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First fibre long fin

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.


Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
I am thinking about investing in some non-plastic fins and was wanting to know what the options are.

I read a few threads about Specialfins and Svens article on fibre vs plastic and have a few questions.

As this would be my first proper fin what would you recommend ? I have been looking at the Specialfin Stereofin Classics and notice that they come in either Medium or Hard.

I spend alot of time finning on the surface with a mixture of distance and shallow to medium depth. Would the Medium be better for my needs ?

And then there is the cash - not expensive at 150 Euros (comparatively to the Hybrids for example) but still alot of wedge. Are they that much better than say something like the Sporasub Dessault H. ?

I think this is my other choice. I posted last year but ran out of cash to get new fins so have been using my Mares Quattros since then.

Definitely time for a long fin !

Basically my question is what are good fins to start with ?
(I have size 45 feet or UK size 10.5 - strong legs cos I cycle everyday)


++ Sporsub Dessault H (seem well liked and a good place to begin / comfortable foot pockets and quite wide)

++ Cressi Gara 3000 (seem good / soft footpockets / narrow)

++ Esclapez Green (good price / cannot upgrade fin blades)


++ Specialfins Stereofin Classic (Omer footpockets might be a bit stiff / good blades / bit pricey for me)

Are there any recommendations for the Sporasub footpocket ?
I might just buy them then upgrade to maybe something like a Matrix blade later when I have more cash or is the Sterofin Classic really worth the extra cash ? Maybe it would be better to start with the Classic ? If so would the Medium stiffness be a good start ?

Yes - lots of questions - thanks if you can help
Well for your surface swimming style I would go for the Gara 3000 and also for the medium classics... Also i fyou think about it the Classics are not that expensive... the Gara 3000 would cost around 100 bucks right? So why dont you wait a while (if you dont have the money) and ge the Classics a while later... The classics are better because they are more reactive and really really really hard to break ( I have never heard seen any fiber fins break)
Also... if you break the gara 3000 blades you have to get a whole new pair of fins!

(the esclapez do have interchangeable blades)
If your spending a lot of time swimming on the surface, you might want to consider fins with a good bend in them at the foot (angle). The angle is supposed really help surface fining. You should evaluate how straight you can make your feet. I believe the classics are straight where the pros have the angle, but the pros are 225 EUR.

For me I would chose a plastic fin with a lot of angle over straight fiberglass for the same price, but that is because I can't straighten my feet very well. I absolutely loved my PICASSO Black Teams until I lost one. I then went to Omer Millennium Competition, which have less angle and were more difficult to surface swim with. I also liked the Picasso foot pockets better. I now have the Special fins Pros in Medium and Hard. The hards are faster, but the Mediums are more efficient in shallow water and bother my bad knees less so I wear them most of the time.
Cheers Snorkelbum - these are the prices for the fins I am interested in:

++ Sporasub Dessault H. = £ 33
++ Esclapez green = £ 34
++ Gara 3000 = £ 54
++ Specialfins Classic = £ 82

As you can see the Dessault are looking good.

I was planning on wearing a 3mm sock (probably the Cressi one with mettalite) with whatever fin I end up buying.

Anyone any ideas on sizes ?

So far I am thinking size 44-46 with the Dessault.
Cheers for the info - I heard that the Picasso Black were really stiff and therefore a bit of a sweat...

I think the footpocket on them looks good - and if the toe angle is more angled then that might be a contender too.

What is the angle like for the Dessault ?

Are Picasso a wide fit in general ?

I like their ethos for designing gear - all the spearo stuff looks well made too.
I have heard that the Black Teams were stiff too, but they are way more flexible than the Omer Millennium Competition. I would rate them between my special fins medium and hard. If flexibility is a concern there is the PICASSO START, which is the same basic fin, but softer. They cost about the same as Dessaults. Picasso foot pockets are a little narrower than the Omers.

I have never looked closely at the angle on the Dessault, but I like the SPORASUB foot pockets. I recently looked at a pair of Pure Carbons and it seemed like they had good angle, but I was more focused on the length, which are long like C4’s. The new SPORASUB PURE GRAFIBER seems interesting. At 180 EUR from the DB Dive Store the price seems reasonable for a fiber fin. The small picture looks like there is good angle, but it’s hard to tell from the picture. They look like they are long like the Pures, but should be more durable.

