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View Full Version : Different Jet Fin Makers - What's the difference?



LCFrigon
10-10-2007, 03:47
Hi,
I am a relativley new diver and am looking at purchasing equipment, but have a few questions.

I have read a lot about what are the best fins..and what I have read mostly lead me to Scubapro jet fins.

But while shopping I have seen many different makers of Jet Fins like XS, Columbia etc..

I am wondering what are the differences since looking at them I can't see any..they look as if they are the same design and materials.

Thanks!

floater
10-10-2007, 04:44
OMS Slipstreams are exactly the same shape as jets (size XL's at least), but made of lighter, stiffer material. They are about 30% lighter than jets or slightly less than a pound lighter per fin for size XL. XXL slipstreams are between XL and XXL jets in foot pocket size I'm told. Some people like them better than jets (or better for travel), others do not. I found them to be about equal in performance and haven't yet decided which to keep and which to sell (might sell both or neither).

I also have XS Scuba's XL Power fins. The vents are slightly different and the blades are slightly shorter and narrower than XL jets, but with thicker ridges and hence stiffer. Material is the same. The foot pocket is slightly bigger with softer roof, which is more comfortable for me so I'm about to switch to them as my fin of choice. I do find that they give slightly less propulsion than XL jets probably due to the smaller blades but for regular diving that's not an issue for me. i.e. it doesn't translate into higher air consumption or such. During long cave penetrations without a scooter it might be worth considering. However, I find power fins more maneuverable probably because of the blade size (better for back kick and helicopter turn). YMMV.

Never heard of Columbia fins. I have heard of Rocket fins, Super Rockets, etc. but haven't tried them. They seem less popular than jets though and I don't remember any reviews saying the Rockets were better. Haven't heard much feedback or tried any other jet-type fins.

BobArnold8265
10-10-2007, 08:32
Check the latest issue of Scuba Diving magazine. It has test results for 15 pairs of fins. Scubapro Jet Max's were reviewed and came out relatively poorly compared to many of the others. The Apollo split fins were amoung the best that were tested.

mwhities
10-10-2007, 08:54
Depending on what kind of diving you are doing is what you need to base your decision on what fins to purchase. I prefer the SP Jets as I like to think I'm more technical (Yeah right) but, I have huge strong legs and they get me through the water with no problem. I had a set of Volos and I had to kick three time faster/more to get the same results from my Jets. I'm sure OMS would work just as well. So for my self, stiff blades are better.

Michael

Zenagirl
10-10-2007, 21:19
Please, please, please TRY Jets before you buy them!! Don't purchase these (or any other) fins based on the recommendations or ratings of anyone or any magazine. The best fins are the ones that work the best for you and that do what you want them to do.

I choose Jets because they suit my kicking style....I mostly frog kick and kick too big for splits to work right. I tried many different types and styles of fins, including 3 different split fins and the ones that worked best for me were the Jets since they are short and broad fins.

HOWEVER, there are a LOT of folks who get cramps wearing Jets. There are also folks who don't frog kick, do a lot of surface swimming, and have a kicking style perfectly suited to split fins.

Find the type, style, and brand that work for you after trying as many as you can, then buy and enjoy.

PS. The magazine didn't test Jets, they tested Twin Jet Max fins, which are split fins. Jets are short, broad paddle fins.

cmburch
02-25-2008, 23:37
My Rocket Fins are great for just about any swimming activity, except I suck a lot of air when using them.

rye_a
02-26-2008, 11:42
I've used SP Jets since I started Diving 18 years ago and love them. I have tried other blades and splits and always miss the power of my jets. I am about to get a new pair of fins for my drysuit and was going to get another pair of SP, buy now I guess I 'll also look into the OMS. One thing I'll tell you if you is if you are leaning towards SP make sure you like them, 'cause they will last forever.

caroln
02-26-2008, 12:33
The main difference between the Jets and Rockets that I noticed is that the sizes are quite different. I got a better fit in the rockets than in the Jets, so therefore they work better for me. If you are in between sizes in one brand, you may get lucky with the other.

