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Real Divers prefer Force Fins


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#1 davephdv

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:09 PM

Clearly if you are home in the Sea you prefer Force Fins

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#2 davephdv

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:10 PM

Further evidence.

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#3 herbko

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:42 PM

Dave, looks like you had a fun time with these guys. A couple of years ago we had a couple of harbor seals play with us the whole dive at Pt Lobos. It was a blast.

BTW, I thought you were shooting with a D100. What prompted the change?
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#4 davephdv

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:50 PM

Well first the 8400 is a very good camera with the Ike housing UW. I like it being light and compact. Second I'm waiting for a housing for my D2X. There are still a lot of occasions for which I plan on continuing to use the 8400.
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#5 bmyates

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:02 PM

I've had sea lions do that with my Force Fins, too (although I can't say it's the ONLY type they like to chew on!). B)

I prefer the regular size "Tan Delta" fins for most photography, since they're the most maneuverable fins I've ever seen (or used) in tight spots. The FF "Extra" model (which you have in your photos) definitely have more "kick" though, so I wear them when I know I'm going to be (or might be) in strong currents, but their maneuverability is similar to other fins (e.g., Plana Avanti).

Both models save your toes from the classic dive trip blistering, and are much easier on the legs (all effort is on the down-stroke, which is more "natural" for your leg muscles). Also, on several trips I've ended up saving a fellow diver's trip because they seriously stubbed/broke a toe on the boat's ribbing, and couldn't wear their fins anymore! I just let them use my FF's and they were back in the water and eternally grateful (although, come to think of it, none ever sent me gifts afterwards...). :D

Pricey, but well worth it IMHO!

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#6 davephdv

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:35 PM

I can swim backwards with my force fin extras. How much more maneuverability do you need? I agree that force fins in general are great for photographers due to their great maneuverability.

I use a pair of Cressi Subs with my dry suit. They are not as good as my force fins but I don't want to pay the price to buy a second pair of Tan Delta Force Fin extras and the Cressi's work pretty good. Not the power of my force fins but two weeks ago I made a dive with them that all those split fin divers had to abort because they couldn't swim against the current to the anchor chain to get down. I mention the Cressi's because although I have had seals give them a nibble I have never had them just play with them for 20 minutes or so as has happened to me several times with my force fins.
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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 01:53 AM

Well first the 8400 is a very good camera with the Ike housing UW. I like it being light and compact. Second I'm waiting for a housing for my D2X.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I had wondered why you had changed too, Dave, when I saw you 8400 photos last month. It all makes sense now. I am also thinking of getting a 6-8MP compact as a backup/topside camera. May follow your lead!

Alex

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#8 james

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 08:46 AM

Guys,

I shot the little Sea and Sea DX8000 this weekend and it was the bees knees. Small, light, and literally no shutter lag. I'll post some photos and a review soon.

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#9 onokai

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 09:16 PM

I must say those force fins seemed way to small to move me with a dry suit. The last trip In Indo i was on- a guy had bright yellow ones and kicked every diver in range in the head with his- needless to say he was out of control. Glad you like yours.I'll stick to a bigger fin ( i have over 10 pairs) I do like the split scuba screw twin jets for most diving warm or cold water dry suit or wet siut. Mark
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#10 davephdv

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 09:52 PM

I read up on the 8000. Looks like a good choice. Several things to consider. The 8400 is wider, 24 vs 28 mm. A big advantage UW. You can also add on the excellent Nikon WA lens to get you to 18 mm equiv. Both apparently have the same macro problem as I see the S & S write-up mentions macro at the wide end. Same as the 8400.

I'm guessing that the 8400 is a much better camera on land. Just a hunch really but the 8400 is designed for WA shots and people shots on land. As I backup camera I want good UW performance and the ability to walk around and get a lot of good shots when I don't want to lug the monster. Autofocus and shutter lag for the 8400 on land with decent lighting is probably as good as a consumer digicam gets.

