HEADTO- HEAD TEST­ING

Scuba Diving - - Train -

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?

Sta­bil­ity

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.

Flut­ter Kick

The ease, ef­fi­ciency and sta­bil­ity of the fin in flut­ter kick.

Frog 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.

Ac­cel­er­a­tion

How ef­fi­ciently do the fins al­low you to quickly in­crease speed?

Ma­neu­ver­abil­ity

How well do the fins al­low you to get in and out of tight lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing spin­ning, back­ing up or re­vers­ing direc­tion?

Sur­face Swimming

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.

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