I think just about any of that type of fin will have similar performance. They are heavier than your typical fin, but the performance you get off them is well worth it. I can do one lazy frog kick and my buddys generally have to do 3-4 kicks in regular fins to keep up. Lazy=good because you don't burn through your air as quickly.

The OMS fins look nice, but they keep pushing back the release date for the smaller sizes (only have XL and XXL now)

CompuDude
02-26-2008, 13:13
Jet fins are made by ScubaPro and no others. All others are knock offs.

That said, the OMS SlipStreams are a knock off that's truly indistinguishable from the original, other than the logo and thelighter weight materials. In the water, they're a hair stiffer.

Turtles are a "very close" but not identical knock off... but they come in a size between ScubaPro's XL (which is too small to many) and XXL (which is roughly the size of a dog house). They're slightly less stiff than Jets, but close enough that tech divers consider them an acceptable substitute given the size gap with real Jets.

All others (XS, etc) are similar in style but not truly identical. There will be variations in feel, etc., although they may very well get the job done nicely.

RonFrank
02-26-2008, 13:16
If you like the frog kick, you will want a paddle fin. If you flutter kick, than splits are easier on the legs.

When I dive dry, a paddle fin suits my purposes better than my Apollo Biofins. The places I dive dry tend to have soft silty bottoms, and it is easy to keep off the bottom with paddle fins. Also fins like Jets have better traction, for lack of a better word.

For ocean diving, I like the Apollo Biofins. The bottom is sandy, so not easily stirred up, and in current I find that I prefer to use a flutter kick. My Biofins are great for that type of diving, but I don't have as much control when just hovering.

As for styles of Jet type fins. I think I like the XS Scuba fins the best. I've tried Rockets, Turtles, Jets, but not the OMS. The XS scuba has slightly softer foot pockets, and I find them to be more comfortable. The turtles and Rocket have huge fin pockets, and are generally used by those wearing hard sole boots diving dry. The XL Jets work OK for me in my drysuit, but the foot pockets are not as comfortable compared to the XS scuba.

I would love to try the OMS fins, but I don't know of anyone that uses them.

I agree with the advice that you need to try out fins before you buy. Just because a lot of die hard Jet fin owners are on the board does not make those fins the right choice for you. In fact, most of the diving world is using splits, and for a reason. They work well, and are easy on the legs.

MSilvia
02-26-2008, 14:28
Scubapro Jet Max's were reviewed and came out relatively poorly compared to many of the others.
They're also totally unlike JetFins, except in that they share a manufacturer and have "jet" in their name.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
02-26-2008, 17:52
Jet fins are made by ScubaPro and no others. All others are knock offs.



An old timer told me that Aqualung had the original Jet fin and somehow they let Scubapro capture the name.

RonFrank
02-26-2008, 18:13
If folks are going to jump on the Jet Fin Bandwagon, at least get the origin correct! :smiley5:

Beuchat. Georges Beuchat, of Marseille, France, filed his original patent on April 25, 1962, and apparently produced the Jet fin in that time frame. His US Patent, #3,183,529 was granted May 18, 1965.

The original Jet Fin was a full-foot fin, as shown on the patent # 3,183,529 filed March 16, 1964 and issued May 18th, 1965. This changed quickly, as the 1964 book by Cousteau, World Without Sun showed the Jet Fins being worn by Cousteau divers as an open heel, adjustable strap fin.

So sorry to all you ScubaPro fans that are busy patting themselves on the back for owning something original, but it's just not true. :smiley13:

SP must have purchased the design at some point, but they were not the original patent holders, or designers.

I think it's fair to call any jet fin style fin a jet, even if it's not technically correct. But if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's likely a duck. I'd say that applies in this case!

CompuDude
02-26-2008, 19:13
I can work Google, too.


On one of his European trips in the 1960s, [ ScubaPro ] co-founder Gustav Dalla Valle purchased the rights to a funny looking French fin that had holes in the blades, called vents. The reaction of his partner, Dick Bonin: "That's the ugliest fin I've ever seen. We won't be able to give these things away." Gustav replied that they had better try selling some, because the order had already been placed. They were displayed at a trade show, and a few shops bought them out of curiosity. Soon calls starting coming in from dealers, asking for more. Up to that time nobody at Scubapro had even tested the product, but they quickly realized that the new Jet Fins were a big hit. The first vented fin and the first serious fin with adjustable heel straps, it spawned a generation of imitators.

