fin 1 (fn)
A membranous appendage extending from the body of a fish or other aquatic animal, used for propelling, steering, or balancing the body in the water. Ummmmm so why am I not being propelled and steered through the water whilst wearing mine?
I had noted for quite a while that I was being well and truly left behind in the finning stakes and yet gaining cramp and calf pain along the way, too much energy was being put into this activity….according to a well known dive forum I should either [or both] learn to fin properly or get a new buddy. Whilst the latter is sometimes tempting [lets hope he who pays the bills isn’t reading this!] I’m not really ready to trade him in, so that leaves the first suggestion….I studied other’s finning techniques and copied them but to no avail…..so maybe it was time to look into buying a different style of fin.
I had used the same make of fin since I had started diving [10 yrs ago]; a very poplar make that scores high in reviews, so I was reluctant to make a change. However, needs must and whilst flicking through a dive magazine I saw a review on a new design of fins [ http://cetatek.com/]…well they certainly looked different, but do they work? back to the on- line forum, surely someone there has used them? unfortunately, no, but i did get the good advice of……”you’re be laughed off the boat wearing these” ok so they were quirky looking, but if they worked who really would be the one laughing?
So fins in my hands time to get them wet. First thought…basically….Wow….., I felt myself using less energy, no calf/ cramp experienced, and they certainly propelled me through the water. Ok, so these test dives were under Swanage pier hardly a stringent “road” test. So onto Meadfoot beach and Shag Rock anyone who has dived this great UK site will appreciate the horrendously long surface swim just to reach it [which of course also means a long swim back in]. Again these fins coped brilliantly.
I also found [for the first time] I could do helicopter turns [ok I’m sure the technique wouldn’t win any prises but still I was turning on the spot] it took me a few dives to really work out the main difference these fins made to my diving……I was now sculling rather than scissor kicking, thus I can now dive with bent knees, this is not to be mistaken for “floaty” feet as it didn’t feel like that at all, but it did feel more comfortable and easier to dive like this esp. on the silky UK seabed and with camera in hand, and my buddy certainly appreciated the reduced backscatter.
So, all in all, I undertook dives from Swanage pier, to diving off of rib into the Dover channel where these fins even gave me an added lift up whilst exiting the water. They also passed the tests of the rough water of the Farne Islands. On each and everyone of these dives these fins performed excellently and I just loved wearing them.
So the downsides-well the price for a start is possibly a bit off putting for some, however, they are well worth the money, but it does feel a big risk parting with so much when you don’t know how well they will perform, but i love these so much that i am having to buy another pair to wear with wetsuit boots, so i think that says a lot
one other point is the sizing, the small were too small for my dry suit boots and whilst the medium are a better fit there are the odd times i feel them a bit floppy but not enough to cause any problems, but another look at the sizing during the design stage wouldn’t go amiss.
Although I didn’t quite get up to WARP speed with these fins they are certainly powerful. I found all diving kicks possible with them, used less energy and got further, they also stirred up less water [or rather I did] as instead of them dragging down near to the sea bed I could hold them high, I also heard no laugher on the boats in fact I had one guy say they were sexy looking fins…..ummmm maybe I wouldn’t go that far but they are the best I’ve used by far.
Theresa Cloake, Dover
Moments before a night-dive in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with the Spirit Of Freedom live-aboard dive yacht. Knocked-off 15 dives in just a few days–but the most special part of the trip was the people we met on on our floating home for a week.
Check-out www.spiritoffreedom.com to book your own live-aboard in the land down-under.
Here is a little video of a few adventure travel moments while aboard and below the sea:
Last year when we did our surf boat race we had thermal tops, which literally became useless as soon as you got near the water. Just tried out the shark skin tops when we had our first competition in Wales, in what can only be described as typical Welsh weather, windy, wet & cold! However when we where stood in the water, waiting for the starters whistle with the waves crashing over us, the water just rolled of the shark skins tops, I didnt even notice the cold! I would 100% recommend anyone who does any type of water sports especially in the erratic climate we have in the UK, to try SharkSkin just once, you will never use anything else I promise you.