Underwater Hockey Fins
Fins are probably the most important part of your kit to get right. Many players end up owning two or three pairs before they get it right so it's best if you can borrow a pair first before committing to a purchase. Price varies from £35 for a pair of small rubber fins all the way up to £250 for custom carbon blades.
Size matters! Too small and you end up with great manoeuvrability but no power and speed to get away on the breaks, too large and they can end up hurting your ankles during a match.
Fins come in two types, full foot pocket or heel strap. Most Underwater Hockey players will prefer the full pocket fins because of the comfort and snug fit. Neoprene socks can be worn to pack-out a foot pocket to get the correct fit.
Mares Avanti Quattro Power
These are the big daddy of the fins and still the choice of many octopush players. Enormous power and speed although less manoeverable than smaller fins. For some the 45cm blades are too big and place too much strain on the ankles and lower legs. Not so good for small people but if you have the muscle then the rewards are big!
Mares Avanti Excel
These are the smaller brother of the Quattro Powers. Suited to the smaller player they still move a surprising amount of water for the size.
A comfortable and light fin weighing in at a meer 560 grams.
Mat Mas Fins
Mat-Mas fins have become very popular with the competitive players in Underwater Hockey and you will find many players wearing them at tournaments.
Mat Mas come in strapback or full pocket and degrees of stiffness depending on your needs. They are also available in fiberglass, or the more expensive carbon fiber finish.
Bentfish have a nice little buying guide here.
Another breed of fins purpose made for Underwater Hockey in small numbers. Hence the price is steep and they feel very different to conventional rubber fins. Carbon blades have a lot more flex and make for nimble movements. Opinion is split and they are either love or hate items. They are practically custom made so there are many options on various features. Price ranges from €90 to €320.
Mares Avanti Tre
The smaller fins from the Mares Plana range. The Tre blades are slightly larger than the HP's and are popular with smaller players and those that can't get their hands on the Quattro's.
Cressi Reaction Pro
Closed-foot version of the Reaction fins, the buckle-up version has met with full approval from divers.
The frame is moulded in three different materials, according to the Cressi patented system that guarantees surprisingly smooth and powerful kicking.
The blade is rather long, and has a differentiated thickness - thicker at the front end of the foot, it gets progressively thinner towards the end of the blade.
Another low volume manufacturer making Underwater Rugby and Underwater Hockey specific fins as well as freediving and spearfishing kit. High quality products, again not cheap and come in a wide range of models and options.
Najade Sprint Fins
Najade fins are specifically designed for water sports like Underwater Rugby and Underwater Hockey. These new kids on the block have been tried out by a couple of players in the club with mixed rection. Highly manoeuvrable due to their short length and lightweight design but hard going on the ankle and lower leg. If like the Mares Quattros you have strong powerful leg muscles then you will find these fins produce a fast acceleration and top speed.
The Ruku Underwater Sport Blade has been designed to give performance on the surface as well as underwater. The 22 degree angle in the blade gives better surface sprint power as your blades are at the correct angle for surface sprinting which cuts down on surface slapping commonly seen with flat blades.
They come in two blade sizes. The short blade is an extremely fast off the mark blade with the ability to turn very quick, and a long blade which is great in a straight line with very good top end speed, slower turns.
Apparently they ceased production in 2002 due to new dioxine emissions laws introduced in Italy, therefore you will only find them second hand. They are still a muched loved fin across the clubs, nimble and reliable they seem to last forever. If you ever find a pair then snap them up, wear them and feel the envy of the other players!.
St Albans Underwater Hockey Club is not affiliated with any manufacturers or retailers. This article represents the impartial opinions of the club members and is to be treated as a rough guide.