I’m addicted to diving, but once in a while I go and sit on a beach to chill somewhere like Lanzarote, and do a bit of snorkelling. The ease of boarding a plane with hand-luggage only is appealing. But my first trip saw me struggling to find a pair of fins that could fit in a cabin-sized case with my laptop, camera, mask and a few clothes. None of my scuba-fins would bend enough.
Eventually I contorted a pair of cheap split-fins and stuffed them in. But on leaving the sanctuary of a rock-pool and entering open water, I also encountered current.
It wasn’t strong, but it was a real struggle to make headway against it with my overly floppy flippers, which had been perfect in the pool. After that, I stayed safely in the lagoon.
Scubapro’s Jet Club is a full-foot fin. The size I tried (8/9) fitted easily into my carry-on luggage, and the light weight is well-suited for air travel and back-packing.
This composite fin blends different materials together to provide rigidity where you need it and flexibility where you don’t. The blade is fairly stiff, with a couple of inset channels designed to direct water and propulsion behind you.
Full-foot fins need to fit well or they can chafe, especially around the ankles. I mistakenly asked for a size that was very slightly too big, but after an hour I emerged unscathed. They were comfortable.
I spent a couple of very pleasant sessions snorkelling on a small pair of Mediterranean wrecks. The Jet Clubs were efficient at the surface, where a shallow flutter-kick propelled me quickly and with little effort.
Duck-diving to the seabed at 11m, where I could use a wider stroke, I thought the Jet Clubs were very good.
I did try the fins with scuba gear, but the drag of a cylinder means that these really are pool-fins.
But for casual snorkelling they are a definite contender.
So who will the Scubapro Jet Clubs appeal to, apart from me? Well, I know a lot of divers whose partners don’t dive. They often have to trade diving holidays against family trips. But while a beach holiday for the kids might mean no scuba, it’s a perfect opportunity to get your children hooked on snorkelling.
Jet Clubs would be fine for youngsters, and far more convenient to pack in the strained family luggage than a set of scuba or freediving fins!
TESTER: Steve Warren
COLOURS: Pink, red, blue and yellow
DIVER GUIDE 8/10