Gloves- one of the least thought-about pieces of gear we as divers utilize, until you bury your hand into the gills of a fish and painfully realize yours are wrecked!
For a long time, gloves have been gloves. Slightly modified pieces of various fabrics sewn together to better fit our needs. They last three, four or even a dozen trips and then it happens: a loose stitch. By the time you notice it, the stitch has unraveled and you’re stuck trying to not end up with bloody fingers or worse. Very few things we as spearfishermen deal with on a day of diving are soft and safe. Gills, shafts, rocks, coral, knives, teeth, gill plates, fin spines…the list goes on and on. You see, gloves are one of those pieces of gear that can really wreck a day of diving if they aren’t doing their job of protecting your hands and fingers. Divers need that protection.
In this review we will focus on the new gloves available from Darkfin.
After some education from Roy McKinney on the background and available glove and bootie options Darkfin offers, our package arrived. Roy had explained that their products are substantially different than what’s on the market. You see, many of the gloves on the market are constructed with seams that require adhesives or stitching and are prone to premature wear and tear and accelerated failure. Darkfin gloves are hand-dipped in natural latex and feature no seams throughout the glove. In addition, the gloves are actually manufactured from a 3-D human hand mold, creating an anatomically correct finished product that follows the correct hand contour. This allows the glove to be more comfortable when worn for long periods of time while providing for a greater range of motion and dexterity.
We had the opportunity to use each style of Darkfin glove currently offered along with the ankle-high socks built by the same manufacturing process. All the gloves performed as described on Darkfin’s website: extremely comfortable, form fitting, and offering better dexterity than the vast majority of gloves offered by other manufacturers.
In our opinion, the Darkfin power gloves with webbing fit the needs of spearfishermen the least out of all the styles offered by Darkfin. On multiple occasions the webbing became stuck in the gills of grouper and snapper, making it a bit of a pain to remove our fingers. Even when basically ripping the glove free, the webbing held strong with no rips or tears and we can see why this option would be great in other underwater settings.
The Black O.P.S. – light weight and Black O.P.S HD gloves were amazing: durable, tons of dexterity, and extremely comfortable. These models had no issue with getting tangled or snagged in gills. Never once did the gills rip or poke through the material and contact our skin. After multiple trips over the past four months, all sets of gloves are still in perfect working condition and are the first set of gloves that get packed into our dive bag.
So the next time your glued and stitched gloves split a seam or simply fall apart, head on over to darkfingloves.com and grab yourself a set or two. You wont regret it.