ScubaPro didn't invent it, but they were the first to market it on a large scale and own the patents. I think it's safe to say that unless you own one of the few existing French fins from the early 1960s, ScubaPro Jet Fins are the only true "Jet fin".

CompuDude
02-26-2008, 19:15
Jet fins are made by ScubaPro and no others. All others are knock offs.



An old timer told me that Aqualung had the original Jet fin and somehow they let Scubapro capture the name.

No, AquaLung always had the Rocket fins. Look similar to Jet fins, but feel much more like a 2x4 than a fin. Popular with Navy and military divers who have quads that can shove a tank, partially because they're a bit smaller than Jets and fit a tactical backpack better, and partially because the foot pocket is available nicely sized to fit OVER combat boots.

RonFrank
02-26-2008, 20:01
I can work Google, too.

I think it's safe to say that unless you own one of the few existing French fins from the early 1960s, ScubaPro Jet Fins are the only true "Jet fin".

Everyone SHOULD be able to use Google, it's just amazing how many don't! :smiley21:

I'm not sure what marketing or mass sales have to do with much. SP did not invent it, and who really cares. But SP is NOT the only true Jet Fin since they did not design it, but on a more important note, does it matter? I found it ironic that they did not even test it out before they purchased the patent! It must have been cheap!

Since SP now sells the Twin Jet, It would follow that those are also TRUE Jet Fins, and everything else (by other manufactures) does not count? Boy, the tech boys will start a war over that statement! :smilie40:

I think that SP needs to improve their foot pocket. I have fairly normal feet, and they are the worst of the bunch IMO. That said, they have an almost Nazi like following for some illogical reason. I'm not sure that a 40 year old design is my idea of perfection. I do like the jet style fins for some of the diving I do, but I'm not sure they are all that much better than a lot of paddle fins on the market, like the Mares Quatro's for example.

I wish a buddy would purchase the OMS in a size XL! So far the XS scuba has my vote for the best *JET STYLE* fin on the market.

CompuDude
02-26-2008, 20:19
Since SP now sells the Twin Jet, It would follow that those are also TRUE Jet Fins, and everything else (by other manufactures) does not count? Boy, the tech boys will start a war over that statement! :smilie40:

I think that SP needs to improve their foot pocket. I have fairly normal feet, and they are the worst of the bunch IMO. That said, they have an almost Nazi like following for some illogical reason. I'm not sure that a 40 year old design is my idea of perfection. I do like the jet style fins for some of the diving I do, but I'm not sure they are all that much better than a lot of paddle fins on the market, like the Mares Quatro's for example.

I wish a buddy would purchase the OMS in a size XL! So far the XS scuba has my vote for the best *JET STYLE* fin on the market.

No, doesn't follow that Twin Jets are true "Jet Fins" but it DOES follow that they are true "Twin Jet" fins. If someone started making very similar fins and calling them Twin Jet fins, you can be sure ScubaPro would be upset, and rightly so.

People don't call Turtles Jet fins, because they aren't. But they are a fully accepted part of the lineup, simply because the close design and the size issue. I have no issue whatever calling XS Scuba's fins "Jet-style" fins, but they're simply NOT "Jet Fins". Not even the manufacturer calls them that.

OMS's fins are definitely clones. I wonder, in fact, if they got permission to use the design or if they're going to get sued, since they're so close. Nice fins, though. I'd loan you mine to try if you were closer. :)

XL Jets, XL Slips, XXL Slips:
http://h2ogeek.com/divegear/jetvslipstream/Thumb_1-XLjet-XLslip-XXLslip.JPG

I agree with you on the foot pocket for Jets. Not great. And they clearly need more sizes, and don't care to bother. I suspect they just don't make much profit on the fins, so they don't want to put much effort into them.

