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Fin flex - opinions please!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
In choosing a fin, I've heard two different concepts and do not know which to weight more heavily in making a choice:

1) all other things being equal (fit, quality, etc) choose the more flexible fin for most freediving applications as stiffer fins tire you faster and are less suited to surface swimming and hunting for hours on end (i.e., Terry Maas in Freedive!)

2) choose the stiffer fin if you have strong legs and dive deep or swim against the current.

I often dive in springs and caverns, where swimming against a current on the descent is typical. However, I also hope to do more open water diving in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico. I am comparing the Omer competition and Picasso Black Teams - how do these compare in flexibility and which is the better choice for my applications?
If you're referring to the black comps, they're probably equal in stiffness to the black picassos.

The main difference will be the foot pocket. If you have narrow feet, go for the omers. Wide feet, go for the picassos.

Try them on before you buy! Fit is the MOST important thing. The blades are secondary. Even the best carbon fins won't help you if your feet cramp.

Hope that helps.

I've now used both the Omer Riffe Pez Fuerte (essentially the Omer Millenium Black Comp) and Picasso Black Team fins, both in size 44-46, with 5 mm socks. Here is my comparison, personal opinions only.

I can't agree with Cliff Etzel about overall quality - the Picasso BTs look fine, but the Omer's arrived in better condition. The footpockets on the Picassos look a bit rough, as if the rubber is peeled out of the molds with less care than the Omer Riffe model. The rubber on the Omers is very polished and smooth, but harder. The blade on one Picasso fin arrived warped just slightly; both Omers were perfectly flat. Overall there is not enough difference to bias one strongly toward the Omers, but after reading Cliff's review and other comments, I was expecting a large quality difference in the opposite direction.


The Omer Riffe foot pocket is actually stiffer than the Picasso, except along the sole where they are about equally stiff. The Omer is narrower in the front and wider in the back than the Picasso, and is a bit deeper in the heel. The Omer is very secure on my foot, albeit a bit tight. The BT footpocket feels a little less secure on my foot than the Omer (roomier and lower in the heel makes it feel that way), but it never seemed even close to actually coming off.

It is easier to get my socked foot into the BT footpocket. I really have to push and squeeze to get into the Omer, as well as to get out of it. The Picassos go on with only a little effort, off with ease. The Picasso BT definitely seems to fit me better - my foot is wide in front and narrow in the heel.

The Picasso BT blade is a bit more flexible than the Omer Riffe Pez Fuerte (Black Comp). The BT blade may also be a bit more springy, but it is hard to say for sure. Overall, both give me adequate thrust, and the Picasso are a more comfortable kick. If I were coming up from 150 feet rather than 65, I might think otherwise.

The BT fin overall is about an inch shorter than the Omer, but the blades appear to be the same length, looking at the fins from the bottom. Thus, the blade may be mounted further back on the BT footpocket than on the Omer. The angle of the blade on the Picasso BT appears to be a bit more obtuse (angled back) than on the Omer.

Overall, I chose the Picasso BT because of my foot shape, but I can understand others choosing the Omer Riffe Pez Fuertes. My brother is buying the Omers from me - his feet are a bit narrower and longer. I would like to have compared the more flexible model Omer Riffe fins (essentially, the Omer Millenium Black) as these may be more similar to the Picasso BTs in stiffness.
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omer v. picasso

thanks for the comparison update. i've been going through this fin dilemma for quite some time now, and i've finally decided to use my spearfishing partner as a guinea pig. i just bought him the millenium ice fins for his birthday(i owed him some money; i'm not that generous :D ). i've read and heard that the ice has a more peculiar spring to them, somewhat bordering carbon characteristics. upon trial, i'll only be able to give comparison feedback on omer's m. ice v. cressi gara HF's. it sounds like we should be happy with the omer's, though.

My brother (and dive buddy) has been using his Omer Pez Fuerte fins (Omer Comps) for over a month, and I my Picasso BTs for about the same length of time and number of dives. Though at first we were ambivalent, the more we use our own fins, the more we seem to prefer them - we no longer like to trade fins for comparison.

Today I might rate the BTs a much better fin (for me); but my brother would say the opposite (for him), and we might both be right! I think you would have to become accustomed to using a fin and use it under many different conditions before you could make a fair comparison.

I'll be anxious to hear how your comparison between Omer Ice and Garra HF fins goes. Please let us know.
flex adjustment

when i got my first pair of cressis(many moons ago), they were the LD's. a full day in the water with them left my legs pretty beat up. once i got used to them, i jumped up to the stiffer version, the HF's. they took some getting used to as well, but now, 6 months later they feel soft and seem to lack power. :(
i know it's my technique that has pushed these fin's performance past optimum(which is great and all), but obviously i'd like something another step up. my last trip home, i got to try on a pair of the riffes in a store and was very pleased with the omer foot pocket. even the blade seemed a bit stiffer than my garas. i guess that was pretty much my entire reason for pursuing omer. i'd love to try picasso, but i'd rather slip one on first.

anyways, just some more background info.

~ anderson

by the way... cjborgert, you should find this funny...

Yes, it is funny that my thinking has been along the same lines as yours . . . but I have not used my fins long enough for them to feel soft. Maybe at that point my brother and I will switch and think we've made a step up without spending any additional $$.

The Omer footpocket is nice, indeed - if it fits you well, you'll be happy with the fins.

From what many on this forum have said, though, my next step would be the Sporasub Radical - carbon with a plastic coating.

by the way, since you are a spearo: I just posted a question on the General Freediving Forum about diving from a kayak . . . maybe you have experience and could help me out.

actually, the funny part was meant to be the picture. i'll go check out your post about the kayaks.....

~ anderson
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