Saturday, September 21, 2019
  • Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 40,000+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 496,000+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,300+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

?fins?

I have been scuba diving since 16yo (am 38yo) and have always enjoyed snorkeling. I am comfortable at 30-40ft with my scuba fins, but have lately become more intersted in "free diving". I would like to get some fins and the consensus seems to be esclapez, from my reading, or Cressi-sub. I am 75" tall, 250lbs and consider myself a strong swimmer. I thought perhaps one of the stiffer fins would be better. I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thank-you.
 

Cliff Etzel

Multimedia Photographer & Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
118
57
Ecotopia, PacNW
www.cliffetzel.com
I myself am 5'11" and 225lbs. I have been diving the Picasso Black Line Fins for the last 3 years and as far as I am concerned, they are the ONLY fin that I can use effectively. I have tried other companies, but they just don't fit right and/or they are too wimpy in stiffness. I would say that these are the best for bigger divers like ourselves.

Cliff Etzel - Editor
Freediving Internet Magazine

[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 12 August 2000).]
 

thands

New Member
Aug 31, 2000
12
0
0
Bermuda
Visit site
I am 6'4", 210lbs. I have tried an older pair of Cressi-sub's, not bad. My favorite is Mares Attack, nothing but good things. I lent them to two other freedivers and they went out and bought their own pairs.

Tom
 

Mako

New Member
Sep 3, 2000
47
1
0
Long Beach, CA
Visit site
I'm 5'10" 190lbs and I'm currently using Cressi 2000HF fins, which I like. They were a little stiff when I got them, but either they're broken in or my kick got stronger because now they're fine. My only complaint is the foot pocket is a little narrow for my wide feet. The length is fine, but I can't wear neoprene socks due to the lack of width. One caution about using carbon/fiberglass fins like the Mares Attack--people that dive around rocks have broken the blades and they're NOT cheap.
 

Carlos

New Member
Sep 18, 2000
1
0
0
Toronto, Canada
Visit site
Originally posted by Cliff Etzel:
I myself am 5'11" and 225lbs. I have been diving the Picasso Black Line Fins for the last 3 years and as far as I am concerned, they are the ONLY fin that I can use effectively. I have tried other companies, but they just don't fit right and/or they are too wimpy in stiffness. I would say that these are the best for bigger divers like ourselves.

Cliff Etzel - Editor
Freediving Internet Magazine

[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 12 August 2000).]
But of the Garra 2000 fins, what do you recomend for a first time long fin user, HF or LD?I'm 5'11 190 lbs.
 

Cliff Etzel

Multimedia Photographer & Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
118
57
Ecotopia, PacNW
www.cliffetzel.com
It depends on how strong a swimmer you are - HF's are going to be stiffer - it is really more a question of your abilities at this point in time.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 23 September 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 23 September 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 23 September 2000).]
 

Mako

New Member
Sep 3, 2000
47
1
0
Long Beach, CA
Visit site
Terry Maas, who is probably the world's best known freediving hunter, uses the old blue cressi's (the predecessor to the LD's) and seems to have no problem attaining triple-digit depths. In his book he recommends choosing the softer fin, all other factors being equal. Not that I listened, but I hope that helps...
 

rcharlton

New Member
Mar 5, 2001
1
0
0
Visit site
I have owned a pair of Picasso Black Team fins and I think prospective purchasers should be advised that they will most likely not be able to wear them with bare feet but will require neoprene socks. The foot pocket is made from a very stiff rubber compound compared to other fins which is designed to maximize the amount of energy transferred to the fins (as opposed to stretching out the foot pocket). Although this design prevents a lot of wasted energy, it does impact on bare foot comfort. I dive in mostly tropical climes and prefer using fins with bare feet without any sock or bootie. When I was training with the Picasso fins without a neoprene sock I developed open sores across the tops of my feet, the tops of my toes and my ankle - and I am not talking small "breaking in" blisters - these were deep open oozing sores. I encountered the same problem even with a lycra sock, I also tried Body Glide, a sports lubricant for the body to stop chaffing and reduce friction - only with the cushioning of a neoprene sock did I the foot pockets stop cutting up my feet. The stiff foot pocket of the Picasso's also make it a bit of a struggle donning them. Somebody stole my Picasso fins and I replaced them with a pair of Cressi GARA 2000HF. I am extremely happy with these fins and have no problem wearing them with bare feet. The foot pockets are made of softer rubber but are reinforced by stiffer rubber across the tops of the foot pockets - a huge increase in comfort and I do not notice any decrease in efficiency over the stiffer foot pockets of the Picasso's. As to those concerned with the Stiffness of the Cressi 2000HF over the 2000LDs, I am at best only an intermediate free diver and had no problem with the stiffness of the HF - so it's really a question of preference.
 

milanr

New Member
Mar 26, 2001
9
0
0
Seattle, WA, USA
Thanks to all previous replies, they have been really useful to me, as I am now looking for fins. I especially value rcharlton's comments, since I just tried the Garas in the store. They fit me well, but I could not feel in my hand the difference in stiffness between the LD and HF model, they seemed equal.

