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carbon fins: which is best????

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
I'm needing to make an important choice between mares, picasso and omer carbon fins. i beleive kirk krack did a review of them in freediver mag but i cant get hold of it in south africa. if anyone could shed some light on my dilema i would be most gratefull. thanks
Hi, I don't recommend the Mares as they are too short and very supsceptible to breakage. I've never seen anyone using the Picassos, so i don't know about them. I have seen the OMERs, and they are very nice, and apparently very powerful, with good side rails to protect the blades.
I have the Sporasub Radical which is a great carbon fin with polymer coating to protect it. They are extremely powerful: Brett LeMaster used them down to 70 metres.
Hope that helps a bit,
Erik Y.
C4 might be worth a try as well. That's the only carbon fin I have tried, but after my Omer tuna comp's they were a blast. C4's come in different blade sizes and stifnesses. I have tested the midsize/stiff for pool use and large/medium stiff for open water and both seemed to be good matches.
I bought a pair of Sporasub PURE carbons. They are light, powerful, and more efficent than any other fin that I have owned.
They are also broken and in the process of being replaced- through the sole generosity of the folks at Diveinn.
Carbon fiber fins are great, but, extremely fragile. I thought that I had been careful with them and they still broke. :(
Next time I won't take them anywhere near the bottom- where my blade hit the sand on my ascent and immediatly snapped.
It is amazing what a loud sound carbon fiber makes when it cracks and you have no bubble noise to interfere.
Mares Attack

When I started freediving in April I was talked into buying Mares Plana Avanti Quattro with open heel and booties. The salesperson told me: "With these, you can do it all...":D

I didn't even try to do it all, I just tried to freedive with them and of course one week later I was back in the shop and changed the fins for real freediving fins. Unfortunately, they only had two types: Cressi Gara and Mares Attack "Pippin". I would have liked the Cressi Gara, but the foot pocket is not high enough at the heels, so that my feet would slip out. The footpocket of the Mares was excellent for my feet, so I finally paid the 200 €uros. (At least I could get back the money for the SCUBA fins...)

I tell that story in full detail, because I feel I have to apologize for having bought the Mares Attack "Pippin". It seems I am the only idiot in the freediving world to own a pair, maybe except Pippin himself (whom, of course, I would never call an idiot, as I don't know him personally...)

Having said all that, now to my test results:

+The fin is not very delicate (fibreglass and carbon/nylon according to Mares). I guess Jon could dig in the sand without breaking them :D
+They look nice. Kids will keep asking you: "How much were your fins". (For me, that's a con, by the way...)
+The footpocket fits well for my foot: very wide in the front and high-arched.

-The blade flexes extremly peculiar: instead of being curved over the complete length of the blade it will nearly exclusively flex at around a few inches from the end of the footpocket. That's a very odd feeling and I can not imagine that it is efficient.

Meanwhile I heard quite a few comments on these fins from experienced freedivers. None, but really none was in favor of them.

By the way: Why should a No-Limits Dive (Pippin's 133m) serve to promote a freediving fin? That's like saying: "Oh this shoe is really great! Michael Schumacher used it in his latest Formula One victory..."

To come to an end: What I will probably do "finwise" is to buy Sporasub Blades. They fit into the Mares footpockets.

Or "convert" to monofins completely...


Haha!...good stuff Uli. I always wondered the same thing about the "Pipin Line" that Mares has. It is strange that he never does any constant ballast competitive diving, yet has a fin named after him. Maybe that's why it's such a crappy fin....they need to get someone who uses fins to promote them.
I love my Sporasub Radicals; it took me a few days to get used to the frequency they require and the feel in general. The foot pockets are identical to Mares I believe, very comfortable. They are vastly superior to my Cressi Gara's also. I love my Gara's, but I will not go back to a plastic fin.
Erik Y.
Picasso Carbon fibre fins

Hi everyone,

I own a pair of Picasso carbon fibre fins (Carbono's III) and have found them to be pretty good.
I have been using Esclapez green fins for a while, and also had some old picasso black line's before buying the carbon fibres.
They are similar in stiffness to the black line's and unless you have really strong leg muscles I don't know if I would reccomend them for an 8 hour day of spearfishing.(I find my ankles give in before my legs do)
I still tend to use the Esclapez fins if I'm diving for more then an hour or two.

The footpockets on the Carbono's are great, no give like the Esclapez's yet still comfortable. The blade itself is also heaps lighter then plastic. They are great for deep(ish) diving, I've used them down to 35m. They don't seem too fragile, I've had them in a boat with people stepping on them, and had scuba gear placed on top, (Not happy !) but they were fine.

