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Fin Lineup - Any Questions?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Omer Bat 20's?

I've read comments on the Omer Bat 30's mostly about them being too stiff. Has anyone tried the Bat 20's? up here in New England I don't dive over 40', lots of surface swimming and shallow dives/bottom crawling. I'd like to hear what people have to say about the 20's with this type of hunting in mind.


The BAT fins have NO angle to the blade at all and I find them difficult to surface swim with. I would think that the standard Millenium fin, from OMER, would be better since it DOES have an angle to the blade. It would also be cheaper.

Specialfins have an angle to the blade and a Medium stiffness fin might be perfect for what your doing. Ted really loves his and a slightly softer one, he has the hard's, would be great for those depths. I think that these are what Don has for his shallower hunting.

Just my $0.02


OK Jon has gotten me interested in the Specialfins Kelpie model and I have questions for anyone who has experience with Specialfins and composites in general.

My typical hunting conditions consist of dives at a maximum of about 50' and the most time spent at about 25'-30' in rocky areas in search of Striped Bass and Tautog, lots of surface swimming. I now use OMER Millenniums with green blades and like them. I have Cressi Gara HF's and do not like them. In the Kelpie Blades what stiffness would be reccomended for the kind of diving I do?
Going from the plastic OMER blades to the Specialfins will the difference be very noticeable? For the type of hunting that I do, should I stick with plastic blades?

All opinions welcome.

Hi Guy,

Your first two questions are pretty easy to answer....your last - not so easy.

First of all, the most likely 'stiffness' match would be the specialfins 'medium' stiffness. Since you are a seasoned millenium user, we can skip all the footpocket chat.

You will notice a difference, but whether or not it will be worth the coin ($300) is up to you. I've never used your millenium green fins, but I have picked them up and handled em at the shop before. I was impressed with the flex, blade angle, and overall shape.

You will not notice a huge difference in initial thrust. What you will feel, is a longer duration of thrust using equal effort. My testing yielded 10-30% fewer kicks over a wide range of depths/distances - when compared to my spora blades. I also gained 10-30% speed as well. Mind you, a few minor technique adjustments were needed to take advantage of the 'snap'.

I originally bought my fins for wreck (deep) diving. I would have bought C4's, but those ships have some sharp edges and I wanted my dives to be worry-free. I actually had no hunting expectations. I won the lottery when I mounted the blades to my spora pockets and got more thrust without any added fatigue; so now I use one pair of fins for every kind of diving. Great for a minimalist like me ;).


btw: If you would be kind enough to extend me an invite out east to stick a few strippers, you could take the pepsi challenge for yourself :).

edit* - stick a few stripers, not strippers :eek:
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Did your wife read your post and make you edit it?


I used medium BWs at this year's Nationals in RI and liked them for that kind of diving. For me it was relatively shallow (<50') and consisted of lots of swimming so the mediums were perfect. Down here in FL though, they wouldn't cut it for me (too soft). We start our day in 60 ft and go deeper from there and there's not much surface swimming involved because we always use a live boat and we always set up our drifts so the current takes us where we want to go. So, down here I use the Hybrids and will also eventually get a pair of hard stiffness Kelpies. I’ll save my medium BWs for northern California and RI diving when I have to compete in the Nationals in those places. The mediums are also great for pool training too though. I just used them for my PB dynamic of 100 M.

Hope this helps.

For most of the divers I dare to suggest using Hard model as, when choosing less stiff model one may well soon notice that his legs are getting stronger (happens VERY fast) and the fins are no longer stiff enough. If you do weigh less that 75kg's, it may then be better to take mediums instead.

ExHard models are ONLY for divers who are VERY heavy or exceptionally strong in legs.

I suggest that you get hard Kelpies(if you weigh more that 75kgs that is). They may feel a tad too stiff for few times but this is better as you will get used to them soon.
Kelpie is an outstanding fin for us spearos who swim plenty on the surface. They have an excellent toeangle that will minimise cramping by keeping your foot in more natural position compared to "straight" fins.
The difference will be VERY noticeable as you can feel how the fin is "alive" and practically throwing you forward. As it was mentioned here, your kicking style will change a bit but as soon as you are familiar with the fins, your diving will become faster, longer and deeper. I feel that plastic as a material for fins is history, only reason to stick to plastics I can imagine is personal finance. But then again, good fibre blades will never go sloppy and they will last a long time if not abused enormously.

