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#21 funkyspelunker

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 01:44 PM

John, I have the quattros and I love them, very manueverable for photography. However, its a workout surface swimming. I tried out my buddy's Apollo Biofins and I loved them, but a little too noodle-like so I ordered the Biofin XTs, we'll see how that pans out, I just wish they weren't so ugly. I like the looks of the Atomic splitfins, anyone ever compared those to the biofin XTs?

#22 underh2o

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 02:12 PM

I have a pair of Force Fin Pros and I love them. They are very comfortable, easy to get on and off, easy on the legs and to me are just fine pushing a housed camera into the current. Even with out these benefits the short length of the fins is the biggest selling point. While photographing I am less likely to kick the reef with the Force Fins than I would be with longer "normal" fins. They are also much easier to pack than longer fins. Mine are 10 years old and show no signs of wearing out.

#23 DanB

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 03:06 PM

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

I'm suprised to see so many fans of the split fins. I did not think they would be so popular with photographers. We don't zoom all over the dive site so speed and power are not that important. (Unless you are chasing whale sharks, I guess.) I'll check them out.

I tend to slowly frog kick my way around, scanning the site for things to shoot.
I like to be able to control my position or make slight adjustments with the twist of my ankle. A stiff blade works well for this. I like them short too, so I'm less likely to kick something when my face is glued to my viewfinder.

I'm going to try out a few pairs in a pool and see what I like.

Dan

#24 Drew

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 06:32 PM

Dan
Actually the splits have great speed but don't have the "torquey" immediate response most people are use to. Sorta like a race tuned V10 with all the power in the higher rpms vs a sedan V12 with a flatter torque curve.
In my old whaleshark chasing days, I'd say the splits allowed me to keep up with the sharks a lot longer than other fins. Now I just go to places where there are 10 whalesharks gathering so they don't move too far or fast LOL

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#25 t-bohn

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:32 PM

Is there a perfect fin!?
I don't think so...

I use Forcefin Pro Tan Delta with Bungees 80% of the time.
Additional advantages to the ones mentioned already is the fact that you can walk sideways when doing beach-entry. They are short enough and swim up because the edges are curved up. Ground contact is a rare occasion and I can swim forward, backwards and sideways which is great for macro and confined spaces.

For blue water diving and wall diving I have a seletion of freediving-fins like Cressi Gara 3000. Good for maximum speed and comfortable.

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#26 RogerC

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:57 PM

for the record, I've owned quattros, cressi freediving fins (cheap ones), technisub stratos, and jet fins. I've tried scubapro twin jet full foot fins, apollo split fins, mares hinged quattros (can't remember the real name), and various force fins. I really like the jet fins, for high speed and low.

Egg shell blue jet fins!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


they start out a medium-blue, but oxidize and get lighter. Same with the pink.

Do you think we can get one of the vendors to make ones with a large white patch, a large grey patch, and a Mcbeth color chart on them.

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try hotglue or good waterproof shipping tape, the thicker clear 3M kind.

Bacripe, interesting you mention that split fins don't do well in current. Every test(independent and otherwise) refutes that statement. Split fins are faster than normal paddle fins. In heavy curren, like those of Komodo or British Columbia, my splits jiggy with current much better than my jet fins.

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I just haven't seen that in person. I walk right by people with split fins in heavy current. My wife is not a strong smimmer, she wears medium size jets which have a very small blade, and she's faster than splits, too.

We got stuck in strong current once and a couple buddies with split fins were stuck in it near a wall, causing a bottleneck. We both moved out into heavier current and passed them easily. That was the end of split fins for us. The reviews make me wonder if sponsorship is biasing them. The scores are often very close, too.


Funny that many dismiss the black, slightly stiffer Scubapro Twin Jets. Howard Hall and Bob Cranston switched to these pushing around IMAX cameras and giant HD video rigs in conditions all over the world. And I'll bet they put in more time underwater on their MK155 CCR rebreathers than practically anyone. I dived with Bob a few years back and he and Howard were die hard Scubapro Jet Fin users. Must be good enough in currents if they decided to switch :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I noticed they wore them, and also that scubapro sponsors them, and again, I'm suspicious.


I tend to slowly frog kick my way around, scanning the site for things to shoot.
I like to be able to control my position or make slight adjustments with the twist of my ankle.  A stiff blade works well for this.  I like them short too, so I'm less likely to kick something when my face is glued to my viewfinder. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


you should really try the old plain jets. They do exactly what you want. Ask around. Any old DM or diver or DIR guy will have a pair and won't mind you borrowing them. You can't hurt them.

#27 pmooney

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:41 AM

Be carefull fixing a white balance card to your fin - last time I did that a silver-tip decided to have a chew on mine.

I have found Mares "AVANTI" L full foot fins to be great for the "tropical water's" that I dive in. They can be a bit awkward in close confines - but boy can they push you along if you need it.

They are out of production now and my 12 year old pair are starting to look a towards retirement - thinking that Technisub "ALA's 9 "graphite rubber compound" are probally a good full foot option.