The Cressi Mettalite 3mm sock in size large should fit you. They were a little loose for me and I wear 42-44 so I gave them to my friend who wears a 44-46 footpocket and they fit him perfectly.
Good luck,
Well if you speng 180€ on the graphiber why not spend 175 on the Stereo fun fins ... they are in fiber and are made the same way the stereopros are made... and they definatly have a toe angle... also I am quite sure specialfins could whip up a nice camo color or whatnot to go with it!
A few threads report the weakness of the carbon blades, and unless you go for C4's, you may better invest your money in fiber blades.

I spend long h fining at the surface, and the matrix are OK, as long your feet are flexible. I would love to try the Specialfins as they look awesome and all the reports say only good thinks.

I've dive with greens, and black escalpez, gara 2000, try the picasso and other plastic fins... but no one optimize your energy like a fiber blade: for swim a lot he makes a big difference. I kept the black escalpez for cave trashing, but nothing like the fiber for cruising and save energy. If you got strong legs forget about the green escalpez.

The best is to try fins with out angle: I spend two weeks with mine on the bag thinking to have buy something useless for spearing... once on the water the adjustment was minor. And the same with all the guys I know in here... they all wary until they try, and for most of them he works.

For the hardness, again nothing like try... I manage to swim 6h at the time with the #4 (hard) and normally end up in better shape than with the black escalpez (more relax for the same distance). But #3 seem to get the good balance for spearing long h and still deliver the power.

My choice will be: sporasub foot pocket with medium fiber blades (the pro's if the angle is a problem) that later could be upgraded to hard.
Boots and Blades

I had the same questions you had about comfortable boots, interchangeable blades and the ability to swim long distances. I purchased the Sporasub H Dessaults with the plastic blades and they were WAY better than my previous fins. I swim with 2 mm socks just so I dont wear holes in my toes. I was using a pair of running socks in the fins. The running socks were comfortable, but after long immersion and hours of swimming, I wore holes through the skin on my toes:duh . I switched back to my 2 mm wetsuit socks and no further damage.
The blade/boot angle on the H Dessaults is not as acute as say a "snorkeling fin". You will notice, if you swim miles, that you can alternate between your regular scissors kick and a modified bicycle kick to rest muscle groups.
I bought fibreplastic blades from www.finswimming.ca. I installed them in my H Dess. boots and I really like them. I just got back from Kona, Hawaii where I dove for hours and swam many miles. A great combination for not a huge amount of cash. I also wear ankle weights which keep my feet lower than if I had all my weight around my waist,
I dove in Kealakekua Bay south of Kona to see how the fins worked at depth. With the weight I currently have on, I go negative at about 15 feet. I dove to 20 and 25 meters, and I found that the fins climbed back up to the surface easily. I was alone there and did not want to go deeper. I will be diving in freshwater soon, and I want to go deeper so I will let you know how the fins work. John S :cool:
Snorkel bum,
You say this :

" Stereo fun fins ... they are in fiber and are made the same way the stereopros are made"

Just wondering what the difference was between the Classic Pro, the Fun fin and the Classic.

What are the toe angles like for all of them ?

I guess the difference is the blade construction / material ?

Trying to get a handle on the differences in the Special fin fins.

Cheers if you can help.
You need to send an e-mail to Jyri at Special Fins and ask him that question. Then please post us the answer, because I thought the Fun fin was straight just like the Classic.

John S,
On a totally different subject, when you get to your dive spot, or when doing dynamics in the pool, you should try taking your ankle weights off and snapping them together to make a neck weight. I have been doing this and I am totally excited it. At the PDF clinic Kirk explained that in dynamics if your fin are close to the surface or breaking it, it is usually because the extra buoyancy of the upper body. You try and compensate for it by arching the back and keeping your fins high so the thrust is pushing you down. It makes a world of difference to have some weight on your neck and you can use less total weight.

When doing deep dives it is really good too. Your dives are with less effort because you are using the fins less to steer the head down. I actually float higher when upright on the surface, because I can take about 1/3 total weight off. When on my back me legs also float higher and it easier for me to breathup while maintain the correct position to roll and dive.

The only negative I can see is that if you were to pass out on the surface your chances of floating face down might increase, but that was already high and you shouldn’t be diving by yourself anyway. By getting the weight off your ankles you will also use less energy kicking.

Two ankle weights snapped together at the buckles make a really nice neck weight without having to go the trouble of making one yourself. I can see where wearing them on a surface swim with straight blades may help keep the fins in the water, but you should try them on your neck at least once when you get to your spot. :D
Sorry for the deviation.

