As my Viper V5 swim fins are a few years old (but still going strong) I recently decided that it was time to purchase a new pair of fins and retire the Vipers as a spare/extra pair. Looking around the currently selection of fins was a little daunting as there are so many different brands and models out there on the market. Plus the fact that there is a huge the lack of online reviews and testing it also difficult to know what is good or not.
I originally wanted to get a pair of classic Churchill Makapuu fins. However the ‘original’ version of these fins are very difficult to get a hold of in the right size and the ‘new’ version are notoriously poor quality. After a bit of hunting around I came across the new Stealth S3 fins and they looked perfect. An added bonus was the S3 come in a classic blue/gold Ryan Hardy signature model, or a contemporary black/purple Nick Gornall signature model (a blue/black model is also shown on the promo pics, but it hasn’t been released). Given I was looking for a classic Makapuu style, I decided that the blue/gold would be the best pick!
And here’s what they look like:Source
So after using these fins for about 3 weeks, here are my thoughts:
- Great value (around $60 for a pair, I got mine from Toby Player @ Bodyboard King)
- Easy to buy from just about any good bodyboarding store
- Comfortable and wide foot pocket (although I still need to wear neophrene fin socks to prevent rubbing)
- Excellent drainage system, sand grit is no longer an issue (Viper fins have poor drainage)
- Made out of floating rubber (I tested them and they float well)
- Plenty of thrust and propulsion (though not quite as much as my Viper fins), as well as good stability on the wave from the angled rails
- Good for both dropknee and prone styles
- No more cramps in my foot arches
- Different foot pocket and fin shape takes a while to get used to if you are currently using a symmetrical style fin
- Long term quality/durability unknown (my Viper fins have lasted almost 5 years and are only just starting to show small cracks in the rubber around the heel strap)
Great value and functional swim fins for any type of ocean activity: bodyboarding (prone and dropknee), bodysurfing, snorkelling etc. 10/10