Scubapro is one of the oldest and most respected brands in recreational diving, and it’s rare for one of its products not to impress. In the case of the Go Travel fins, however, the copy-writers need to take the product under water, as I did, before recommending them for serious scuba-diving.
Even so, adjust your expectations to snorkelling or try-dives and they’re a different prospect, and these are the markets at which I believe Scubapro should be targeting the Go Travels.
The Go Travel fins have been made short to fit into an IATA-specification carry-on bag, and they’re light too, as little as 1kg a pair. These are their real selling points.
The problem facing Scubapro was how to manufacture a fin that could propel a scuba-diver through the water efficiently using such a small blade.
White Go Travel fins are ideal for white-balancing.
Fins, of course, come in a range of styles to fit the general needs of casual divers through to the highly specialised demands of dedicated technical divers and freedivers. But ultimately, however hi-tec the design and materials are, the fin remains human-powered. For swimming under water, you need a bigger foot. And that’s all a fin is – a foot-enlarger with which you can paddle better.
The fins are moulded from a single piece of Monoprene, so with no joins there is nothing to split or delaminate. The material provides rigidity in areas such as the soles of the foot-pocket, which provides the purchase to kick, and along the side-ribs that direct the water along the blade and stabilise it. It also supplies varying amounts of flexibility, so that the blade can progressively flex along its length and breadth to scoop the water and create propulsion.
A nice touch is provision of bungee-straps with swivel buckles and oversized thumb-loops. These make the fins easy to don and doff, especially when holding one-handed onto a ladder in a swell. The loops can also be used to hang the fins from a BC clip for walking around the dive-site, and are also great for rental-locker stowage.
Usefully, the fin-size marking is visible inside the foot-pocket, allowing dive-centre staff to view it easily.
The fins also have a slot at the end of the blade, supposedly so that you can clip them together at the bottom, securing them by lashing them together at the heel and passing one bungee over both fins. I didn’t think the idea worked, but the slot provides another useful hang-point.
The Go Travel is available in different colours, allowing sizes to be colour-coded for schools use.
I chose white because it makes it easy to white-balance a camera, leaving your hands free to operate the WB controls.