My Starfin arrived yesterday a mere three weeks after I ordered it! At first glance I have to say that it is the prettiest fin I ever laid eyes on.
Don't you agree?
The above photo illustrates my personal evolution in fins. I dived with the Model 1 Waterways fin for many years and my DYN PB of 125m was done with this fin back in 2006, so I still have a soft spot for it. I put it aside when I first bought the Triton Hyperfin and it has sat, sad and ignored, in the back of the diving closet. After waiting patiently for years it was taken out for a ride on our recent trip to Mexico. Since I had damaged the Triton and the Starfins had not arrived yet, I reluctantly packed it. I was amazed at how good it felt and how fun it was to play around with. I was afraid I would find the footpockets uncomfortable and the whole fin ineffective but I quickly got used to it again. You know how that first day of Spring when it is finally warm enough to take your bike out for a ride, and you dig it out of the garage and start to ride it and it feels awkward at first, and then wonderfully comfortable and right? Well that's what it felt like. It has served me well, this fin, and will always have a place in the closet.
I purchased the Triton with huge hopes in November of 2008. I had been reading about proper angles and the new generation of foot pockets, and thought my DYN would immediately increase, but that wasn't my experience at all. In fact, in anything, it got worse. I couldn't understand why my technique was deteriorating and the dives were getting harder. This fin was supposedly the bomb, so I had to be doing something wrong, right? It took a lot of practice and a lot of video for me to realize that the fin was just too much for me. Far too stiff, too difficult for me to manipulate and turn underwater. I was putting so much energy into each kick, I was consuming all of my oxygen just moving it. It's not that the fin was bad, just that it was too much fin for my small frame. In fact I don't think that I can every properly evaluate this fin other than to say it didn't work for me.
Enter the Starfin. I've already posted about my positive experience corresponding with finswimmer Alex Lichenko and ordering the fin. He swore he would build a fin to suit my needs, my build. It arrived yesterday evening packaged simply but extemely well. It is much less stiff than my previous fins - it feels lighter, looks smaller and is pink, for crying out loud! Of course I love it. I was concerned when I saw the footpockets but after some conditioner and water it slid on without any problem and I even managed to wear it for about three minutes before my feet were crying out in pain. I'm sure my feet will get used to it in time. I can't wait to test it out in the pool tonight!
(Thanks to Matt for his beautiful photo essay on fins).