John John Bantin has been a full-time professional diving writer and underwater photographer since 1990. He makes around 300 dives each year testing diving equipment.


MY FIRST PROPER FINS were a pair of heavy black rubber Typhoon Surfmasters. If I hadnt given them to someone going to a car-boot sale, no doubt they would still be around today, cluttering up my garage.
After a few years, I splashed out on some of the latest colourful technopolymer fins and went to the Red Sea for a diving holiday. I hated the new fins. I felt there was nothing on my feet, and couldnt seem to get a purchase on the water. The dive guide came to my rescue with some heavy black rubber Jetfins.
Times change. I learned that extra weight on the feet equates to extra effort and less efficiency. Ive learned to love technopolymer fins, though I love some types more than others.
As I packed my bag recently for a trip, I appreciated that the new Effesub Power 5 fins weighed a lot less than most.

Designed and made in Italy, the Power 5s use a very conventional-looking paddle-fin design that is quite rigid, even though it has soft rubber inserts. There are also a number of very tiny vents, though Im not sure what contribution these make to the fins efficiency.
It was a pity that the British distributor decided to send me a yellow pair. Being high-visibility may add safety, but the colour is garish enough to make the fins look rather cheap. That said, Im told that yellow is the most popular colour choice when people buy fins. Everyone knew it was me under the water!

Foot Pocket
The foot-pocket of the XL-size fin was excellent in that it fully incorporated my long size-12 foot, right up to and including the heel. So the fin really did become an extension of my leg, resulting in best use of my thigh muscles.
The inside of the foot-pocket is quite smooth, which could make it a bit of a fight to get these fins off once drysuit boots have been sucked on. There was no such problem with wetsuit boots.
As with many other fins, I found the undersides a bit slippery when climbing a boats spine-ladder, so opted to take the fins off first.

Straps & Buckles
As standard these are of a type that has become almost standard issue among fin manufacturers, but I swapped them for a pair of Ocean Diver metal spring straps (from the same importer).
These save embarrassment when, for example, you have had a long and uncomfortable dinghy ride from the mothership and a strap breaks unexpectedly.

I had no great expectations, but the Power 5s performed remarkably well. There was no tendency for my legs to skid off in wayward directions under hard finning, as often
happens with some other stiff and very flat-bladed fins. I felt that I was getting the best result for my efforts.
I got the impression that they would even measure up well to the some of the best Italian fins, such as Mares Plana Avanti Quattros, and for around half the price and a lot less weight.
I would be happy to use them under any circumstances. Its a pity they look less serious contenders than they really are.

Divernet Divernet
PRICE £49.50

COLOURS Silver, Blue, Yellow, Black
CONTACT www.blandfordsubaqua.co.uk
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