PS Neck weights are not legal in AIDA competitions for CB, which is whole another debate. :hmm
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Thank You for the tip about moving ankle weights to my neck. It makes sense to get the weight off of my feet! John S
The StereoPro and the funpath fin are made in the same way... the stereopros can be made into any color you ask for (the way they are made permits this) and I am guessing the funpath can also be made that way (colors) ... you just gotta ask nicely :eek:.
The only difference I notice are the blade sizes... the stereopros are 75cm x 22cm while the funpath are 75cm x 19.5cm making them a fin more suited for freediving...
The classic is just a plain piece of fiberglass that has been hand cut to make it bend and all in the right place... dont get me wrong, they are still a quality piece of work! ;) Also this fin cannot have a toe angle due to the way they are made...

Give Jyri a shout at jyri@specialfins.com and I am pretty sure he will be more than happy to answer any questions you have... and also more detailed info since my stuff is pretty vague :t
Yes I got a few mails from Jyri and he has been pretty helpful.

From what everyone has been saying there is a division between the fibreglass (StereoClassic) and the fibre fins (StereoPro / Fun / Kelpie ? Hybrid etc) in terms of design (toe angle / width etc) and material.

Jyri recommended the following for me :
"Thank you for your interest about our fins & positive emotions.
Based information from your side I recommend to use stereofins Classic - they are really resistant to scratches etc. if you swimming around a rocky outcrop. Fins with angle are more effective but they are not so resistant.

I guess that you have right- the best solution to buy at first Sporasub Dessault H. fins (thay are cheap) and then to upgrade the fin blades to a fibre fin.
Then we`ll produce Classic blades for Sporasub footpockets."

Think I'll go for the Sporasub Dess. H. and pine after the SteroPro's and Hybrids ! - always good to start with a cheapish pair of Sporasubs (which seem more suited to distance than depth )and then go for a pair of fins more suited to depth if I end up becoming more interested in depth.
Cheers for all the help.
Be nice if there was a list of fins with rough descriptions - might help us newbies :

Something like:

++ Sporasub Dessault H. (plastic fin / not much toe angle / good to 25m / comfortable fin pocket / good for wide feet / comfortable for surface swimming / snorkelling / good beginner fin / replaceable fins)

++ Picasso Team Black (plastic fin / .... etc)

I guess those who have been freediving for a while know the score when it comes to fins but a brief summary would be useful and would provide an at a glance summary list. Cheers.
I'm also planning to buy my first longblade fins. Since at the moment I don't desire to reach maximum dephts, I would go for the softer blades. I've tried the Omer footpockets, and didn't like them. I've understood that the Sporasub's footpockets are softer.

The idea of buying first the (cheap) Sporasub dessault H fins and then later upgrading the blades to specialfins sounds nice.
I think that I'll do the same.

Is there differences between dessault H blade colours?
Hey Juhani - yes, I have more or less decided on the Sporasub Dess. H. but rather than changing the blades later I think I will keep them for shallows / rocks / a spare or guest pair; and think about another pair altogether.

An entry level fibre fin of some kind (jury is still out but I guess I have some time as the Spora Dess. H. will keep me going for a while) - but I think having a spare pair would be good.

Like Juhani asks : is there a difference between the Sporasub Dess. H. fin colours in terms of stiffness etc ?

Blue - grey - green - black

Or is it just a colour choice and nothing to do with stiffness ?
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I've been draggin my butt lately when it comes to the forum (but NOT the water ;) ). Don's still helpful as ever...good thing there's still someone carrying the fin-torch. I have experience with all the fins you mentioned, and I have already been down the exact path you fellas are planning to take. Started out with H. Dessaults, and after a couple years, moved on to Specialfins StereoPro fins. Refine your technique, stengthen your legs, and then go for a pair of med or hard (I have hard's) Specialfins.
And believe me, you can't go wrong with the Dessaults. I still say that there is no better fin for the money. As for the blade color, there is no difference in stiffness. Reports claim that there used to be a difference, but not anymore. There is, however, significant stiffness difference between the long and short blades (Dessaults ship with the long blade). Short blades are much thinner/softer. Don't waste your money on em; they are not a freediving blade.

That must be some butt! :girlie Nice to see you back here, Tedski.

Hey, the Sven is selling a pair of Specialfins Kelpie Hards on the For Sale section here. Whatta guy. :king
Cheers Ted
Thanks for the info - I thought that there might be a difference in the fin flex cos alot of other manufacturers do this.

I was waiting for scubastore to stock the green ones again but i guess I'll get stylish blue instead.

I think the scubastore fins come in the long blade rather than the short ones - hope so anyway.

I'll slap down an order this afternoon - cheers for the info.

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