I have tried a lot of fins. In fact I think I have tried fins from most manufacturers and from all available materials. Plastic composite fins from Cressi, Mares and Beuchat, Carbon fins from Omer and Special fins, Glass and carbon fins from Leader…. the list goes on.
Its always a difficult task to be able to review a fin, without bias and with clinical accuracy. There are just so many factors that can alter your experience with one set of fins. You really have to use them in all conditions and over as long a period as possible.
I would also say that fins have different purposes too. I have 3 sets which I rotate through. One set is very stiff and strong which I use for teaching, one set is softer but quite tough which I use for spearfishing and the other set is a ‘performance’ set which only see the light if im in a situation which requires me to dive to my full potential.
Its this ‘performance’ category which these new fins fall in to.
Made from the highest quality pure carbon these are a seriously reactive fin. Im not sure of the details of their construction but the blades seem to have a very progressive flex, giving a great snap at the tip whilst funneling water in the correct direction along its length.
The blade is trimmed in a T-shape edging, minimising the loss of power from water spilling off its plane. Unlike a lot of other fins, this edging being T-shaped, allows that flow to be as efficient on the fore and backstroke.
The foot pockets are the Pathos Fireblades, apparently the lightest in the world…. and I can believe it. The blade and pocket together weigh next to nothing, giving a real boost to your legs, especially on long dives. One thing i noticed immediately was that the fireblade foot pocket was attached with a sense of permanence to the blade, with no screws to change blades… another weight saving measure no doubt.
I first used these fins in Iceland, on our recent trip to dive Silfra and some other amazing sites. I was not disappointed!
Its rare to put on a pair of fins and not only feel completely at ease with them from the start, as if they were part of you, but they got me deeper… quicker and with less stress than any fin I have ever used. 20m felt like 5m, 30m felt like 10m… and this was in 1c water!
The flex of the fin was very smooth and very easy on the leg muscles. At the end of each kick you could very easily feel and almost hear the snap of the fin as it finalised your stroke giving that little extra boost.
Since returning from Iceland I have had the opportunity to put them through their paces in the pool and in the sea, here in Cornwall.
The pool really showed them off, as it became apparent that i was moving a lot faster through the water than my colleagues in some other fins, despite us all using almost identical cadence and amplitude.
In open water in Cornwall, they again showed up my other fins somewhat. I tried moving between all three sets on an identical dive to get a true impression on how they worked. My concern was that they wouldn’t be able to cope with the currents like my stiffer fins. My concerns were quickly put to rest as after several deep dives to 40m, the Pure Evolution fins kept providing me with ‘the best ride’.
My only problem now I want to use these new fins all the time, leaving my trusty old and battered fins in the garage gathering dust. I know ill regret that when i get a big nasty scratch down their lovely shiny black blades from an unseen lump of reef.
The Pure Evolution fin is solely available from Fins4U, in a variety of strengths… soft, medium (the one I use) and hard.