IT’S INTERESTING THE SACRIFICES we’ll make for air travel. Fins are a good example.
On a trip a few years ago to the Maldives with just a 23kg baggage limit for the hold, I left my big current kickers behind. Effective as they are, the long rubber blades would have pushed me into the cascading costs of excess baggage.
Instead, I reached for a pair of vintage vented Jet-fins, ostensibly from my historical dive-gear collection. The short plastic blades are lightweight and take up little room and, in the swift currents among the Indian Ocean thilas and drop-offs, my calves got a serious workout.
As a rule, most of the fins reputed to be high-performers – the typical choice for pushing tekkies encumbered with stage-bottles and reccies with cameras dicing with high currents – tend to be heavy-bladed.
OMS (Ocean Management Systems) Reefstreams are fairly traditional-looking power fins. They feature a medium-length blade with flex panels, but pick them up and you’re immediately struck by how much lighter they are than many others. This is because of the use of thermoplastics rather than rubber to form the blade.
The blade does not have vents, which are designed to let water flow through easily on the weaker recovery kick and, allegedly, made those heavy, inflexible rubber-bladed fins of the 1960s much easier to use.
The Reefstream takes its cue from fin design of the late 1980s, more often favoured by recreational divers. The blade is built to flex and scoop the water, pumping it out behind you for propulsion on the downstroke and letting it flow easily off the blade on the upkick.
So, returning to the Maldives, how would the Reefstreams cope with those currents?