Fins : Performance Testing

Admin - Steve22 Comments

00:10 Testing Apeks RK3 Fin
02:50 Testing The UTD Jet or Precision Fin
04:29 Testing The Hollis F2 Fin
06:22 Testing Mares Avanti Quattro Fin
07:23 Why Jet Fins Are Popular For Drysuit Divers
07:40 Testing The OMS Slipstream
08:02 More Fins Coming From xDeep

22 Comments on “Fins : Performance Testing”

  1. Christian Kragh

    Hi Steve
    I hope you guys are staying safe during the lockdown.

    Nice of you to put to put this in the free section, although it took me a while to find, as I was looking through all the other courses haha.

    I’m curious about the part where you say, that in a new wetsuit, your legs are slightly positive and after a while they go from neutral to slightly negative. This was the exact thing I ran into, in a brand new 5mm wetsuit and boots with the Apeks RK3 (not the HD version). Will be interesting, to see if that changes in the future.

    For future fin reviews, I’d love to see some of these tested:

    – Apeks RK3 HD
    – Scubapro Jetfins (probably more a drysuit fin)
    – Aqualung X-Shot (or Shot FX for women), this looks a bit similar to your beloved Mares Quattro, but with spring straps
    – Deep Eddy 6
    – Diverite XT
    – SPLIT FINS, this is the holy grail and I need you to make a video of why they are bad ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Christian, thank you for feedback and I will definately get Vas straight on the split fin test (he will love that) ๐Ÿ˜€ haha. All wetsuits will run into this buoyancy issue, they crush over use and the deeper you dive a wetsuit the worse that issue is. You will see a lot of technical divers (like Vas) for example using a drysuit 100% of the time, this of course tops this issue as the drysuit acts as an overall body trimming device, so once you find the right balance of fins that suit your finning style then you are good to go, the weight is less of an issue than with a wetsuit. The Diverite XT and Scubapro are both heavy fins and good for drysuit use, the Apeks RK3 HD is also a heavier fin than the standard and I would use it in a drysuit as well. We will try and release some more fin tests, usually if a student brings these fins we always test them and most of the time the dive ends with us swapping our fins with them and we have to make the rest of dive 1 using the students fin ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cheers, Steve

  2. Vas Proud

    Hey guys,

    Just to say that I have a set of Apeks RK3 HD and they are almost the same as my OMS Slipstream.

    The Eddy fins are the same weight – more or less, but ultra stiff.

    I would say that the weight of fin is not the only thing I would look to change to correct a trim problem. A heavier fin will bring more effort to use – and often you see less ankle rotation with a heavier fin as they are just harder to manipulate for a lot of people – the inertia is greater and the effort to keep them up is higher.

    The stiffness of a fin is quite often down to persona choice – too soft and you don’t feel you are getting much drive, and too stiff you can feel like you are really working to have them push the water. On top of that, there are some people with less ankle flexibility and a stiff fin can make their lives harder. On the opposite side, when I dive with Audrey, she is using the softer Apeks RK3 (to my OMS) but she has 100x more ankle movement than me – and she goes twice as fast with her softer fins than me!

    So it is always best if you can try to borrow fins to test rather than only take peoples word – as the feelings can be very subjective. This is why we try to carry the extra fins with us on the first days of a course to see what works well for people.

    I sold my split fins a long time ago and I also will never go back to the Jet Fin – just too heavy and a workout to use for me.


    1. Anders Tuff

      Hi Vas,

      I understand that you dive dry, but the OMS Slipstreams as I understand it, are almost neutral whereas the Apeks RK3 HDs are slightly negative – correct? Which ones works best for cold water dry suit diving – which ones do you use in the UK for instance? I am currently using the Hollis F1 in cold green nordic water but have found that after switching from backmount to sidemount, that they are too negative combined with 12ltr SM steel tanks. Regards Anders

      1. Steve Martin

        Hi Anders, The Apeks RK3 HD will work better if you need a little weight at the foot which is more common with drysuit divers, the OMS slipstream are still a little negative but not by much. The best is to try each set of fins before buying and see what works best for you. The Hollis F1 are too heavy for me in a drysuit that is for sure. Cheers, Steve

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Brock, I also regularly alternate between the RK3 (not the HD version but normal lighter RK3) this is great for me in a wetsuit once it has lost it’s (new) buoyancy. The Avanti Quattro I find work well for everything generally, the RK3 do make all the kicks easier to learn I have found when using them with students, they are just a good all-round fin. The quattro a little longer and a bit harder to learn kicks for students. Anyway, the xDeep fins I have had one of the earlier models and this was quite stiff and heavy, I thought at first it was similar to the OMS slipstream but to be honest the slipstream was better. Having said that I believe there might be more models of the xdeep jet fin and if they made it softer and lighter then it would be okay for me but I doubt I was use it instead of the RK3 or Quattro and if I needed more weight I would use the RK3 HD and that works well in a drysuit, if you need more weight at the foot. Hope that helps. Cheers, Steve

