|Dive Rite Fins|
|Written by Agnes Milowka|
|Saturday, 12 February 2011 10:49|
For many years I used jet fins when cave and wreck diving, that was after all what all my mates were using. When cave diving in Florida I was faced with some big currents and it became obvious very quickly that my little jet fins were no match for the huge flow in caves such as Devil’s Eye. I decided to try out the Dive Rite fins, although I must admit I was reluctant to make a change at first. Initially they felt very weird in the water as they just felt so different; they were a lot longer and lighter than my jets. In time however they became my fins of choice as I swam hundreds of metres on each dive inside various cave systems, more often than not battling strong flow. They don’t call fins the poor man’s scooter for nothing!
Recently however I thought it would be great to dust off the jet fins and give them a whirl. Jeez was I in for a shock – they felt so heavy! It felt like my feet were being dragged down into the silt. My swimming pace was also much slower than what I was accustomed to and I had to work that much harder with each kick to get myself through the water. Suffice to say the following dive I was back in the Dive Rite fins.
It did occur to me that perhaps it was just my imagination and in the end your body gets used to diving with whatever it uses the most. It wasn’t until I was diving in Tank Cave one weekend that I realized that perhaps it was all more real than imagined. My buddy and I had a reasonable distance to cover during the dive as we were assigned the task of moving a ‘pinger’ or radio location device to a different location in the cave. Time was of an essence as we were on a tight schedule, yet we wanted to get as much mapping done as possible. I was leading and whilst I didn’t think I was pushing the pace particularly hard, I found my buddy struggled to keep up. The big open passages meant I could take advantage of the power of the fin, do a full frog kick and glide along hardly raising a sweat or increasing my breathing. I found myself frequently having to stop and wait to keep us together and in the end slowed the pace right down by just sculling along.
What makes the fin so good at moving sheer mass through the water? Well, the Dive Rite fin was previously the Apollo Prestige Fin and it won awards in the 1990s for being the best fin on the market. Lamar Hires, the CEO of Dive Rite was a fan of the fins for years because of their power and comfort. So when Apollo switched over to the split fin design Dive Rite bought the mould.
The fin is made up of two materials, a combination of plastic and rubber that give it both strength and flexibility in the water. The blade design is such that every ounce of energy a diver puts in is used with each kick… which is useful when fighting high flow or simply wearing gear that provides extra drag like a dry suit, double tanks and stages for example. The full blade, its length and stiffness make them perfect for all technical fining techniques from modified flutter, frog, to helicopter and shuffle kick. To top it off, the spring straps which come with the fins mean that whether on a boat or in the surf zone, the fins are easy to slip on and off. A stellar technical diving fin if you ask me… and it has the added advantage of leaving your buddies behind eating your dust.