Old design or not, though, if frog kicking is your stroke of choice, Jet fins truly are among the best fins for the job. There are better designs out there for flutter kicking, to be sure, but I still give the edge to SP over the vast majority when it comes to the frog kick.

cummings66
02-26-2008, 21:21
I like my SP Jet fins, but to be honest in any drysuit other than a Viking I'd need to use a Turtle. DUI suits have a foot so large that even though it fits me the same as my Viking the outside dimensions are so much larger that I can't even put the Jet fin on my foot.

My fins work fine for the Viking drysuits I have, plus it works fine with the neoprene boot I have for my wetsuit. I'm on the fence about getting a turtle, but I have tried them on and I do like them.

CaptainRon
02-26-2008, 22:51
I've used SP Jets since I started Diving 18 years ago and love them. I have tried other blades and splits and always miss the power of my jets. I am about to get a new pair of fins for my drysuit and was going to get another pair of SP, buy now I guess I 'll also look into the OMS. One thing I'll tell you if you is if you are leaning towards SP make sure you like them, 'cause they will last forever.

I agree. I've had my original Scubapro Jet Fins for 30 years and I still love them. They are the only fins I use now. And yes, they will last forever it seems....

Crimediver
02-27-2008, 08:26
I also like the jets,. I have an old pair still going strong. Does anybody know the difference between the jets with the lightning bolt through the logo and the ones without it. Or is there a difference? I have heard one may be heavier than the other or some other difference but I don't remember the significance of it.

CompuDude
02-27-2008, 12:50
I also like the jets,. I have an old pair still going strong. Does anybody know the difference between the jets with the lightning bolt through the logo and the ones without it. Or is there a difference? I have heard one may be heavier than the other or some other difference but I don't remember the significance of it.

About $30 on eBay. ;)

I seem to recall the lightning bolt ones have the lifetime guarantee from ScubaPro (thus the higher resale value) while the older ones without it do not.

Rockhound76
02-27-2008, 14:35
Scubapro jets have an overlapping vent that I think is more efficient than say, that on the USD Rockets. Of course, that could be sales hype from when I bought mine 32 years ago (they are still in fine shape). Turtles are a little less "massive" in design, but have the SP type vent system. I like them just fine. I don't know OMS.

I agree that paddle fins (I use Wenoka Reeflex) are good for frog kicking. The SP's aren't quite stiff enough.

My favorite fins are my Apolla BioFins. Yes, you can back up with them, and no, frog kicks aren't pretty or efficient. But the efficiency of the design makes up for aesthetics.

I think the kicking style they require looks goofy, but my big rolling jetfin kicks don't work. A little quick flutter and your move ahead very nicely, even if you look funny.

Crimediver
02-28-2008, 06:10
I also like the jets,. I have an old pair still going strong. Does anybody know the difference between the jets with the lightning bolt through the logo and the ones without it. Or is there a difference? I have heard one may be heavier than the other or some other difference but I don't remember the significance of it.

About $30 on eBay. ;)

I seem to recall the lightning bolt ones have the lifetime guarantee from ScubaPro (thus the higher resale value) while the older ones without it do not.
OK. I suppose my old ones don't have a lifetime warranty then but they are about 35 years old and no signs of rot or tears on them yet so i guess they will outlive me. Damn good fins.

meesier42
02-29-2008, 15:51
OMS's fins are definitely clones. I wonder, in fact, if they got permission to use the design or if they're going to get sued, since they're so close.



Its hard to get sued for using patent that expired almost 30 years ago. Patents are generally only good for 17 years, at which time they become part of the public domain and anyone can produce and sell them.


Scubapro jets have an overlapping vent that I think is more efficient than say, that on the USD Rockets. Of course, that could be sales hype from when I bought mine 32 years ago (they are still in fine shape). Turtles are a little less "massive" in design, but have the SP type vent system. I like them just fine. I don't know OMS.

Well considering that test have shown definitively that water DOES NOT pass through the vents, the design of them is pretty much irrelevant.

CompuDude
02-29-2008, 15:52
OMS's fins are definitely clones. I wonder, in fact, if they got permission to use the design or if they're going to get sued, since they're so close.


Its hard to get sued for using patent that expired almost 30 years ago. Patents are generally only good for 17 years, at which time they become part of the public domain and anyone can produce and sell them.

Doh! Forgot that. Good point.