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Finclip - First Dives Review

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by ibj40, May 17, 2018.

  1. ibj40

    ibj40 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    1,929
    1,050
    113
    First, some personal background:

    I screwed up my lower back when I was 26 while working underneath a car. Even though I worked through that issue to be very physically active (competitive distance runner from my mid-30's to late 50's), my lower back has continued to be sensitive and unpredictable (I wear a back brace when I do any kind of physical work, such as mowing my lawn).

    About ten years ago, I had a severe Sciatic nerve issue which rendered by left leg to about a 30% strength level. Following months of physical therapy (extended due to a hamstring pull in my right leg due to it carrying too much of the PT effort), I finally have achieved about a 95% left leg (although my left foot and outer left calf are still numb).

    I was certified in 1985, and have probably (if I had logged all of them) over 1,000 open water dives to my credit, obtaining PADI Divemaster status in 2001. I dive a BARE 5mm Velocity wetsuit, primarily for the lower back and leg support that the thicker neoprene affords me, even though my diving is primarily tropical.

    One issue that continued to evolve during my dive trips was difficulty in removing my fins while hanging on a ladder dropped from the side of a small boat (which represents over 95% of my current diving). My first attempted solution was to go to a fin with a bigger foot pocket (Mares Excel Plus), which proved not to be the solution, as my lack of mobility didn't give me easy access to the side buckle, and even once opened, I still could not generate sufficient leverage to easily remove the fin from my foot.

    Finally, a solution:

    I became interested in the Finclip when the first crowdfunding announcements were made. The initial descriptions intrigued me, as I could finally see a design that might address my issue. I invested immediately, and patiently waited through both crowdfunding efforts, ordering two sets, one for myself, and the other for my wife if she chose to take advantage of the technology.

    Both sets arrived early this year. Each set comes in three bubble packets, along with a very comprehensive set of instructions. During the crowdfunding process, we provided certain information to the developer, including type and size of fin.

    When it came to assembly, I was very careful to follow every word of the instructions carefully and precisely. I laid out each piece, next to my fins, and without removing my original fin straps, mentally walked through the assembly process. Once I was comfortable, I then proceeded, again, following every word of the instructions. Dry fitting was very encouraging, and I couldn't wait to dive them (although my next dive trip was not until this May).

    Here are some pictures of our Mares fins, blue are my wife's (with the standard equipment straps), silver are mine (with the Finclip installed).

    42114348361_591d005f4f.jpg

    28241681828_c73fe7a043.jpg

    And here a dry fit with booties.

    28241681928_549758c8ff.jpg

    42114348951_99f39b2fd1.jpg

    42114348751_6455b1a415.jpg

    And finally, here in the wet.

    42114348001_e1bdd6640a.jpg

    28241681508_fa3eb00473.jpg

    I have to say that diving them met every expectation I had, both with putting them on, as well as removing them in the water.

    While one might assume from the construction, there is no difference in the sensation from the rear support piece on the back of my foot/ankle, as opposed to what I recall from the standard strap that came with the Excel fins.

    From my measurements, the access point for removing the fin has moved over seven inches, when comparing the standard latch to the top of the Finclip. Plus, once the back of the Finclip is lowered, the stiffness and added length gives me additional leverage to push the fin off the toe of my bootie, while also giving me a secure handhold to make sure my fins don't float away.

    There have already been other discussions regarding this item here on Scubaboard, and every diving product ever created does not meet a universal need.

    Notwithstanding any other methods of fin retention, I will have to say that the Finclip meets my needs without question, and I am glad that I took the opportunity to get in on the initial funding.
     
    Schwob, drrich2, Kharon and 2 others like this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    53,525
    20,196
    113
    From this angle, it doesn't appear to have the entanglement issue I thought it would have. Way cool.
     
    tridacna and Sam Miller III like this.
  3. ibj40

    ibj40 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    1,929
    1,050
    113
    Actually, as the pictures show, the rear "clip" rode up the back of my bootie (BARE hightop 5mm) and under the bottom of the wetsuit leg. But, once outstretched, hanging from the boat ladder, were easily accessible for removal.
     