#28 MikeVeitch

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:56 AM

What i found interesting about Howard and Michelle Hall using the Twin Jets is the fact that they cut them almost in half, they are only about the size of boogie board fins....

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#29 Drew

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:59 AM

Mate, I know about silvertips and white fins... This one chased me around for 15 minutes.

Roger,
Splits require technique to be at their most efficient. I happen to know a few guys who do the fin tests and their opinions can't be bought or sold. Plus my own experience for the last 6 years with the biofin converted me. I also thought they were crap but it was actually my own habits from the paddle fin days that made me slower etc. Took me a while to "flutter kick" constantly. Also as a video shooter, the imbalance of paddle fins going up and down is most drastically reduced with the smaller kicks, thus my videos are less Lars Von Trier in pursuit mode. Obviously to each their own and relearning to kick is something that is easier said than done. Nowadays, when I go back to paddle fins, I have to remember to kick wider. :)

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#30 Ryan

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:09 AM

I bought some Omer Tuna fins on closeout at an LDS, I've been itching to try ff freediving fins for a while. After snorkeling with them in Lauderdale by the Sea (15ft freediving :) ) and diving them this weekend in moderate current on the Duane, I'm sold. I didn't need to do more than a small scull to stay stationary in the current, where others were doing a full on flutter kick. I could easily move against the current, had unreal positioning ability, and could fly if I needed. I've used twin jets, jets, Mares quattros, and these fins. I'll keep the jets to wear w/ my drysuit, the quattros for tropical travel if I need a "small" fin, and sell the twin jets on ebay!. For everything else, I'm going to use the Omers.

This is an incredibly individual choice, though.

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#31 John Bantin

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:17 AM

John, I have the quattros and I love them, very manueverable for photography.  However, its a workout surface swimming.  I tried out my buddy's Apollo Biofins and I loved them, but a little too noodle-like so I ordered the Biofin XTs, we'll see how that pans out, I just wish they weren't so ugly.  I like the looks of the Atomic splitfins, anyone ever compared those to the biofin XTs?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Take a look at: http://www.divernet....t/0303extra.htm


www.divernet.com has a lot of info in its archive!

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#32 fdog

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:18 PM

<snip> I tend to slowly frog kick my way around, scanning the site for things to shoot.
I like to be able to control my position or make slight adjustments with the twist of my ankle. A stiff blade works well for this. I like them short too, so I'm less likely to kick something when my face is glued to my viewfinder. <snip>


With this as an engineering goal, I'd reccomend Jet Fins.

Not that I use them; I'm lucky enough to have an old pair of Power Plana Graphites that I hold on to protectively. Just as stiff, and manuverable, as Jet Fins, at half the weight.

With your interest in manuverability (not that I'm reccomending Kool-Aid), learning some DIR-type skills, like helicopter turns or backwards fin kicks, can really improve your underwater shooting, especially macro.

A good little video (if you can cut through the deadwood of a different "equipment debate" in the first 2 minutes) is here, 9 MB, so be patient. Even the most jaded can't look at this without seeing advantages for photography.

Fins are tools. Pick something from the toolbox that suits the job at hand. Anyone that says a particular fin is "the best", without articulating a task, is passing on rubbish.

All the best, James

#33 Marjo

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 02:46 PM

I used to huff at the idea that anything out there could be better than my rather long and stiff $38 paddles, especially after purchasing a pair of $150 very technical looking fins that I donated to a friend after two color cordinated but disappointing dives. But after several of my buddies raved about the atomic splitfins, and the fact that they came in an irressitible blue and tranclucent color combination, I caved in and got me a pair of Atomic Aquatics Liquid Blue SplitFins. We'll I had NO IDEA what a difference the fins could make! They move me with what feels like half of the previous effort, save me loads of air, zoomed me along fast and effortlessly. This weekend I made my hubby (who is notoriously frugal and will wear every piece of equipment until it simply cannot go on another dive) switch fins with me mid-dive, and now ever he is sold on these! No, I am not a salesman for Atomic (though I used to compete with Atomic skis in my youth), but I LOVE these fins!

#34 frogfish

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 09:33 PM

I use Force Fins, but they are not the short fins that most people here seem to be talking about. Long, very stiff (almost completely rigid), with two "whiskers" on top to channel the water flow. It's the model that Evans calls the "Excellerator". They're designed to generate a lot of power on the down stroke, but there is almost no resistance at all on the upstroke - it feels very strange at first.

It took a long time to get used to these fins - I did not like them at first, and I'm still not 100% sold. They use completely different muscles than other fins I've used, and put a lot of strain on the muscles around the arch of the foot. I would not advise anybody to buy them and take them on a trip without spending at least a week or so working with them in a pool or at the beach first.

I don't think they are very good for frog kicks, which I use a lot with other fins. The way the Force Fin (or this model, at least) is designed to catch water only on the downstroke but spill it on the upstroke means they don't generate much force with a frog kick, though it's ok for fine positioning. Once the new muscle groups are suitably conditioned, these fins are very fast and efficient working up-current, though again the technique is completely different than other fins. It's a bit like driving a 12-speed bike up hill in low gear, but I can maintain headway and last longer pushing a camera rig with long strobe arms (folded, of course) against a strong current with these fins than with others I've owned or tried.