Hope this helped.

If you have any further questions, please post them here or catch me at mikko@specialfins.com or nurmi.mikko@pp.nic.fi

Safe dives,

Mikko is right about getting used to the stiffness quick. When I first started using my Hybrids I thought they were very stiff but now I don't even feel them. I use them every weekend all day long and love them. Hards maybe the way to go for you. Like I said, I'm getting a pair of hard kelpies shortly for myself.

scott do you prefer waterway fins or specialfins? I am very curious to see what you prefer and why? Are they made from the same material (fiberplastic) or are the specialfins made of something else?
also how do you pay for your specialfins? And how much do they cost? when visiting the website prices are in euro and not usd?

Here is a link where Scott and some others talk about the difference between Waterway and Special Fins http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?threadid=36879&highlight=specialfins

A lot of the smaller online dive shops in Europe don’t have currency converters in their web pages. You just find a currency converter online and see what the latest exchange rates are. Here one http://www.xe.com/ucc/ Today its 1.16362 Dollars to Euros. If you want to get real technical, you have to find out what rate your using. For instance International Bank with large volumes get better rates than consumers at the airport do. But the good news is your credit card bank usually has pretty good rates. You just buy it on your credit card and it will show the exchange rate on credit card bill that they used that day.
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I paid for my fins with a Master card. You can't use a VISA card because the country of Estonia, where Specialfins is located, doesn't take VISA- that's right, the WHOLE country doesn't take VISA.

It wasn't much of a problem for me, but Ted was in a bit of a bind for a while since he only had a VISA card.;)

Rates go up and down all the time with the strong Euro and the slack-jawed dollar. I have been eyeing up a new Elios wetsuit, but am willing to wait until spring to see if the dollar rebounds and I can get a better price. You can see the same thing going on at the DB scubastore. A couple of years ago the prices were a real steal for those of us in the states, if you could put enough things together to off-set the cost of shipping. That's not exactly the case today.

I believe that a big difference between the fins is that the Specialfins have an angle to the blade where the amtrix are a straight blade.

This clear Danish fibreplastic used by SpecialFins is designed for sports gear and aeronautical applications. It is VERY high in quality and is also priced accordingly. It is also better for making wear resistant gradually tapering laminates and can be laminated to an angle with a groundbreaking SpecialFins patented method. Similar materials that are yellowish/yellow/orange in colour tend to be of Russian or Ukranian fibreglass/fibreplastic that was originally designed for manufacturing printed boards for electronic industry.

Which one suits making fins better???? You prolly can figure that one out... ;)

On top of this SpecialFins products are protected by special surface laminates that prevent scratches reaching the actual fibre=the engine. This means that in normal use you can not scratch the blades so that it would affect their performance.

Hope this helps.

Safe dives,
MATRIX fin review

I agree that the hype and PR, especially from Jyri is compelling. The problem is that when you get told three times that the fins are on the way and they don't show up it's hard to give them or the Company any credibility.

That said, I just came back from the Great Pacific Northwest trying out my new set of favorite fins- the MATRIX.
Double coolness points and I'll lob a smooth to 'em as well. :cool:

These things arrived quick, priced right, mounted up to my OMER footies (thats OZ for footpockets...:confused: ) without a hitch and performed just nuts! I ordered the #3's just to get a baseline and was impressed with their full sine wave motion that had my motating interests the whole damn time!!

While I'm pretty large in the size/weight/leg and elsewhere department :king the #3 blades just did the Eveready bunny thing without worry or care. I would say these things are just about the best shore dive fins I've tried. Boat wise and pure up and down I'd probably go for the #4 for spearing and keep my C4-40's for the really manly stuff and after that have enough calf left at the end of the day to make serious time on the dance floor that evening. ;) They slid over and around the rocks, kelp and sand, didn't mind a tip pushoff the bottom and washed off to show zero dings, dents and scratches. The service was first rate too- Paul said they'd be here at the palacial crib on the day they arrived. While some camo would be cool, a couple of shots of brown/green spray epoxy would complete a killa set of motors.