Another fin I am considering is either Sporasub H. Dessault or Radical. How do they compare with the Garas in terms of length, stiffness, boot shape and weight? Are the Sporasubs similar, narrower, wider...? If anyone used them, please comment.

Next, are there any other long-blade freediving fins that are softer than the Garas? Someone mentioned the old Cressi's that Terry Maas is still using -- can one still buy them, or are there any similar fins on the market today?

Finally, do you know of a reasonable retailer who would take the fins back if I try them in the pool and they don't fit me?

Thanks for help!
 

Cliff Etzel

Multimedia Photographer & Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
118
57
Ecotopia, PacNW
www.cliffetzel.com
I can tell you from first hand experience that many of the fin manufacturers aren't going to take used fins back. I have used the Picasso's for 5 years and even after doing my fin review a few years back, I still haven't found a better fin than the Picasso Black Lines. If you are looking for a softer fin blade, the Picasso Start Fins would do you well - and the blades are replaceable. You can contact the president of PIcasso America and he might look at the try out option. contact Roger Yazbeck at [email protected]

Cliff Etzel - Freediving Editor
Deeperblue.net

[This message has been edited by Cliff Etzel (edited 27 March 2001).]
 

Hamrrhed

Blue Water Wanna Be
Mar 27, 2001
125
7
0
46
Tampa, FL
Visit site
My vote would go with Cressi 2000 HF Fins, a nice soft pocket and firm blades. Ive been
able to get nice depths and since we're big guys you shouldnt have a problem with the kick. The blades arent interchangeable but its hard to imagine braking the blades if you take care of your gear, just avoid shallow water near rocks and reefs and you should be alright. Blue water hunter in Hawaii is having a sale at 110$ a pair, a great price considering I paid near 200$ a year ago.
Good luck
Anthony
 

Cliff Etzel

Multimedia Photographer & Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
118
57
Ecotopia, PacNW
www.cliffetzel.com
Originally posted by milanr:
Thanks to Hamrrhed for commenting on Garas.

Here is another fin I am considering, can anyone comment on it (material, quality, experience?):

Mares Attack http://www.htmsport.com/en/pinne/attack_en.html

(Note I started a thread on rec.scuba and rec.scuba.equipment titled "PLEASE ADVISE: Freediving gear").
Two things I have personal opinions about:

1) Why would you want to wear your freediving fins barefooted in the first place. Given the amount of time we typically dive, the chafing from not having any protection made by a neoprene sock is tantamount to misery at sea.

2) A soft foot pocket doesn't necessarily make for an efficient fin. I have tested just about every fin out there except for the pricey C4's and the various incarnations of Carbon Fiber fins. For efficiency, a slightly stiffer foot pocket supplimented by the protection of a neoprene sock is the ideal setup. Energy transfer is almost a given when the foot pocket flexes instead of transferring the energy of the kick to the fin blade.

As for the Attacks - I haven't heard too many good things about them. They are a full 5 inches shorter than most freediving fins (31" for Attacks -vs- 35" for Omer or Picasso's). They almost remind me of the Cressi Free-Frogs. A kind of all purpose fin (if there is such a thing). Too long for scuba, too shor for freediving. From my personal perspective, I would look at real life freedivers and see what they wear. You don't see serious freedivers diving with scuba fins do you? I think that answers the question in and of itself. Plus the added cost of the attacks (over $250.00 U.S. - not sure on exact pricing though) puts them in a category by themselves - not quite pricy like Carbon Fiber, yet more expensive than a good quality main stream freediving fin like the Picasso's or Omer's.

Regarding non-interchangable blades - I have an example as to why it is advantageous: I was testing a pair of Omer Tuna Comps with their ultra stiff blades. There must have been a defect in the blade because a portion of the tip broke off. I called them up, they sent a replacement blade over night and I was back in business. Owning different blades for various dive conditions allows you to fine tune and enjoy your experience that much more.

Couldn't have done that with a fixed blade.

