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Fin Lineup - Any Questions?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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tropical wuss
Sep 16, 2002
K newbies and frugal driftwood,

Rig wants a kickstart....you got it! Actually, this post has been a long time comin.

Here are the fins Jon and I have tried (Jon's the $-bags that owns most of em). You gotta question, Ask it! Compare? Contrast? Better for this? Better for that? Etc? If this thread dies off, and then I see you posting a new thread about one of these fins a week from now, I'm gonna be all over you like a pitbull on a poodle :blackeye.


ps. Got a fin to add to the pot? I have a few questions of my own.

(From left to right)
Sporasub Carbon Radicals
C4's Carbon 40's blades (edit re: Ivan) / Sporasub footpockets
Omer Bat 30's
Specialfins 'Peter' Mono
Waterway mono
Specialfins Stereo Pro 'hard' blades / Sporasub footpockets
Sporasub H. Dessaults
Picasso Blackteams
Sporasub Pure Carbons

(additions - not pictured)
Cressi Gara 2000 HF (not pictured)
JB Esclapez Greens (not pictured)
Sporasub Cruise (not pictured)
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I'm snappin the photo, big pimpin. That's Jon's buddy Gert. You gotta pay if ya wanna see my million$ mug.

open water test of Bat 30's and Omer Mimetic Med 6.5. #uck the rain - insurance bloaks still haven't fixed my window, but I'm gonna be wet anyways!

Will letcha know how it goes!
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Ted which are your favourites out of all those sweet fins, ill bet the C4's.


ps what model C4's are they

In a freediving competition, the C4's would be my choice. Still the most efficient, responsive fin I've tried.

If I could only use one pair, I'd take my Stero Pros. Top-notch performance for such a tough-motha fin. And they are softer and shorter and wider than the C4's....better for a whole day of spearin.
I had an opportunity to put my fins through some semi-scientific tests a month or so ago... I was able to get ahold of an underwater speedometer (cool), and I was really surprised at what I found out about some of my fins (including a mono) and 2 pair that weren't mine (split fins). I ran 8 different sets of fins.. and top speed, I would think, should translate to efficiency, to a point anyway, because I was able to maintain top speed or near top speed for a longer duration with some fins. Mono was the fastest of course, just about 5 miles an hour!!, pure carbons were next at 4.3 mph and somewhat sustainable, cressi 2000hd 4.25 mph but not sustainable..and then speeds went down from there with the other fins. 2 surprising things (or not so surprising) was that a pair of Sporasub Cruise (same as mares quattro aren't they?) didn't feel like they ever were very fast or efficient to me so I barely ever wear them.. but I matched the pure carbons in top speed twice (out of 3 runs for each set of fins) and the speed was sustainable.. these fins are coming out of storage more often. Still, it didn't feel like I was going as fast, or excerting as much energy to reach top speed as with the other fins. very deceiving. Split fins.. they were of the slowest but the pair that did the best for me of the 2 pair of split fins I tested did the worse of the two for the owner of the underwater speedometer who had been testing many different fin types. So, my conclusion is that you can't go by what you feel.. the speedometer doesn't lie, and you can't go by what works for someone else.. as was the case with the split fins. I plan on using the speedometer much more in the future to do some more testing.
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Originally posted by fjohnson
Itop speed, I would think, should translate to efficiency, to a point anyway


Interesting test. I'd love to use it to find out the speed of my descent/ascent.

...But I would think that the distance traveled would be a better guage of efficiency. I agree that the Cruises are fast. In fact, they are probably the fastest fins I own. Jon and I have clocked ourselves using em on surface swimming and underwater, and they boogie. But I don't think this necessarily equates to a good freediving fin because it takes more O2 to power em. We use em for hockey because they are fast and maneurverable. I have taken mine down to 80 ft, and those dives were not even comparable to the dives I made with traditional freediving longblades. Using the Cruises, I was pretty burned out by the time I got back to the surface.

The C-4’s are still my favorite. I would really like to find a new favorite made out of something besides carbon fiber, because I am always a little worried about breaking them, but they are still the smoothest fins I have ever used.

I need to try Ted’s fins in openwater, but his foot is so small that I can’t wear them with any way but barefoot- and it’s a bit too cold out right now for that.