I still switch back to my old Cressi Master Frog blades from time to time, and I think I've concluded the Force Fins are better, but I'm ready to try some of these pretty blue fins everyone is talking about, if I ever see them out here.

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#35 bmyates

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:02 AM

I use Force Fins... the model that Evans calls the "Excellerator". . .They use completely different muscles than other fins I've used, and put a lot of strain on the muscles around the arch of the foot...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have four different pairs of Force Fins, the standard material and "Tan Delta" (stiffer material) of both the original style and the "Extra" version (which are longer and provide significantly more power). I never use the standard material ones any more because the stiffer Tan Delta material is so much better. When I don't anticipate constant current struggles, I use the original style FF's because they allow for the best maneuverability of any fins I've ever worn. When I DO anticipate constant/strong current, I use the "Extra" style.

I like FFs for the same reasons others have stated: ease of getting on/off, no leg stress on the upstroke (and therefore little or no cramping), open foot pocket (so no more toe blistering), and outstanding maneuverability.

In talking with several folks who've tried FF's and do NOT like them, the primary reason seems to be pain on the top of their foot. Sadly, this is EASY to eliminate -- by simply installing TWO sets of the soft foam FF pads available on their website. On my recent Indonesia trip, I did 55 dives averaging over an hour each, and had NO pain or booty rash/blistering.

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#36 ReefRoamer

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:50 PM

I'll give my nod to the Tan Delta Force Fins. After 15 years of using half a dozen different fin types, I've finally found my personal match. Extremely maneuverable, small enough to pack easily, powerful enough for most circumstances. I wear them with a lycra sock. People say you may have to learn a different kick, but I think my natural kick fits the Force Fins. For heavy current, bluewater dives, I opt sometimes for my Atomic split fins ... but seldom use them anymore.
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#37 lauri

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 12:53 AM

Jet fins or clones with spring straps. No gimmicks, totally indestructible and a bit negative in water, which is a positive side with a drysuit.

I come from a cold water, silty bottom wreck/cave diving background, and hence use frog kick for 99% of the time. When shooting in warm water vacations, I've found out that it also gives you a lot better control on your body position than flutter kick, and helicopter turns, suddens stops and backwards kicks are a lot easier - great for macro work. Additionally, you don't leave a wake of lost visibility and destroyed corals if you use the frog kick and are properly trimmed. B) For this any split/hinged/gimmicky fins are virtually useless, and of the flat fins the jets seem to give the best sideways control for ankle movements/sculling. Frog kick can also pack a lot of punch in a current, if properly performed.

Actually, I'm so brainwashed, that I even prefer pictures of divers doing frog kicks and using jets, they just seem more competent that way. :unsure:

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#38 davephdv

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:05 PM

Tan Delta force fin extras. I absolutely love them. I own two pairs. One XL for wetsuits and one XXL for my dry suit. I tried about 3 other fin types for my dry suit when my extra force fins wouldn't fit the boot. I gave away a pair of Cressis and Scubapros. They just weren't in the same league as the force fin extras. Sometimes between dives I jump in water just to swim around with them, they feel so great.

The person who doesn't think they have power is nuts. I can out swim any fin except free diving fins. I have a pair of those for some circumstances.

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#39 uw_nikon

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:28 PM

I use Cressi-sub Master Frog fins size XL, open heeled. They are only 3 inches (75mm) shorter than the Gara 2000s and a have little wider blade otherwise they're constructed the same as the Garas and have the a good freediving fin action. (I beach dive in a dry suit so full-foot fins won't work for me.)

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PS, I used XL Jetfins for 10 years and after I tried the Master Frogs using the Jets felt like strapping rubber bricks to my feet. I've tried split fins. Couldn't get the fine attitude adjustment by flicking the fin tips like I can with a paddle type fin.
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#40 hoovermd

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 04:59 AM

The force fins look like kiddies fins to me :)

I've been contemplating replacing my Atomic Splits.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE these fins. Comfortable nd work really well in open ocean.
If you have to swim any distance back to the boat, these are the fins for you.

However, for tight space ptoto these suckers are simply waaay too long. I'm grazing (or almost grazing)stuff too often since I've now got a camera to worry about.

So, any thoughts on fins that are short? I'm thinking of the Scuba Pro Jet (adding the spring straps)
http://www.scubapro....Jet Fin/Jet.htm
They seem to have been around quite a bit.

Most of our diving seems to be tendered. Also, there is a planned trip to the Galapagos on the Aggressor boat so I'd hate to pack the wrong fins there. I'm quite comfrtable with frog kicks and find myself using this kick 80% of the time right now. I've learned how to back up in my Atomics too but I'm looking for the better solution.

I'm typically pushing a dual strobe rig and the wife is a macro grrrl.

Naturally, Fins are a personal choice, but I'm interested in opinions.
Stuff like "my calves always hurt when I used this fin" or "Only use these if your legs are in shape" or even "I hate F'in Scubapro because ..."
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