HTH,



------------------
Cliff Etzel
Freediving Editor


Deeper Blue [ http://deeperblue.net ]
The Online Resource for the Underwater World
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
750
218
Canada
Hi milanr....you've probably got enough info , but I'll put in my 2 bits. The old blue Cressi's that T. Maas uses are for all intents and purposes identical to the "LD" model that is out now. As for broken blades, the last I heard was that Cressi has a lifetime warranty on any seperation or breakage on their fins. I'm 6'1" and 175lbs, not in your weight category, but I'm diving -100' in 41f water with a 5mm Omer suit ,10lb belt and the "old" blue Cressis. I don't think that you would have any problem going where you want to go with the LD's or the HF's. Plus, they are extremely comfortable. Buy them a size or two bigger to get a 5 or 6mm sock in them, then you can dive Pacific Northwest or tropics with the boots. Let us know what you end up buying. Erik
 

Angus

New Member
Apr 2, 2001
190
4
0
67
Orem Utah
Visit site
I agree with Chris, the Picasso Black Teams are great. The issue with needing the booties is canceled by the transmission of power that the cold-molding supplies. I just returned from to weeks in Belize in which I did not find the booties to be too warm (and I don't tolerate heat well at all) and was able to dive for seven hours a day. They are good in currents which is often an overlooked part of sport when it comes to fin selection. In shallow coral the booties actually help float the fins to avoid dragging them across the fragile structures and damaging or killing the coral. In spear fishing with proper weighting on the wast they stay deep enough to avoid splashing without needing ankle weights. But you do need the booties. Even short periods of use without them is very hard on the skin.
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
470
188
53
Madison, Wisconsin
fins

I have been diving for over 20 years and working for shops for the past 17. It has been agreat way to support my "fin addiction". I have owned, at one time or another, most of the fins mentioned.
I had the old (yellow) Cressi's and found them to be way too soft. I also had the old H.D. Assaults that had a very odd foot pocket and soft blades. The Mares Avanti L were good hockey fins, but not the best for free diving. I bought some Esclapez (black) because everyone recomended them. The blades are fine, but, the fin pockets are way too soft and cramp up my feet. I would have to say that the Picasso-sub's are my favorite hands down. Good stiffness and a supportive foot pocket- I always wear socks or booties.
They one pair to stay away from, above all others, are the Force Fin freediving fins. I liked their other fins for drysuits so I bought a pair (big $$$). I hate the things. They provide no power for freediving and cost me more money than I care to admit.
These are just my opinions. I have, unfortunatly, spent a lot of my own money to form them. Hopefully someone else can learn from my costly mistakes.
I would love to try some of those new carbon fiber blades form Sporasub or Picasso. I'll have to save up to get them and I am sure that I will go with the Picasso's again because of the foot pocket.
Go with the Picasso's from the start- unless you work at a store and get a discount on something else.
Jon
 

freediver48

Offline
Apr 5, 2001
230
4
0
71
Lantzville, B.C.
Visit site
fins

Hi,

I have also had a few pair of fins, and would support the previous comment about Picasso
being a good place to start. I am currently using the Black Team fins, and would also like to try the carbons.
Does anybody know if the carbon blades will retro fit to the Black Teams?

Thanks,

Doug
 

dolda

New Member
Apr 15, 2001
11
0
0
40
Prague Czech Rep
Visit site
fins

I have an old cressi gara( the blue ones) that was before LD and HF. If I would buy fins now I would go for the gara HF. they are nice stiff and over all great - thats what I heard from my friends who have them. take care
 

milanr

New Member
Mar 26, 2001
9
0
0
Seattle, WA, USA
Got my fins, now a wetsuit!

Thanks to all who offered their advice. I ended up buying the Cressi Gara 2000HF (the black, stiffer model), and I love them.

Before my purchase, I was leaning towards the softer fins, because I was concerned that the stiffer version would be too stiff. After much research I decided for Beuchat Mundial Competition fins (gray, softer than the black Elite) and ordered them through a local dive shop. When they arrived, I found out that both blades were deformed. Basically, the blades were spherically curved, i.e., not just in one direction, like if you curl a sheet of paper, but in two perpendicular directions. Consequently, if you bent the blade in your hand up and down, as if swimming, the blades made an audible popping sound. I tried it in the water (not actually swimming) and the popping could be felt. I called Beuchat and they explained to me that all their fins like that. My experience was consistent with the review in Hawaii Skin Diver (http://hawaiiskindiver.com/issues/300/finreview.html). I was very disappointed, because I otherwise liked the fin a lot -- good fit, comfortable pocket and light weight.

I returned the fins and went for the Cressis, available in a local shop. Although they only had the stiff black version (Gara 2000HF), I got them. The blades were perfectly flat -- thus no popping sound.

With trepidation I took them to the pool and discovered that my worries about stiffness were unsubstantiated. I could kick them with no problem, and liked the speed!

The real test came on my trip to Kauai, Hawaii, where I spend three days diving at the "Tunnels" beach. Without much previous training I easily did 45+ feet, and the fins performed flawlessly. Like the Beuchats, the Garas are very comfortable for my feet (I use them with 3 mm neoprene socks) and very lightweight.

I am hooked now! The next thing to get is a wet suit, so I will be seeking more advice on another thread. Thank you all for being such helpful community!
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2019 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT