Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer.
The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades work in the same way as the nodules on the leading edge of a humpback’s fin, it says, disturbing the water as they move through it to create turbulence that enables the diver to swim more efficiently – like the whale.
They use natural rubber in what the company describes as a unique density gradient, which it says allows for an “ultra-comfortable” foot-pocket to be combined with optimal stiffness for finning performance. The rubber is also said to be extremely durable.
The vented design allows water to flow along the blade to reduce drag and fatigue, says Fourth Element, while the stiffening rails and ribs help to drive the blade through the water to maximise return on effort.
The blade is designed to be wide to balance manoeuvrability with power, but short enough to make the fins agile and easy to stow for transporting.
Although developed with technical divers in mind, the manufacturer says the model would suit any diver seeking a high-performance rubber fin.
Easy-to change spring straps with heel pads are fitted for comfort and security, it says. The fins come with a hanging/carrying strap and bolt-snap for attaching to a BC or harness, leaving both hands free for climbing ladders or carrying other gear.
Tech fins are available in black, grey or aqua in sizes M, L, XL and XXL (4-14 UK), and the recommended retail price is £140.