Captain Nemo Freediving Fins 101
With so many manufacturers fighting for market share in the booming business of freediving fins specifically fiberglass fins, it has become paramount to educate yourself on what makes one fiberglass fin better than the other, and what to look for when making your purchase.
Waterway Ukraine is the world leader in fiberglass for finswimming and freediving. They have over 17 years of experience in the finmaking business and are now the fin of choice for nearly every World Record Freediver or Finswimming World Record Holder.
Waterway fiberglass are extremely durable and can withstand even the most careless ownership. This is because Waterway uses the 'high pressure pressed' fiberglass method as opposed to the cheaper and much weaker, 'vacuum pressed' fiberglass option; the HPP fiberglass will not change its properties (snap) with normal use whereas the VP does with each use. Waterway backs this with a guarantee that their fins will not change properties up to 2000 kilometers of use. Though the distance is more relatable for finswimmers, for us freedivers this literally means a lifetime of diving.
Waterway fiberglass is hand-shaved! With strips of 'high pressure pressed' fiberglass in-hand, expertly trained staff hand-shave each blade to the listed stiffness. This time consuming method involves chipping off exact layers of fiberglass (see right) to achieve the desired properties. Captain Nemo Freediving Fins have around 7 - 9 layers, depending on the stiffness.
Captain Nemo: Full Set or Blades Only?
Captain Nemo Freediving Fins are available in either the full set fin or the 'blades only' option. The full set is ideal for anyone who want to purchase a fin and use it without customizing it, the blades are glued in and are not interchangeable, but you are ready to go. The 'blades only' are for people looking to swap out their blades (soft for shallow diving, medium for deeper line diving, etc) or if you have a pair of foot pockets you absolutely love. The blades can be fitted to many different foot pockets (Omer, Beuchat, the old Sporasub, Captain Nemo, etc) and to fit you simply drill the holes in the fiberglass aligning them with the screws on the foot pocket. You can ask your local store if they can customize them for you, Florida Freedivers (online store & shop front in West Palm Beach) have plenty experience with customizing these blades to different foot pockets.
Review of Stiffness Options
Stiffness #1 (Soft) - These are the blade of choice for most girls. They are ideal for recreational freediving up to around 66ft and perfect for freediving on reefs, marine interactions or spending a lot of time on the surface swimming. The only downside of these blades is the lack of burst speed.
Stiffness#2 (Medium)- This is a very universal blade. You'll notice most FII Instructors are using this blade as they offer a nice snap for increased speed, but they are still soft enough not tire you out after a long session of deep repetitive freedives. This is Martin Stepanek's go-to blade for teaching, spearfishing and recreational freediving. He has also comfortably taken this fin to 91 meters during a XTB World Record training day in 2o11!
Stiffness #3 (Hard) - This is what we have classified as the hard fin, although there is one stiffness higher, this is really as high as you need. It is ideal for deep divers 100ft +, whom have strong legs and needing to push a bigger surface area through the water. This fin is not recommended for those whom do a lot of surface swimming.
Stiffness #4 (Extra Hard)- Although applicable to the finswimming arena, we feel this option is too stiff for freediving purposes.
Most retailers are choosing the black colored fiberglass as it is universally more popular, and while there is no difference in the properties of these blades, some people prefer the yellow because it is raw and unaltered (with dye). If you are interested in the yellow blades you may need to special order them from your nearest store.
Care and Maintenance
Always rinse your Waterway Captain Nemo Freediving Fins in fresh water and dry out of direct sunlight. Always stand your fins on the foot pocket end as opposed to the blade tip end and do your best to minimize sun exposure on the boat.
If you have any further questions regarding the Waterway Captain Nemo Freediving Fins, or to purchase directly, please contact one the exclusive USA Retailers below:
USA East Coast Retailers
* Florida Freedivers, 561-848-0678, www.floridafreedivers.com
* Pompano Dive Center, 954-788-0208, www.pompanodivecenter.com
*Austins Diving Center, 305-665-0636, www.austinsdiving.com
*Spearfishing World, 305-827-4929,www.spearfishingworld.com
USA West Coast Retailers
*Dive Addicts, 801-572-5111, www.diveaddicts.com
*Speardeals (online spearfishing store), www.speardeals.com
*James and Joseph Spearfishing Supplies, 619.295.3705, www.jamesandjoseph.com