About as close to an elevator call button, Paul and Dennis have a real winning tool for the serious diver and these things rate my personal Sultanny seal.
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Dear Sven,

You do make the situation sound quite bad indeed.
I must use this forum to defend SpecialFins customer service which I trust to be outstanding.

Fact 1) You are not a customer of SpecialFins as yet. There are no received/paid/open/quoted orders from/to you.

Fact 2) There has been conversation between you and Jyri about sending you some fins for testing, but SpecialFins has not received a confirmation from you that you agree to return the fins after tests are completed. If you are still willing to proceed, please confirm that you indeed are willing to send them back. This is the only thing that keeps Jyri from sending you the agreed fins for tests. I know that Jyri has asked this from you many times. Naturally there may be a case of undelivered mail but I do doubt this....

Well, no harm done really. If you wish to give them a red hot go, please let us know that you accept these terms.

Oh, there may be some language barrier issues involved as well so let's keep this clean, please.

Safe dives,
  • Like
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I feel obligated to jump in here and defend SpecialFins (Jyri and Mikko). I've found their customer service to go far beyond the call of duty (and yes Mikko, I would agree with outstanding). These guys have always responded promptly to all my emails and inquires. I'm sure I bothered the hell out of them when I was trying to figure out which fins to get yet they always replied very cordially and provided me with useful information on their products. By the time I was ready to order, Jyri only had about 3 days to get me my fins before I left for the Nationals. Needless to say, they got here on time. This to me is a pretty good feat considering they came from a Country I’ve never heard of and have no idea where it’s at. Not only is their customer service excellent but the trust they endow to their customers is something I've never heard of before. They offered to send me 10 pairs of fins to test on nothing more than my word that I would either send them back when I was done or send them on to other SpecialFins customers in the US to try. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time for that while scouting for the Nationals so I had to decline their offer. They instead sent me a pair of their premier fins the Hybrids for testing at no charge to me on only my word that I would return them when finished (they even offered to pay for the return shipping). To me these 2 offers are beyond unbelievable especially considering they didn't know me from Adam and they are half way around the World from me. The first offer probably constituted about $2,000 worth of merchandise and the Hybrids are $400 blades. Needless to say I fell in love with the Hybrids and decided to keep them. At the time though I had canceled my MasterCard and had no way to pay Jyri for them. It took me awhile (probably a full month) to find somebody who had a card I could borrow and Jyri never once asked me where my payment was. In my book, Jyri and Mikko are top notch guys who run a top notch business and produce a top notch product!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For anybody who wants to see more opinions (besides just mine) of SpecialFins and their customer service, there is an entire thread under the Freediving Equipment Forum entitled "Superb service from SpecialFins".

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They treated me pretty good too, although I didn’t try to use my freediving prestige to get any deals. Maybe that’s because I don’t have any freediving prestige. :eek: I just paid and they sent them.

After getting the mediums I informed Jyri that I would like to trade them for the hards and he said no problem, but to keep using the mediums until the hards arrived and then, after trying them side-by-side, send the ones back I didn’t want. His strategy work well because I decided I wanted them both and paid him for the second pair. I found the level of trust above and beyond average.

The delivery was a little slower than what Jyri had said, but that’s normal in South Texas. All mail is slow to here. This place is on the way to nowhere, and the only main commerce passing through is stolen cars on their way to Mexico. He kept in touch by e-mailed to see when they arrived.

I was doing the thigh stretches yesterday they showed us in the performance class. It’s basically a runner stretch where you stand on one-foot and bend your other leg behind you and grab the ankle. Except Martin told us to grab the toes instead of the ankle so that it stretches the ankle into a straight position like you need for fining. Looking in the mirror it was almost hilarious how little my ankle bends.

