When I dive these days I’m usually wearing a pair of Mares Quattro scuba fins. I have two pair – the Quattro Plana Avanti, and the Quattro Excel Limited Edition Metal.
Over the in-water adventures during my life (which goes back a little ways) I used a number of different fin types.
The earliest were short rubber fins. During my U.S. Navy days, I had both open heel and closed heal models.
In 1993 I started diving with a more modern set of fins. Can’t think of the make off hand. I gave that pair to my grandson when he went through his open water certification course, and he still dives with them.
They’re a good fin, but in the dive shop one day I spotted this Mares Quattro. It was the color that grabbed my eye more than anything. That’s because not long before that day I read an article about how the seal is the favorite snack of the killer whale.
And at the time since every exposed bit of scuba gear that I dove with was black I remember thinking that I probably didn’t look much different than a seal from below.
As I checked out the Quattro I noticed that the fin is much more flexible than the set I gave to my grandson. I liked that, though I wasn’t sure exactly why. But I did have an idea that it might give me a little easier kicking ability.
So I bought them.
For me, they do feel easier kicking. They move me through the water quicker with less effort than the other fins. And that color stands out. I don’t see many divers with fins that color, although I’ve come across a few of them. In fact, my lady says she always knows where I am when she’s watching from the boat because those green fins show bright no matter what depth I’m at.
After diving with the green Quattro Plana Avanti scuba fin for a number of years, and during another visit to the dive shop, I noticed the Quattro Excel Limited Edition on display. I liked the look of it and decided to check it out too.
This set is #1131. Mares made 4000 sets of this particular scuba fin.
The Excel is stiffer than the Avanti. To make it even stiffer Mares added an aluminum strip down the center of the blade. This fin moves me even faster through the water with the same kick effort. I did find out quickly though that when I kicked the same way with the Excel as I do the Avanti my legs start cramping up on me. Painfully.
So the limited edition fins slowed my diving down real soon after I bought the pair.
Now I consider that a good thing though. I used to suffer a condition before the Excel fins that I see often in younger divers – now that I stop to notice. I was always in a hurry to get from one spot of coral to the next.
When I slowed my kicking style down to avoid the cramping, I started seeing a whole lot more.
Always in a hurry before I never realized how much I missed. Now that I fin slower I see little sea creatures that I never knew were there. And I stop to hover and watch the show now instead of missing it.
Diving is much more enjoyable for me with the slower pace.
Now I switch back and forth between the Avanti and the Excel. I’ve made the slow
er diving a habit so it stays with me no matter which fin I wear. I haven’t yet decided which set is actually the most comfortable for me. I’m still working on that.
If you’re looking for a solid blade fin I certainly recommend the Mares Quattro scuba fins. I know I’m satisfied diving with them.