A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to test dive the new Hollis F2 fins.
Having a pair of F1 fins, and having dived these extensively for over a year now, I was a little skeptical that these new fins would be anywhere near as responsive as the F1. Being much lighter in weight, made from monoprene – a plastic rubber substitute with more flexibility, responsiveness and power than the F1 material, and with a shortened vented blade to reduce stress while accelerating water over the blade, the F2 fins are the newest in fin technology. Having seen these fins at the Oceanic Conference over a year ago, I was anxious to get these fins in the water and see if they performed anywhere near as well as their predecessors, the F1.
The first time I used these fins, I was immediately amazed at how easy it was to push them through the water. Having adapted my kicking style to the frog kick for the F1, as the conventional swimming kick placed too much stress on the leg, I was amazed at how much easier it was to frog kick as there was less resistance on the fin, and the return phase of the kick was faster. I tried to kick with the conventional swimming kick and was shocked to find that this was actually fairly easy. While the fin still provided more resistance than that of a split fin, the effort did not create stress on my leg or raise my heart rate.
I then spent the next few minutes attempting helicopter turns and reverse frog kicks. Once again I was amazed at how easy this was. The most satisfying part of attempting these tricks was how quickly I was able to recycle the fin due to the reduced resistance. I was sold!!
Last week I travelled with these fins to Santo, Vanuatu to dive the SS President Coolidge. The fins served me well inside the wreck, allowing me to turn, reverse and hover whilst taking photographs, without causing silting or damage in the wreck.
I would recommend these fins to anyone that currently uses a blade fin and wants something with just as much power as their current fin, but with greater responsiveness. The Hollis F2 fins would also be great for anyone wanting to transition from recreational diving to the technical and/or cave diving realms.
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