A review of some of the more popular underwater hockey fins:

Technisub Ala:

This is a GREAT fin. Made entirely of rubber, it manages to be extremely soft and comfortable without compromising performance. Acceleration and manueverability are outstanding, and top speed is very respectable, especially when compared to other fins of the same length (longer fins are a bit faster, but more tiring and more difficult to turn or change directions). The Ala is probably the first or second most popular fin used by hockey players worldwide. If you are used to a stiffer thermo-plastic style of fin, you might be initially bothered by the flexing of the foot pocket of the Ala but after a few laps in the pool, you probably won't even notice it anymore (if you do, you can always make a stiff in-sole out of hard plastic and put it in the bottom of the foot-pocket. Really the only downside to this fin is its limited availability. The manufacturer, Technisub, of Italy, is not currently producing Alas (and has not been for several years), and purchases must be made from overseas retailers with remaining stock. Expect to pay at least 120 US dollars per pair, and sizes may be limited. There is no word on whether they will be produced again in the future or not. 'Black' and 'Graphite' versions of this fin exist, each made out of a slightly different rubber compound. The Graphite version is stiffer, more durable and MUCH harder to come by these days.

Mares L:

The Mares Plana Avanti L is another out-of-production fin that is still quite popular among hockey players. While Mares was producing the L, it was available in a fairly decent range of sizes, and the larger ones can still be found fairly regularly on ebay (as of 2007). Smaller sizes are increasingly difficult to come by. The L is a long, stiff fin well suited to powerful legs and torsos.

Mares Twaron:

Some hockey players consider the Twaron to be the 'holy grail' of hockey fins. In appearance, the Twaron is the same as the Mares L, the difference being that the plastic used in the Twaron is considerably stiffer than that used in the L. The result is a ridiculously stiff fin that is well suited to players with VERY strong torso, legs, ankles, etc. The first time you kick a pair of Twarons, you will feel like you have a long board strapped to each foot. If your legs and ankles are strong enough, you can generate some VERY respectable speed and power with these fins.

Mares Quattro:

The full name of this fin is the 'Plana Avanti Quattro Power'. Don't confuse it with the SCUBA version - called simply the 'Plana Avanti Quattro', which has buckles instead of a slipper-style foot pocket. The Quattro Power is another outstanding fin. Thermo-plastic and rubber are combined to make a very aggressive, long-bladed fin that is still remarkably comfortable and lends itself to a smooth, powerful kick in the water. If you have strong legs and torso, and especially if you favor the dolphin kick, you will find this fin suits you well. If you have ever used a Mares 'Plana Avanti L' or a Sporasub 'Cruise' fin, expect similar results from the 'Quattro Power'. Unfortunately, it is only available in 3 sizes - from a U.S. Men's 6.5-7.5, up to a U.S. Men's 10-11, and will cost you around 100 US dollars. Production of this fin was halted in 2006 but, thanks to popular demand, is being resumed, and the fins will be back on the market in March of 2007 - if you like the fin, you might want to buy several pairs in case they stop making them again!

Mares HP:

As with the Quattro, this fin has a long name: Mares Plana Avanti HP. This fin is basically the little brother of the Quattro. It is significantly shorter and less stiff than the Quattro, which makes it generally less powerful, but more manueverable and less tiring to kick. The HP has a sturdy, comfortable foot pocket made of rubber and a plastic blade with two rubber veins extending down the length of the blade. The HP is available in several colors and a much wider range of sizes than the Quattro, making it popular with players who have small feet. Expect to pay about 35 or 40 US dollars for a pair.

Mares Tre:

This fin, whose full name is the Mares Plana Avanti Tre, is almost identical to the Mares HP. Both models share the same foot pocket design, come in the same size and color options, and are almost exactly the same size. The difference is that the Tre has a third rubber channel down the middle of the blade, making it slightly more flexible (and possibly more efficient) than the HP. Expect to pay a little more for this feature - Tres cost about 40 to 45 US dollars per pair.

Mares SuperChannel:

This fin represents a further refinement in the same Mares line that includes the HP and the Tre, so you can expect similar results from it. In overall size and shape it is virtually identical to the HP and the Tre, but the Superchannel has a much wider central channel (made of rubber) than the Tre, in addition to the two standard rubber channels shared by all fins in this line. As with the central channel on the Tre, this new feature may or may not actually improve the efficiency of the fin, and it does increase the price - expect to pay about 45 US dollars per pair.

Sporasub Corsica/Mares Plana Plus:

A precursor to the modern line of Mares fins, the Plana Plus (also marketed under the Sporasub brand as the 'Corsica' model) has rudimentary 'channels' running lengthwise down the blade. Unlike the more recent designs, the channels on the Plana Plus are made of the same plastic material as the rest of the fin blade. Overall, this fin is very stiff and sturdy. The foot pockets are made of rubber but are thicker and stiffer than those found on the HP, Tre and Superchannel. For a given foot size, the Plana Pluses are shorter overall than HPs, but decidedly stiffer. These fins are no longer being manufactured under either brand name (As of 2007), but can still be found on ebay. Prices vary.

Technisub Stratos FP / Blades FP:

Like the Mares HP, this fin is relatively inexpensive (40 to 45 US dollars) and available in a wide range of colors and sizes. Both the blade and foot pocket of the stratos are made of a combination of plastic and rubber, making them slightly stiffer than the HPs. Durability is comparable to that of the HPs (If you play hockey twice per week, a pair should last you between 1 and 3 years, depending on how aggressively you kick them.)

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