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View Full Version : Q: Fin Strap comparison



nathan
09-18-2007, 11:50
I've been diving for a few years, and use Scuba Pro Jet Fins. When I first got them I remeber reading something about folks swaping the standard rubber fin straps with sping type metal straps.

Anyways I never got around to doing it, and last month in the bahamas I was returning to the surface at the end of a dive and almost lost a fin, when the strap came loose.

Anyways I've decided I need to install some of those fancy DIR type finstraps on my Jet Fins but I have no idea on venders.

Anyways I found these three products on Scuba Toys and was wondering if anyone has an opinion which one is better. Honestly price is not a huge issue to me, (but I don't want like gold-plated lol). I just wanna know which is best and probably i'll buy that one.

I dive mostly open warm water, and on a few occasions some easy wreck stuff. For the most part I don't get into the overly complex deco/cave/tech dives but honestly what i'm reading about DIR principles sound good. Do It Right, Keep it Simple, and the less complex the less things can break! I think all three of these would be perfectly fine for me, but I value peoples opinions, and pretty much want someone to say "omg doin't get this one because of ________" or "this brand is more comfortable / streamline then the others" or something.

Thanks!

"Universal Spring Fin Straps"
http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=UniversalSpringFinStraps

"Manta Spring Straps"
http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=MantaSpringStrap

"C Strap"
http://scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=Cstrap

http://scubatoys.com/store/fins/pics/xsscubasprings.jpghttp://scubatoys.com/store/fins/pics/springstraps.jpghttp://scubatoys.com/store/fins/pics/Cstrap.jpg

RonFrank
09-18-2007, 12:00
The CStrap requires one to remove the old post. IMO that is not a great solution, and not needed as there are plenty of spring straps for pin style fins available.

I have a pair of manta Straps. Get those, and make ST do an LP price match! :smiley20: That puts them to $30 which is about where the prices have arrived. Heck, my LDS sells the EZ Straps for $35!

Spring straps are awesome, and I won't dive without them. I have not seen a huge difference in quality between the various manufactures. My Manta straps seem a bit tighter (spring tension) vs. my EZ straps on my BioFins. However that maybe because the others are 3 years old, and the mantas are new.

Make sure you pay attention to size when ordering. They come if three or more different lengths depending on the manufacture.

DevilDiver
09-18-2007, 12:00
The C Straps are hands down the best choice. If you look in person and actually hold them the is no comparison......... This is my opinion.

ScubaToys Larry
09-18-2007, 12:02
If you don't plan on swapping out fins in the future... may as well skip the first ones... why pay more for some extra buckles - so go the manta or the bio fin straps. The manta will be much easier to put in, just remove the old, and bend the pins into the holes with a big channel lock or vice grips. The apollo are very nice and will never come out - but a little more work to install as you will be doing a bunch of grinding and drilling.

So me, I'd probably go for the middle ones.

(Actually me... I'd go for some new apollo fins with stainless straps! :smiley36: But I'm a split personality and a split fin diver! )

RonFrank
09-18-2007, 12:06
The C Straps are hands down the best choice. If you look in person and actually hold them the is no comparison......... This is my opinion.

I've looked at them all, and I don't remember the C-Straps standing out other than I do like the pull tab, and that the spring is better integrated to the end connector but at the price of having to hack the fin posts.

Spring quality was similar to the Manta Straps. Every spring I've seen however is more than adequate to do the job, and I've never heard of one breaking from any manufacture.

So what makes them "hands down the best choice"?

nathan
09-18-2007, 12:14
I totally agree with RonFrank, I dislike the idea of removing the old posts. I probably don't need the warranty on my fins but if i'm going to do something that drastic probably it'd be easier to just buy new fins like Larry was suggesting.

I sorta had the thought i'd put the straps on the fins and once I had them all setup right never adjust them or anything, so I'm thinking from what i'm reading the Manta would be the best solution for me.

Thanks guys!