Shutter lag is probably better on the 8000. But with decent lighting the 8400 is very good and I doubt it is much of a problem once you get the hang of the camera.

I have no idea which camera most people would prefer. These are some things to consider.

A note about the D2X. Put it in high speed crop and set the camera to "machine gun mode". Then let her rip. No camera like it made else wheres.

I use the Force Fin Extra. They are larger than the original force fins and look more like a conventional fin. They incorporate the best of the force fin concept in what I believe is a much improved design. I have used them with several different dry suits and I can assure you I can outswim any conventional designed fin. Only my long free diving fins are superior and in many situations the free diving fins are too long for UW photography.

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#11 bmyates

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 07:37 AM

I use the Force Fin Extra. They are larger than the original force fins and look more like a conventional fin. They incorporate the best of the force fin concept in what I believe is a much improved design.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Let me offer my "full opinion" on Force Fins. I actually have 4 pair of Force Fins: 1) original black, 2) the "Tan Delta" (a stiffer material that gives more thrust) of the original, 3) black "Extra" model, and 4) the Tan Delta version of the Extra (which is what Dave has and shows in his photo).

Despite claims by some (including the company) that original FFs provide as much or more power than other fins, I (and every other diver I know who has them) find that NOT to be the case. That's not to say they're not great fins - the design (e.g., open toe pocket so all the pressure is on the top of your foot, with no toe chafing, and making your legs "work" only on the downstroke, which creates less cramps and fatigue) is still great. And the original fins are much shorter than most other fins, making them far easier to walk in, far more maneuverable in tight spots, and easy to fine-tune your position in the water with small "flicks" that don't stir up silt - a great advantage for photography. And the Tan Delta material is DEFINITELY better than the cheaper black standard material - well worth the additional cost.

As Dave mentioned, the "Extra" version of the fins is longer than the original design, and does indeed look somewhat more like other fins. They provide NOTICEABLY more thrust, and in the Tan Delta material, I would say they are at least as "powerful" as any other standard size (i.e., not long "blade" style free-diving) fins.

IOW, the original style FFs are (IMHO) the PERFECT fins for dives with little current, such as muck dives, because they offer simply unbeatable maneuverability. The "Extra" style is better where strong currents MIGHT be encountered because they provide considerably more thrust per kick. Either style is far better in the Tan Delta material than standard black, and either style works just fine with a drysuit.

How do they compare to split fins? Well, I have many friends who use split fins, and - properly used (i.e., short flutter kicks, not big wide ones) - I think they're at least as good vs. FF Extras when swimming for any distance against current. The place the FF Extras win hands-down is when you're NOT swimming a distance in current, but are simply trying to maneuver, e.g. around a wreck or wall. Split fins simply don't work as well for "a kick here and a there" to reposition yourself a few feet. Conventional style fins are better. And EITHER style of FF is better than split OR conventional fins in such environments.

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#12 tdpriest

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 08:35 AM

Have you ever followed a guy in FFs? Three feet off the bottom, but no photography for an hour afterwards? <_<

What kind of photographer zooms off at FF speed? :(

The sharks/rays/dolphins/seals/whales are ALWAYS faster... :)

... thought not force!! :D

#13 bmyates

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 09:46 AM

Have you ever followed a guy in FFs? Three feet off the bottom, but no photography for an hour afterwards?  <_<

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If you substitute for "a guy in FFs" the words "a guy who has lousy buoyancy control and/or is oblivious to where his fins are," we could all answer (unfortunately) "Yes."

I've been around divers in every type of fin who swim along near the bottom at a 45 degree angle and ruin a site for photography for awhile. Ankle weights tend to contribute to the problem unless a diver wearing them is skilled AND cognizant of his surroundings and trim. But stirring up silt has NOTHING to do with which fins you're wearing...just whether you're aware of your surroundings and your profile in the water...