I think that Ted and I both decided against the BAT 30’s because they have no angle to the blade at all. They seemed to go up and down just fine, but didn’t work out too well for surface swimming. My friend who bought them seemed to really like them and swam with them for a few hours. Maybe a different kicking style works better for them, or maybe he just doesn’t know any better?

I did two dives with my old Waterway monofin, or actually one ½, since my arch cramped up so bad on my second dive I had to take it off. I didn’t use my good monofin too much since I still have a sore on the top of my foot from using it without a proper neoprene sock while in the pool and really hacked it up. Surprisingly, I could use bi-fins with out any extra pressure, or pain, to the top of my foot.

They’re not shown, but we also played around with a bunch of different masks. We sued that new OMER Aries 45 mask. It really lightened up the bottom of the quarry quite a bit, which was pitch black from all of the “ooze” on the bottom. It is a little too narrow for my wide face and I went back to using my Falco and Sphera.

As far as the fin tests go Fred, there are other reasons why I hate split fns for scuba diving. They do a really crappy job of frog kicking. They end up kicking up too much silt. The kicks I do for scuba diving are not the same that I do for free diving. They also create a line entanglement hazard if you running a reel inside of a wreck. Simple is better for scuba. I tried splitfins out once on a deep wreck where I was wearing double 112’s on my back and carrying two aluminum 80’s under my arm. I could hardly move with the split fins compared to my old Turtle fins, which cost less than ½ the amount of money as the splits.

The Cruises work out great for hockey and they are shorter and much more maneuverable than a longer fin, plus they are made out of rubber so you won’t slice up your teammates. We have people who show up at hockey for the first time wearing Force fins or split fins and they wonder why they can’t keep up with the game. Eventually someone will lend them a cheap pair of snorkeling fins and it will make all the difference in the world. I think that the NAVY has done efficiency tests on fins, which prove that the Force fin are the best for long distance swims, but did you ever try to freedive in a pair? They are total crap, and don’t let them try to sell you on their “freediving” Force Fin as it is expensive crap! I had a pair and they did NOT work as advertised- thank God for E-bay!

I want next year’s Freedive-aplooza to be something similar to what Ted and I did yesterday. We all get to try out a bunch of different gear and we also indoctrinated a newbie to the sport. The difference is that I want to do everything on a much larger scale- more freedivers, more gear, more newbies, more viz, more depth, more fun.

Sorry for rambling off topic.

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Great thread Ted and Jon. Jon, are the Cruises you like for Hockey, in the picture?

I now have both the Stereo Pro Mediums and Hards. I can’t part with either. I did some dynamics, only 50 meters because my only spotter was my wife who is only 85 lbs and not much swimming experience, and the pool was deeper than she was tall, so I didn’t want to push it. But the Mediums were definitely the easiest of the 4 freediving fins I have owned. The hards were faster, but apparently required more oxygen making them significantly more difficult. The plan is to use them for deep diving.

In a couple of weeks I get to attend the Performance Freediving Clinic and one of the highlights people talk about, is a presentation of all the new freediving gear. I will take my camera and report anything interesting about fins, etc.. I’m also going to ask Martin Stepanek the big fin question, “if he is a former monofin champion, why does he use bifins?”

Jon, I have an idea for your aplooza I will post in that thread.

Awww yeah...now we're talkin' smooth! :mute

PS- one extra large pair of ScubaPro splits for sale.
Used once.:hmm
Don, the Cruise's are not in the picutre. Mine fit so tight that I can only wear them with a running sock and not a wetsuit sock. I love them for all pool work. I think that my dyanimc's in the pool are better with those than any other fin I have, but this maybe because of the turns I have to do in a 25 yard pool. They really eat up a lot of my energy and 02. I should probably check to see if there is a thread on how to do a proper dynamic turn without sucking up extra 02.

I am not sure if Jyri wanted me to sheare this, but here is a shot of Maritn with his new Special Fins monofin. I have a softer version of the same thing. After watching the Cyprus Reloaded DVD I could see Kirk using his new monofin as well. If MArtin can do 93 meter's with C4's, just think what he can do with a monofin.


