All opinions here are my own. They do not reflect the opinions of my peers, instructors, or the dive shop I train under. And, as an instructor once told me, “the right fin is the one right for you.”
When I first got my OMS Slipstreams, I had a love-hate relationship with them. They were awesome for frog kick, but not as good at flutter kick, at least in comparison to my Scubapro Seawing Novas.
In strong current situations, even once I’d purchased the Slipstreams, I still defaulted to my Seawing Novas. Until a few months ago, frog kick was something I relegated to lake diving. It was very well-suited to calm water, silty bottoms, and, in my opinion, more relaxed diving, but not, as I saw it, to the high current jetties we often dove. Still, if they were Navy approved, there must be something to them?
It wasn’t until recently that I forced myself to use my Slipstreams in all situations to try to get a well-rounded idea of their performance.
Truth be told, there was another reason I started using them more heavily. Every so often, I dive the Newport jetty. This involves a lot of rock scrambling, which in turn means, heavy wear and tear on my gear. The fin keepers I had grown accustomed to wearing with floatier fins like the Seawing Novas, were shredded on a regular basis. As a result, I was continually buying new fin keepers. This was annoying. So, when the last pair broke, I said “screw it”, and pulled out the Slipstreams to use instead.
This brings me to my first point. The slipstreams are heavier fins. They’re not as heavy as their similar counterpart, the Jet Fin, but they’re still much heavier than the Seawing Novas, even though they’re both made of the same material. The OMS Slipstreams are thicker and heavier.
The benefit of using Slipstreams was that I no longer needed fin keepers to keep the extra air out of my boots. And, I no longer needed ankle weights because they were that little bit heavier. This meant my trim in the water improved, there was less gear to worry about putting on, and I got to do frog kick—my favorite—with much greater ease.
These are my new default fins. I have used them to dive lakes, I have used them in the Hood Canal for deep diving, I have used them in the Florence North Jetty in high current situations, and I have used them diving with students.
Possibly the only thing I’m not a fan of are the spring straps. They’re not that easy to take off, which has resulted, many-a-time in awkward falling over. And, I have to admit, I wish there were more options beyond the traditional black, if just for visibility for your buddies, or students. Other than that, they’re my new favorite!