Fiber fins give almost carbon performance with the durability needed for spearfishing or just people who don’t want to be paranoid about breaking them. If a person can use one of the straight fiber fins like Waterway, Omer Bats, or Matrix, that’s great. But for those of us that can’t straighten our feet and insist on fins with angle, there is only one manufacture making them. They have no big market like scuba to support them. They only make high quality swim fins and freediving fins, which are both small markets.

It sounds like the process to make these fins is more intensive cut out of sheets. How hard can that be? Specialfins has gone out on limb to fill a market niche that I am in, with honest pricing, good service, and great quality and performance. I want to do what I can to support them. After all I got a whole family of freedivers who will eventually need better fins and I want Specialfins around when the time comes!
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in the begining....

....of this thread, I had asked that if you have a fin review of your own to please post it.

I agree that Specialfins makes one hell of a product, and I also can say nothing negative about them. I'll ditto everything Scott and Don has already said...

However, I also want to save this thread from becoming a Specialfins-only promo, and thus scaring away any other potential reviewers. I want to know as much as possible about every piece of gear out there. I absolutely loved my spora dessaults, but if I would have been content, I would not own my (more loved) Stereopros :inlove now. Thus, I'm always on the lookout for something better. I'll be content when someone can make a fin that allows me to swim faster than a wahoo, using less energy. And anyone who tries to tell me such a thing is impossible will be directed to the 'how well do you think you breathe' thread rofl.

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ease up kids.

I'm only telling you guys what I know and what has happened, so don't get all ready for a blasting. :hmm (s'matta? gun shy? ;) )

I've forwarded the mails I've received saying that they were on the way to you Mikko and as I did with Jyri, am just sitting back and waiting. And hey, Mikko- never was there any mention made of a waiver or agreement or whatver made to me by anyone there. You and Jyri might want to have a face to face and get the procedures straight. You want a signed pint of blood, fine by me. But I'm not interested in being an intermediary for Specialfins by forwarding them to someone else and then they claim they didn't get them and on and on. I'll give them a try and either buy them outright or send them back. A prepaid package would show a lot of class.

I'm not getting paid for this, am not an employee of DB and am just basing my opinions of the Company based on what has happened till now. I have zero doubt that you or Scott or any other advocate of your products would feel likewise if the roles where reversed. If some trip or event was depending on your receiving something that never showed, you'd all be bent too.

Feel free to do the background on this Mikko and let me know.
Sorry Ted,
Here a fin for small feet I recently got some info on. We had a few threads that talked about options for women with small feet. I have said before that my wife is using Oceanic Caribes, size 3-4. A friend recently asked if we wanted to buy some Mares Aventi Quattros from him he had purchased from leisurepro.com for his ex-girl friend. They are full pockets and size 3-4, 36/37. My wife loves them. They are much better in power and efficiency than the Oceanics. They are also about ½ smaller foot pockets, which fits her better too and they should be good until her performance warrants having something made special for her.

The only problem is Mares doesn’t list Aventi Quattros in that small of size and leisurepro doesn’t sell them with full pockets anymore either. Seems like having products out there that Mares doesn’t list is common. I just went through it in deciding to buy their X-Comfort or X-Stream mask. Watch for my review, because I haven’t found anyone who knows anything about these masks.

Sven, when and if you get the communication worked out and get your feet in a pair of Specialfins, I look forward to your review. It will be interesting to hear from someone whom Waterways worked well for. Scott didn’t like the Waterways at all so your opinion will be from a different angle (no pun attended). ;)
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Mares Avanti Quattros in something smaller than 40-41's, damn sign me up. They're great fins for underwater hockey but I didn't think Mares made them in my size. How/where on earth would I find some in size 38-40.


I understand where you're coming from. If what happened to you, happened to me I'd be a little perturbed also. It's a shame though because I know you would’ve liked the fins. Jyri and Mikko really do seem like great guys and I know they try very hard to please their customers. I'm definitely not knocking Matrix, Dennis, or Paul though by my endorsement of SpecialFins. Dennis and Paul are both super great guys and I'm sure Matrix is a good product (just not for me and my inflexible ankles).

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