Nowadays I can't afford this luxury, so I often pack a pair with which I'm unfamiliar, and if they arrive at the last moment, I may not even have tried them in the pool.
This can lead to some miserable experiences, especially if I find myself in a strong current with a pair of fins to which I'm not accustomed, and which prove to be poor performers. I don't want any young whipper-snappers claiming that I'm no longer up to it. I can still kick a fin as well as I can kick ass.
I knew about the Scubapro Seawing Novas a long time ago, but it was only after I went diving in Bali and noticed that nearly every German and Belgian diver I saw was wearing them that I managed to persuade Scubapro UK to part with a pair for me to try.

Im pleased to say that the foot-pocket accommodates my feet right up to the heel. Why is this important Because in doing so it takes all the strain off my calf muscles and allows me full application of my thighs, with no tendency to cramp.

When I first saw these Seawing Nova fins back in January in Italy, I thought Scubapro was trying too hard. They looked unnecessarily avant garde, with their blades curved up like some futuristic plane wing, and set separately from the foot-pocket by two springy struts.
These springs look like a development of the Razor, a fin that didnt stay on the market for long. Alas, at that time they didnt have my size, so I never got to try them in the water. I might have thought differently about them had I done so.

It doesnt have stainless-steel spring-straps, but the Seawing Nova is still one of the first fins to reach the market with spring-straps as standard.
Novas use a nylon-covered elastic strap running inside a heavy rubber-like covering, with a meaty loop that allows them to be pulled on easily and holds the foot firmly in the foot-pocket.This means that no energy is lost by the fins wobbling on the feet during finning.

Holy flippers, Batman! These are fantastically effective fins. I didnt get a speedometer on them, but I noticed that in a mildly competitive situation they didnt let me down.
I was diving with a National Geographic photographer 20 years younger than me. He was always into his wetsuit before I could get into mine, and into the water first too.
However, following closely behind, I found that I could usually overhaul him during the frantic swims we made to get to each prime spot for photographs.
As I write this, Im about to set off for my HSE Medical, and Im wondering if Ill be able to carry out the step-test in a satisfactory way. But these fins really seem able to make the most of the puniest efforts.
Im simply saddened that examples of these fins are said to be so rare in the UK at the moment that I had to send them straight back to Scubapro.

Atomic Splitfin, £120
Force Foil, £145
Aqua-lung Slingshot, £120

PRICE £129
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