the time out to respond David, much appreciated... your very thorough.
    I'll try and remember to let you know how I get on, thanks.
     
  9. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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    Thanks for taking the time out to respond David, much appreciated... your very thorough.
    I'll try and remember to let you know how I get on, thanks.
     
  10. Ocean_ Hunter

    Ocean_ Hunter Angel Fish

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    Thanks for taking the time out to respond David, much appreciated... your very thorough.
    I'll try and remember to let you know how I get on, thanks.
     
    David Wilson likes this.

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