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Scubapro Seawing Nova Review

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Scubapro Seawing Nova Review

ScubaPro Seawing NovaThere are only two pieces of equipment that I think are “must haves” for any diver – a good mask that fits well and a pair of fins that suits diving style as well as the diver’s anatomy. Fins make a huge difference to a dive; a poorly fitting foot pocket will cause blisters or foot ache, a heavy duty fin while snorkeling will bog the diver down and a lightweight split fin on a wreck with strong currents will leave a diver unable to penetrate the openings they wish and might hinder them with their length when inside. A pair of fins should be as tailored to the diver and the conditions as a golfer’s clubs – one fin is not perfect for all divers on every dive.

But Scubapro disagree with me. They have tried to make a fin that will provide all the benefits of every style of fin. In the Seawing Nova they have attempted to give the thrust and power of a paddle fin while giving the comfort and efficiency of a split fin. Impossible? With conventional fin design, yes. But Scubapro have made a fin with a paddle blade that is independent of the foot pocket. It is attached by two flexible ‘arms’ that allow the blade to work much harder in the water than the diver’s leg usually allows in conventional paddle fins (the human ankle can only bend so far). This means that more of the diver’s energy is directed into thrusting water backwards rather than dragging a flat plate through the water. It also reduces drag on both the upstroke and the down.

When I did my try dive with the Seawing Novas I had done the previous twenty dives with my trusty Jetfins which I adore, so I was coming from a very different design philosophy when I reviewed these latest-technology fins. At first I was very impressed with the ease of donning because of the bungee chord strap that comes as standard (very reminiscent of the spring straps on my Jetfins) and I found the foot pocket to be very comfortable despite my large feet. Once in the water my first thought was of how positively buoyant they are. I’d even consider wearing ankle weights if I was in a thick wetsuit.

When swimming with my ‘Jets’ or just about any other fin (Mares Quattro Excel, Scubapro Twin Jet Max etc.) I tend to use a strong frog kick with a long glide, in the Novas I found this very awkward and reverted back to a standard up-down kick. This proved very effective and I can’t fault the speed I achieved, nor the acceleration. My turning circle was a little wider but not by much and the stability at speed was marvellous thanks to the upturned edges on the blade. Despite this I still felt myself pining for the reassuring feedback of power you get with a big blade, as the Novas felt a little insubstantial. I also have my reservations about their longevity, though obviously Scubapro don’t as they offer a two year warranty on the fins.

I would take a pair of Novas if I was diving a long reef or was expecting a light current for a long time because their efficiency is astonishing but I rather take another, more robust fin if I was diving very strong current or if I thought I might need to tow a student for any distance as the Novas just don’t give me the confidence that my trusty Jets do.

Pros:

  • Lightweight while traveling
  • Comfortable foot pocket and easy to don
  • Surprising speed and power both on surface and underwater
  • Very low effort required
  • Their size, weight and efficiency make them ideal for female divers

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Low feedback from kick (disconnected feeling)
  • Specifically suited to one kick style
  • Very positive in the water (though this might be a pro for some divers)
  • When I kicked hard I felt as though the blade was flopping around which I found irritating)

Reviews from other buyers

i’ve just started diving infact i just hade my second class last night. the first class i barowed some solid fins before i got my gear in, and i had a horrible cramping in the first 10 min. after some personal research i decided to buy a pair of these fins, and just wow it was a huge difference. i hardly even felt tired with now hint of cramping. movement was effortless and supper smooth. my instructor and another guy in my class are getting them now also. the biggest thing i noticed was i wasn’t fighting the fins, they just worked.

Bruce from Cincinnati

I have a pair of seawing nova at home and I love them. They do generate plenty of thrust with less effort but may require a little bit of adaptation at the beginning. Usually smaller kick give better results and changing direction is a little different too but still very easy. Just dip the shoulder in the direction you want to go and you’re gone. On the cons side I’d say it’s probably not the best fins for precision work like frog kick or backup kick. I don’t find it as easy as with normal fins but maybe it’s just a question of adaptation.

Lafrules from Ontario, Canada

I trialled these fins for 22 dives in the Red sea in a variety of conditions. At first they felt awkward but by the end of the week I loved them. I have a tendency to get cramp but I didnt get a cramp all week in spite of having to kick against strong current and a couple of long surface swims. They deliver power when you need it. Rumour has it you cant frog kick with them. Nonsense, I can. So easy to put on when on a crowded boat platform. They are a little heavy due to the full foot pocket but the power is assisted by this design.

Bubblensqueak from Dubai U.A.E


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Comments

  • JOHN RANDALL said:

    WHY CAN’T SCUBAPRO MAKE A BETTER JET FIN? YOU KNOW, ONE THAT HAS A FULL FOOT POCKET AND DOESN’T KILL YOUR FOOT AFTER A GOOD DIVE?.

  • Steve said:

    I believe the warranty is lifetime, not 2 years.

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