Turtles rock for scuba diving in a drysuit, or a wetsuit if you have Sasquatch feet.;) Almost everyone that I scuba dive with has Turtle's or the old rubber Jetfins. I wish that picking out a freediving fin were so simple.

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Black teams

What do you think about them? How do you find these non-carbon ones with others?:confused:
Good one TED & JON.:cool:

I would like to hear more about BAT 30. Do you have any more info to share?
I've had the black teams for a long time. They have been on many dive trips with me and I still use them for warm water scuba divng, but they can't compete with any of the other fins.

Plastic fins just don't have the snap that fiber, or carbon fiber, provide. Ted as described it as wearing boards on your feet compared the other fins. I would have to agree.

On the plus side, they are a lot cheaper than fiber fins and you really can't break them. I would still use them over a standard scuba fin.

I'd also have to say that I like Ted's plastic Sporasub blades better than the Black Teams. Could have something to do with the foot pocket?

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Round of applause for Ted and Jon
Great research and well done, gentlemen!! Bravo!

I've found my finning style has had to adapt somewhat with the Cressi 2000HF; would you let me know your impressions, please?

Again, big thanks to both of you for doing this, complete with pics
Bat 30's


First of all, the fins had a much darker color than I expected. All the photos I've seen on the internet made the camo pattern look brighter than it is. Truth is, they look pretty cool. I'm a little envious.

Performance: The simplest review would be to say that these fins just weren't right for me. But that tells you nothing, so I will tell you how they performed (for three divers), and my words should be read as 'experience', not fact. I hate giving 'neg' reviews about any piece of gear, because what doesn't work for me undoubtedly is someone else's favorite piece of hardware (unless we're talking about ForceFins....those just plain suck :D). So read with scepticism ;).

One thing to consider when purchasing these fins is their stiffness. I doubt that any of these fins could truely be called 'soft'. The 30's were too stiff for me, but Jon and [certainly] Gert seemed to move them o.k. For reference, I'm about 68kg, Jon is about 78, and Gert is probably around 100kg. Gert can also lift nearly 300kg with his legs, so he had no probs pushing them around. He managed to get around on the surface just as quickly as Jon or I (both with fins having that 'bend' we believe makes surface swimming easier), but made a lot more noise/splashing :D. I'm not saying that every diver would make a racket on the surface with a pair of these...Gert is a newbie, and a strong guy. He didn't seem to need to modify his kicking stroke to get around. I, on the other hand, need to use the 'bend the knees' style to keep the fins from slapping the surface. Jon, who did have the leg-power to move em when under water, made the same observation I did. The fins require a bit of technique for surface swimming.....they aren't 'idiot proof' like the 'bent' fins.

All this 'bent fin / strait fin' jive aside.... the bat's are much better than traditional plastic fins. Those 30's did move a lot of water, and they are definitely built to last. If you are a diver that does not seem to be bothered by a straiter fin, they may work out beautifully for you, as that was the only problem I really had with these.

I look forward to seeing how Willer got his to work.

I've found my finning style has had to adapt somewhat with the Cressi 2000HF; would you let me know your impressions, please?

Ted adapted by selling his fins.;)

They are stiff and have very little angle to the blade. This meant that neither he, nor I, were able to get much distance out of them for surface swimming. I had a much easier time with any of the other plastic fins that had an angle to them blade- Esclapez, Picasso black teams, Sporasub plastic blades, even Spoarasub cruise's were easier for me to use.

My C4's were stiffer than the BAT 30's, buthtey have a bend in the blade and I found this much easier to surface swim with.

I believe that there are a couple of East Coast guys on here with the Matrix flat blades. Maybe they could explain the kicking technique they use get them to work?

On a side note, I also found the HF foot pockets to be uncomfortable. They seemed too narrow and too soft in the foot pocket. THe number one best thing about the Picasso BLack Team's were the stiff foot pocket. This prevented my arch from cramping up and transfered more power to the blade.

Kirk had a test for foot pockets. He would hold it by the heel and see if it would fold over on itself. The Sporasubs, and OMER's wouldn't do this. Some of the other fins on the market would bend in half and that's exactly where they would start to bother my feet. I'll try and post a picutre of that tomorrow.

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