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Sean, yes I have used the Mares Power Plana fin, it is quite a stiff fin and is fairly heavy in the water too. There is a power + (plus) fin version as well I think and they are even stiffer, they are okay but honestly for me I think the Quattro is a better fin and if you are looking for a ood jetfin then the Apeks RK3 or RK3 HD I would recommend over this one. Again if you can get your hands on a set to test in-water this is the best. Cheers, Steve

  3. Dave Reid

    Would be very interesting to see if you could get the range of kicks in a freediving length/style of fin! Obviously it would not be suited to a cave environment but I use them for standard back mount rec scuba diving and find they are great for propulsion over smaller scuba fins. Although it may also just be that I have spent so much time in them now for breath-hold diving.

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Dave, I am sure the standard scuba kick would be very effective. I doubt however the other kicks would work that well using free diving fins but like most things if you practice a lot then I am sure it could work. I will have a go when I next get chance and I am sure Vas would be up for the challenge to. Cheers, Steve

  4. kostas angeletos

    Gd day,

    Anyone tried the tecline light jets? Looking for a salt water wetsuit fin. I dive the rk3 hard in fresh water and drysuit but find heavy with neoprene.
    Already have avanti quattro and tried holis f2 but lite something new. Dear steve, read your review on the rk3 softer version do you recommend (though having the hard version makes sense i guess for a different maker/fine)
    Plsd to hear your suggestions, Cheers from Hamburg

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Kostas, I have not tried the tecline light jet myself. I am not sure why they added a steel spring strap to a lightweight fin, they I suspect will be similar to the Hollis F2 which I fin to light and to use as I show in tests, just not a good fin. You have the RK3 HD these are heavier and good for drysuit diving where you want some more weight. The standard Apeks RK3 are lighter that is for sure and they will float in fresh and salt water but they are very similar performance to use as the RK3 HD version, so if you like that fin they you cannot go wrong with them and they make a very good wetsuit fin, I have a set in Mexico which I use with my wetsuit if not using the quattros. Hope that helps, Cheers Steve

  5. kostas angeletos

    Kalimera Steve,

    Thanks very much, actually I am happy with the Apeks just you know we get the bug to try new equipment and spend money..but you are right.
    By the way, the quattros i got are with bungees, would you say is worth changing to spring straps or is it a waste of money/no real difference?

    Cheers Kostas

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Thomas, yes I have tried them for a few dives. I actually owned a set of the Excellerating Force Fins. They are okay at doing some basic kicks, like frog and standard kick but for back kick etc they really are not great. I would strongly suggest you try the Apeks RK3 or RK3 HD if you wanted a bit more weight, it will be money better spent and there is no way I would buy force fins again, lets say that. RK3 is one of the easiest fins a diver can use to learn the full range of kicks and I now use these myself most of the time. Regards, Steve

  6. Alex Blakemore

    Hi Steve, Have you had a chance to test the XDeep EX-1 jet fins? Any thoughts? It looks like they offer 3 levels of stiffness. Any recommendations about when stiff fins are better than soft or vice-versa?

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Alex, I did get a pair of the very 1st ones xDeep made to test them, I think they are similar to the stiffest version available now. I generally find that all jet fins are very similar to each other to use, these were no different in terms of kicking style and type of propulsion you get from the fin. The weight of the fins does play a big part as you want them to either be heavy if you need the weight there, say your using a drysuit or using thick sole wetsuit boots (they help counter act the positive buoyancy those give you. If the fin weight is neutral in the water, then these are good for a lot of divers as there not too heavy or too light to manage. If you have very heavy legs, then a positively buoyant fin can be good, however most of those are made with very soft flexing material and don’t give good propulsion. So, in terms of what you should get honestly you need to test them to see how they feel and also if the kicking style of that fin works for you. A stiff fin is harder to get into positions as you make kicks but generally gives better propulsion than say a fin which is less stiff that has the opposite effect. Hope that helps. Cheers, Steve

  7. Matt Tucker

    Thanks for the great information, unfortunately, Vimeo is blocked her in Indonesia but the comments have been great. I had a pair of Dive Rite XT’s that eventually failed just how I knew they eventually would, loved them otherwise. Now I am looking to replace them and am exploring the OMS slipstream fins vs the Hollis F1. I am fine going to a lighter fin ( I think, it would help with traveling Asia with dive gear) and dive mostly warm water, I would eventually go side mount but for now, dive backplate and wing. How do either of those fins compare with power to the XT?

    1. Steve Martin

      Hi Matt, just use a VPN and you will be able to watch videos on Vimeo, they get blocked in Indonesia but I have at least 10 customers I know who use a VPN with our online training. The OMS Slipstream are very good fins and similar weight in water to the Mares Quattro with spring straps, so I class them as neutral to slightly negative. The dive rite XT are stiffer and for sure a lot more negative. Regards, Steve

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