-Nathan

CompuDude
09-18-2007, 15:45
The Apollos are the best made, but the price is just not worth it, even with ScubaToys' great discount, and I don't like the damage you have to do to your Jetfins to make them work on Jets (although they're great on Bio-Fins!).

I like the pull tab, however, so I use these on my Jets: http://www.divesports.com/mall/innovative_acc_springstrapsjetfins.asp

Inexpensive, never need adjustment or tightening, no pins or screws to worry about coming undone. No grinding of posts needed, and you can buy a new set of OEM straps and put them back on if you decide you want to sell your jets (or migrate the straps to a new pair).

Larry, when are you going to carry these straps? You know I'd rather link to stuff you carry, but you don't carry these! LOL

Note that if you like the plain barrel style (no pull loop, no heel cup), I'd get the XS Scuba ones (option 1 in post #1) in a heartbeat.

Souvy
09-19-2007, 09:51
My vote goes to the C-straps as well. I have them on the Apollos and love them. I installed the Manta straps on my Zooms and, while I do really like them, I find that the C-straps have some more give to them and are more comfortable. The pull tab is also a nice feature, but the draw of the C-straps for me is the tension of the spring. Also, another nice feature of the C-straps is the safety line run through it in case the strap breaks. Granted there's a 0.00001% chance of that ever happening, it's just a nice bonus. It does involve cutting the posts off, but I think I may make the switch down the line when I need a little project to keep me busy. Cheers,

CompuDude
09-19-2007, 12:26
My vote goes to the C-straps as well. I have them on the Apollos and love them. I installed the Manta straps on my Zooms and, while I do really like them, I find that the C-straps have some more give to them and are more comfortable. The pull tab is also a nice feature, but the draw of the C-straps for me is the tension of the spring. Also, another nice feature of the C-straps is the safety line run through it in case the strap breaks. Granted there's a 0.00001% chance of that ever happening, it's just a nice bonus. It does involve cutting the posts off, but I think I may make the switch down the line when I need a little project to keep me busy. Cheers,

All spring straps I've ever seen, regardless of make, have that line down the middle.

Souvy
09-20-2007, 00:13
All spring straps I've ever seen, regardless of make, have that line down the middle.

That's actually what I thought as well, but my Manta straps definitely don't have that line. I'm honestly not sure if it just happened to be the pair that I purchased or if that is how all the Manta straps are, the only ones I've taken a close look at are my pair.

ChrisA
09-20-2007, 02:10
I have a totally different take on all of this. I think you only attach the straps to the fins once but you take them on and off your feet hundreds of times over the life of the fins. So I don't care how muc work they are to attach, once.

Locally our style of diving is that you hold the fins straps around the arm and walk out into the surf. Maybe you duck under a wave then put on one fin. Then duck a second wave and then put the other fin on. So you want a fin and strap that can be put on your foot in the few seconds between breakers. The ones with the little rubber handles are Ok but symmetric straps that can't be twisted "handle to foot" are better because they can't ever be wrong.

Also springs really do stretch. If you do get tumbled in the surf a fin can get pulled such that your foot leaves the foot pocket with strap still on your heel. The best straps have a cable inside the spring to limit the maximum amount of stretch. I've almost lost a fin twice this way.

The other thing we have here is kelp. Fin buckles are nothing but kelp magnets. You're swimming along and then you foot is stuck so you look back see it's kelp in the buckle again and untangle it for the n'th time. Pretty soon you change out those complex buckles and straps for the simple ones that use bent wire pins and are more streamlined.

So I'd want (1) symmetric design, (2) cable to limit stretch and (3) streamlined design and (4) the right size. Not much else matters

ccarter
09-20-2007, 09:42
I got some pin style straps for my jet fins from a fireman that makes them up in NY.. he was selling them through paypal I believe. I've since lost one of my Jet fins though.. need to buy another pair.. and might try one of the other strap systems just for curiosity's sake.