FIN STRAPS Beaver Stainless-Steel
WAY BACK IN 1972, when the pound was worth a pound, I bought a dinner suit at Moss Bros. It cost £250.
In 2003, I bought a second suit. It was much nicer and made of pure wool but it cost the same. Why Because it was actually made in China.
You may recall me extolling the virtues of Apollo stainless-steel fin-straps.
These items are beautifully engineered, but you need to take a hacksaw and a drill to your fins to fit them. Its quite a decision, because once youve sawn the lugs off your favourite pair of fins, theres no going back.
I admit to having ruined a perfectly good pair of Mares Quattros when I got distracted during the process and drilled one of the holes for the fixing bolts in the wrong spot.
And then theres the cost. These Japanese products work out at around £55 a pair.
The enterprising guys at Beaver Sports, always with an eye for a business opportunity, decided that they could get equally good stainless-steel fin-straps made more cheaply. Where In China, of course.
When I say more cheaply, I mean a lot more cheaply. You can buy a pair of Beaver stainless-steel fin straps for less than 20 quid.
Not only that, but they come equipped with conventional plastic fin buckles that simply substitute for the ones you already have fitted to most modern fins.
No cutting or drilling, just snap and click. Job done!
So whats the point Why are they better than conventional rubber fin-straps Well, they simply spring into place and hold your foot firmly in the pocket of your fin. There is no adjustment once youve bought and fitted the right size.
A rubber loop makes getting a grip of them easy above or below the surface. Once youve used spring fin-straps, you will never want to go back and you will never break a fin-strap again.
An old pair of Mares Quattros have just replaced my Apollo fins as favourites because they weigh a lot less and, with these Beaver straps, they are just as comfortable and convenient to use.
Never again will I find myself sitting in the annexe-boat of a liveaboard, glumly and helplessly holding up a broken rubber fin-strap and trying to explain to a crew-member who hardly speaks English where he might find a spare set in my cabin, while overheating divers nearby quietly curse me for holding up their dive.
My only reservation is that the plastic buckles of the Beaver product might get brittle with time and then fracture, but thats only a guess. It will take a lot of dives for me to find out.
Beaver Stainless-Steel Fin-Straps come in four sizes from S to XL and cost £17. You can fit them in seconds.
  • Beaver Sports, www.beaversports.co.uk

  • Divernet
    + Obviously better than conventional straps

    - Judgment subject to long-term use