They have rubber edges on the sides of the fins, except there is nothing on the end of the fin.
I use them in a swimming pool for training and found the end of the fin can get scratched so I just put on some electrical tape which I have to replace every couple of weeks.

It's a bit hard to judge how much more efficient they are then plastic fins, it will vary with invidual leg strength and technique. I've read some other fin reviews saying something like %10, and from my experience I don't think they would be much more then that. There are more advantages then just pure efficiency.

They certainly have a very different feel to plastic. I find this is more noticable when dolphin kicking, the fins are very springy and seem to keep your body in an undulating motion very easily.
Dolphin kicking with these fins feels great, and I can get a get a nice slow/medium efficient stroke with these and cover 80m in a pool very comfortably. It's probably only the way I dolphin kick but I have found that I can cover more distance now dolphin kicking with the carbon fibres then I can using a flutter kick.
You certainly get some speed up when you sprint too !
(I'd be pretty keen to try out some carbon fibre Mono fins one day)

The other difference with the carbon fibres is they seem to get you going quicker off the bottom on a deeper dive, which I guess is what they were made for.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts on the Picasso's as no-one else in this discussion has tried them, cheers.
best carbon fins

C4 are the best of the best in this moment. Pelizzari use them as many other freedivers and spearos.
Lot's of big names in the world spear fishing, on tournaments, after they took the pictures with their sponsored equipment, take the C4 Falcon finns and actually dive with them.
Models for 2001 has completely new carbon that is much stronger than previous models. They are guaranteed for one year.


Please excuse my ignorance, but who makes the C4 fins, and are they explosive?



C4 is Italian company that works with the carbon. The owner is passionate spear fisherman and he first started to make the finns for himself and soon for the O.ME.R. (first models). For some time he makes the carbon finns under his logo and 2 years ago he made his first spear gun made totaly from carbon (handle included) in one piece.
C4 has offer two basic types of carbon finns: Velox (entry model) and Falcon which has 4 variants. Falcons 25, 30 and 40 are dedicated to spearfishing and 80 is for freediving.
More info you can find on www.c4carbon.com

Are they explosive? Ask Pelizzari.

Hope I manage to help you a bit.

Hi Alan,

I checked out their home page, thanks! Do you know how durable the fins are, the rails on the sides of the fin looks scarry in terms of breakage.

Thanks, and good diving,

C4 quality

Hi FD 48,

As I know C4 finns have one year guarantee and factory will substitute any broken palm in this period. I have 2001 model with zig-zag carbon pattern and till now didn't experience problems but off course I'm extremly carefull. I think that only thing one needs to look upon are the nockings in to the rocks but this stands for all carbon finns.
The side rails are made from rubber and there are no problems with them.


My Falcons are 40. I use them only for vertical deeper diving. For surface swimming and shalow diving better is 25 while 30 are let's say all around.

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the advice on fin stiffness. The reason that the 40% carbon fins attract my interest is because I am quite big, 230 lbs.,
and that I don't trust anything made of more than 40% carbon. I have seen 70-90% wind surfing masts blow-up before my eyes.
I already have Picasso Black Team fins, which I love, but are a little soft for some dives.

Best regards,

Hi Alan,

Did you go and pick the fins up or did they ship them to you?
Also do you know the best way to arrange payment?



Hello FD 48,

Well, I didn’t order the whole fins but only the palms, which were then shipped to me. I mounted the palms on the Spora Sub foot pockets from a relatively older pair of polymer fins. I like more the Spora foot pockets (by the way totally new model is coming next year) then original from C4 (infect these are from Aquatica) and it cost me less.
Considering the payment I’m not sure which is the best but in any case avoid payments through the post office checks. I have very bad experience with these.
It probably depends what should be your primal goal – safety of transaction, quick delivery or delay of payment on your account.

Great news for me!
I just got my broken Sporasub Pure Carbon fin back from DiveInn. I had broken it on a trip this past summer and it was not suppossed to have a warrenty on it.
I sent it back to dive in and they got it replaced- FOR FREE!
I will now be much more careful with them, but I couldn't believe the service.
I also tried them out in the pool the other night. I compared them to my Picasso B.T.'s. They are much faster, snappier, and lighter. If they would just be a little stronger they would be perfect.


It's always nice to hear about good service. How did you break your carbon fins? How much did they cost new? Are you comparing them the Picasso's BT or Picasso's Carbon fins?
Last edited:
"If they would just be a little stronger they would be perfect"
You just described the Beuchat carbon composite Jon.

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