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Vintage Oceanic fins - farallon?

Discussion in 'Vintage Diving & Equipment' started by sisidmarino, May 14, 2017.

  1. regulator bj

    regulator bj Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: devon u.k.
    "Skin Diver" magazine write up June 1975.

    Fara-fin 001_zps0rzetqhv.jpg Fara-fin 002_zpsg3w0ix33.jpg Fara-fin 003_zpsn8pjil1k.jpg Fara-fin 004_zpsuzvgsinz.jpg
    john 68
    mdb likes this.
  2. Luis H

    Luis H Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Maine
    It is interesting that even Farallon produced a Jet Fin clone (as shown in the earlier posts in this thread).

    Here are some pictures of my two Farallon fins. The one on the left with the brace has been discussed, but the one on the right seem to have been even less popular. I have only seen this pair.

    I have used the fins on the right. They are just very stiff. The ones on the left are not usable. One of the braces has a big crack and the rubber attachment is also in bad shape.

    When I worked in the dive shop in the 70’s, we were a Farallon dealer and we had at least one pair of the ones with the brace, but I don’t remember seen the ones on the right.

    It is interesting that it had spring straps back then. The attachment system of the spring straps is also interesting. Another interesting point on that spring strap attachment is that one of the newest fins in the market, the Deep 6 Eddy fins are now also using the same spring strap attachment system.

    Look at the similarity of the spring straps to these new fins:
    Deep 6 Eddy Fin - Fins

    I don't know when were the Farallon fins on the right (with the spring straps) around. I would be interested on knowing what years they were sold.


    That spring strap system and the comfort of the foot pocket was way ahead of its time.


    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    mdb likes this.
  3. jon holcomb

    jon holcomb Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Fort bragg, california
    I have been diving since 1961, all recreational until 1974 and used all types of fins. Farallon braced fins were without a doubt the best and most comfortable high thrust power I've have ever used. Boat access only, awkward off the beach unless you walk backwards.
    I now use whatever works with a large foot pocket, required for 1/2 inch boots, required 1/2 inch suit too, and hot water from the on demand water heater; required for 4-6 hours working time. Your entire lower leg was important very effectively W/Farallon's braces (not exceptional W/O the brace, i.e. - springs backstrap option) ... All of your leg becomes a lever- thrust so exceptional when you 'lean on them' would allow the diver to 'pick up and swim' a 50-100 lb. bag of Urchins with amazing ease...and move out !
    Awesome power !
    19,000 hours commercial fishery diving work has been a exceptional job/avocation over the years as a 'hunter/gatherer'. Disaster from a few years of hot water in N. Calif.led to a Kelp die-off, and Purple urchins that moved off shore from 5' to 50', ate everything alive and killed off our Red Abalone fishery for now. Kelp is the real issue, and Purple Urchins by the BILLIONS the problem. We know removal works, but it must be by the millions. I built a fiberglass tube set and designed a gathering system to solve efficiency and time issues. The system requires a HUGE air compressor for two air lifts, 80 cfm, and the 'scooter' I just finished building (all hooka system- one hose to the diver, 75-90 p.s.i.) is capable of supporting 3 air lifts and 3 scooters, one each. Gast makes an air motor I use that cost 300.00, geared for 'mixers'. Build your own from the example I post next on you tube 'build video' this Spring.
    You tube video's: Purple Urchin Removal W/proto-type air lift', parts 1,2 &3 are early, armature attempts for promote public interest and knowledge. All video were my hope of attention to this nightmare, but we now have results and proof we can do the work. California State O.P.C. offered to fund a pilot, but some in the fishery didn't want to 'remove Red urchins too', so that is now on hold.
    For all video's related just google :Jon Holcomb' and you tube. Harry Barnard and I will continue @ North Casper alone as we have permits, will half-finish after 50 days work W/only one air lift between us, 5 hours total dive time each day, 35,000 lbs. removed in 2018. The Waterman's Alliance who paid us 500.00/ day total ( a bargain for 'proof of concept' work deserves our best and real results... and we intend to finish that agreement.
    Side tracked, my apologies.

    Farallon was so impressive I kept several parts to many pairs I purchased, final pairs called "Professional", or Navy Seal types were supposed to be stiffer (desirable)and made a swim-fin mold from one last fin in 1985, still have the mold, but never found a 'pore' type rubber, two part product to make these fins. The original back straps W/ rubber & plastic broke immediately, and after a few hundred hours use the rubber fins broke. I bought the last three pairs of fins only from the factory as they closed, ~~ 1984? or about the time Oceanic bought their name and joined the products. Too bad they didn't modify the back brace and Velcro strap set-up, we made use of the fiberglass reinforcement and solid S.S. rods to replace S.S. tubes which also snapped occasionally)

    If anyone has a set of the rubber fins only, I'll pay 300.00 each for them, but the ULTIMATE would be ... THE ORIGIONAL METAL MOLDS ... always in metal, required for high heat vulcanization of 'original real rubber. I will modify that mold for a full foot fin as urchin spine protection if I ever find a suitable rubber two part compound, barrel hardness ~~ 70,- 75

    Farallon made several REALLY neat products, their mouth piece still superior to any other I know of: boil water, drop it in, let it sit 3 min. and cool for just long enough to put into your mouth and 'set' for your teeth.
    In most product development they rushed one thing: R&D 'testing over time'. It was HUGE mistake, and destroyed a very promising company. Senior management failed to did NOT do final R&D "testing over hours". That killed their face mask (leaked) - an excellent fit and view; really a shame. Same W/ their 'meter' for nitrogen ... back to understand oversight !
    Constant 'come-backs' and repairs plaged the new company. I owned, still have the cases to two Farallon Mark 6 D.P.V's. # 1 was a lemon, # 2, $2,500.000 'used' in San Diego was nearly trouble free. I glassed on a control knob shield to both units to save the expensive, easily broken potentiometer knob from instant failure when bumped ... it stuck out the side of the rear case W/ zero concern for damage; a magnet for accidental impact - such a simple problem to solve..
    Cheers, jonholcomb007@hotmail.com
  4. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon

    I still have two of the Farallon masks you talk about, one in silicone by White Stag.

    39337547404_87d9fad46c_k.jpg John's Mask, Snorkel & Helmet Collection by John Ratliff, on Flickr

    I also still have two pairs of the Farallon braced fins.

    48834169433_1e34292dd9_k.jpg Fara-Fin Mod-2 by John Ratliff, on Flickr
    One set, the back set, is in good shape, while the second set has problems. That second set is the one I modified for a better angle, and is wonderful in the water. The set still in its original format is the rear one in the photo above. I have not even used it, as I had my modified set available. I am open to selling it too, as I don't have use for two sets of these fins.

    48834707942_5cc91e5ebf_k.jpg Fara-Fin Repair finished by John Ratliff, on Flickr
    That set had a broken rib, which I repaired. I sutured the broken rib with nylon, then used ShoeGoo to make that permanent--it worked. I will be again fixing the back, plastic part soon so that I can continue to use it.

  5. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon

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