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    53,525
    20,196
    113
    Interesting.
     
  5. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    3,385
    2,336
    113
    Thanks for the review. I was sceptical at first (my natural inclination). The more I thought about it the more I thought they might be the answer to my needs. From your experience I am definitely going to order a pair. Just wish they came in red - lol.
     
  6. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Diego, CA
    130
    51
    28
    As someone with limited flexibility following an L5:S1 surgery, color my intrigued.
     
  7. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    3,385
    2,336
    113
    As was said in Lethal Weapon - "god hates me, that's what" I just found out from Paolo (the inventor) that the FinClip won't work with my fins. The boot heel extends out too far. %$#@& @$#%&*!!!!!!!!

    While I could buy new fins I can't find anything even close to acceptable. Oh Well - life sux, then you dive. At least I can get them on and off when I'm not wearing neoprene.
     
  8. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    4,307
    2,688
    113
    1. On January 29, 1957 Richard "Dick" Klein, The then innovative president of the California based company 'Healthways" was issued US patent number 2,2779, 077 titled "Foot attachment for facilitating swimming "

      At that time it was a unique method of locking the fin straps in place with out resorting to applying copious amounts of electrical tape to secure the straps and insure they did not slip, Since that time 61 years ago locking fin straps have became common on all fins.

      At that junction in history all known American manufactures were located in SoCal and all produced or distributed non adjustable fins: the Cressi Rondine, the Squale, the Manatee, the Viking and the choice ot the serious diver the board stiff Duck feet.

      To custom fit and adjust the fin to the diver copious (I LIKE that word) amounts of the newly introduced wet suit (1954) material was taped with sickly gooey black electrical tape to the inside on the heal strap and often to the sides

      At that time there was only one certifying agency, the very demanding and certainly prestigious LA County UW Instructors Association The 1954 LA Co UW instruction manual Titled "UW recreation" specifically warned the student prospective diver to avoid adjustable fins. Now 65 plus years later almost all fins produced are adjustable..

      I recall when Bill Walters, LA County UW Instructor, previewed his unique radical BIU dubbed the At Pac at an LA Co UW Instructor's event so many years ago. We were all in awe -- A BIU? weights in the back pack ? ????
      With in a few years we were all using At Pacs

      Now we have a new and exciting invention a Fin Clip--

      Never used one, never seen one, seriously doubt if I will ever see one or use one.

      It or a variation of the Fin Clip will soon migrate into main stream diving, either via the current company or an adaption/modification by a large established dive company

      Sam Miller, III

    2. Just like Dick's adjustable fins some day the fin clip or a variation will become a standard on all fins
    3. sdm
     
    АлександрД likes this.
  9. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    5,220
    2,275
    113
    What fins do you have?
     
  10. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    3,385
    2,336
    113
    Aeris Accel - and before anyone tries to sell me on alternatives - the Accel comes in just under 21 inches and just less than 1.5 pounds. They are stiff, super rugged and have good power. I have a ton of dives on them and they are perfect for my diving. Also, I've looked at just about every fin out there that works with the FinClip and none come even close to the parameters of the Accel.

    Without neoprene I only have a bit of trouble getting my right fin on and off - mostly when hanging on a boat ladder (which I rarely do) because of flexibility issues. Both fins are a bit difficult when I'm divng cold water and in thick insulation. But I'm not inclined to spend $200 for new fins and another $100 for the FinClips even if I could find fins that match the length and weight of the Accel's.

    I would love to be able to use the FinClip simply for the ease but they won't work for me. Paolo told me they are working on a new version that could work on the Accel but it will be some time before it's available. I'll suck it up and wait.

    In the meantime I've ordered a full front zip, 5mm shortie that I'll try out for cold water and see if that helps with flexibility. I've wanted a replacement for a 2.5mm snorkeling shortie anyway. I'm pretty cold hearty so it might be a partial solution.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    tridacna likes this.

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