HEADTO- HEAD TESTING
HOW WE TEST
We tested fins at Alexander Springs Recreation Area in central Florida. Test divers used underwater slates to record comments and rate each fin from 5 (excellent) to 1 ( poor) in the following categories:
Ease of Donning
Both in and out of the water, how easy is the fin to put on?
Adjusting for Fit
If straps and buckles are adjustable, how effective and easy to use are they? Are they intuitive or complicated to operate?
Fit and Comfort
How comfortable and secure is the fin on the foot? Does it slip/slide/ pinch, etc., during hard kicking?
Do the fins track
>> straight? Do they have a tendency to wobble, slice side to side, or strike each other while kicking?
Power vs. Stress
Your perception of the propulsion produced during the kick cycle relative to the amount of effort you put into the kick.
The ease, efficiency and stability of the fin in flutter kick.
The ease, efficiency and stability of the fin in frog kick.
Other Kick Styles
The comfort, efficiency and stability of the fin in dolphin, scissor or other kick style.
How efficiently do the fins allow you to quickly increase speed?
How well do the fins allow you to get in and out of tight locations, including spinning, backing up or reversing direction?
While on the surface on scuba or snorkel, how efficiently do the fins propel you relative to the effort?
Ease of Removing Fins
How easily can you remove the fins, in and out of the water? Are the straps or buckles easy to grasp? Is it unusually difficult to slide your boot out of open-heel pockets? Fins also were evaluated for weight, buoyancy characteristics, construction/ durability, and the effectiveness of nonslip material on the bottom. Fins in the technical category were evaluated by divers using both wetsuits and drysuits.
Scubalab Director Roger Roy briefs the test team.