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#14 davephdv

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 06:19 PM

Well, not to get into an argument about about Force Fins. You either like them or you don't. But before I gave up spear fishing I several times was put in the water for Halibut dives with a group of very hard core "Gorilla Divers" In these dives you try to go at the fastest pace you can sustain for 45 minutes or so. The guy out front usually gets the fish. These guys are usually outdoors type guys in very good shape. The last two times I did it with my Force Fin extras. I led the pelaton the entire way both times. Not that any of these guys would be caught dead in Force Fins but I did get comments about the Fins being pretty good.

One thing I would argue. I have seen too many times divers that could not swim back to the boat against a current or could not swim up to the anchor chain to pull themselves down against a current. They were all using split fins.
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#15 onokai

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 11:41 PM

Thanks on the force fin info I did not know about all the models. I will give them a try in the future.. Only been around the orginal small ones.. Thanks Dave and Bruce for the fin facts. We all have our favorites. I really like my rubber frog fins. One last Question Dave how heavy or light are the FF extras for travel??Mark
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#16 FreeShark

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:42 AM

Onokai......FF Extras in Tan Delta Material are about 2,5 Kg, in black polyurethane something arroung 2 Kg. Both are aprox. 10% negative.

I would sugest to also try out the Force Fin Pro's they are the same shape/size as the Original's but with extra stiffnes and rebound. I find that they are powerfull enough in currents and great for everday work, plus as mentioned by other members easier to walk in, far more maneuverable in tight spots.

#17 davephdv

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 06:24 PM

The Force Fin Extras are fairly compact and lightweight. Don't know the exact wt. but I would assume the above wt. is correct. The Accelerating Force Fins are a fin I forgot about. Some people who have used both prefer that fin. I have a pair of the original Force Fins in the tan delta material which are much better than the originals but I believe the force fin extra are much better still. The one you really want to use is the one used by special forces the world over. Bob Evans showed it at our dive club. But he says he doesn't sell it to the general public.

The Force Fin Extras are great for packing for air travel. The problem is that they are VERY expensive. I only have a pair because of an unexpected tax refund. I am reluctant to take them to certain parts of the world. I have a pair of the non tan delta extra force fins I may take instead.

In my mind it is not necessarily the unusual designs of the force fins that makes them work. I think they work for two reasons. First they are made of rubber. Not the rubber tires are made of but of high tech synthetic rubbers. The tan deltas are made of the same rubber that skate board and roller blade wheels are made of. This gives them a lot more snap than regular rubber or of the stiff blade fins. Second the foot pocket is opened toed. You push with the stronger, larger part of your foot where it joins your leg. With regular fins you push with the end of your feet, if not your toes. This is weaker and less steady. The only stiff blade fins I have found I like are the Cressis with the foot pocket entirely below the blade. Once again you can then push the blade with the strongest part of your leg getting more leverage and power. The only other fins I like are the long free diving fins. They get more power from having a longer lever to work
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#18 t-bohn

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:15 PM

My FF "chewing" story:
Diving in Apo Island, Dumaguete, Philippines last week...
A group of cat fish under a coral, took me a while to get the shot.
After a minute or so, something was pulling on my fin. I thought my spotter wanted to get my attention and spotted something but I refused to react at that moment. After another more violant "pull" on my fin I looked back and saw a 1.5 ft titan trigger attacking me and biting my fins...
I escaped without any harm, my Tan Deltas survived...

Regarding the FF types:
I have Pros, Tan Deltas, Extras, Excellerators and Foil Force Fins...
Most of the time I use the regular Tan Delta, just slightly harder than the Pro. I swim in any direction with them without disturbing the ground. Since they are extremely short, they are easy to pack. If the weather is bad I don't take them off and climb up the ladders with fins on. I f I fall back in the water, I'm at least left with my fins. They are perfect for shore entries too. The upwards curved blade let them lift of the ground when walking sideways.
If you have people who don't fin proper, they will stir up the ground with any fin...

The Foil work great at the surface and for snorkeling, in strong current I use the Excellerator with Bat Wings... The Extra is just there...

If I would have to buy just one pair, I would get the Pro with Bungees...

Have fun
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