Freedive fins, not the easiest spearfishing product to review. To be honest freedive fins are an extremely personal piece of equipment and what works best for one person may be a horrible choice for another so keep that in mind. What is NOT a personal opinion is quality, durability and warranty.
That brings us to the review of Penetrator freedive fins out of Australia. If you’re not familiar with brand, Penetrator Fins is the culmination of combining composite fabrication professionals with some of Australia’s leading spear fishermen. Larry Gray the Director of Penetrator Fins has been involved in the composites industry for over 25 years, specializing in providing high quality advanced composite manufacturing to the marine industry. Being involved with projects such as the Volvo Ocean Race, Inter-pacific 14 foot skiff championships, numerous National and International sailing campaigns he has the experience and skills required to provide high quality marine composites. These skills have been applied to the design and manufacture of Penetrator fin blades and is backed by over 70 years of combined spearfishing experience to develop the final designs you see today. These aren’t a fin mass produced by a subcontracted manufacturer and “branded” for sale. These are the real deal.
Penetrator blades are manufactured using advanced high temperature vacuum molding techniques. Only the highest quality composite fibers are combined with specially developed high elongation resin to create a blade that will offer consistent performance with zero memory loss for many years. Using only the highest quality materials available ensures your fins wont loose their snap over time and leave you at depth lacking the thrust needed to get you to the top safely. This has been an issue in the past with other brands becoming mushy or non responsive after years of use or worse fatiguing over time and breaking on that international trip you’ve spent thousands on.
Overall length is 86cm with a 25 degree angle to the foot pocket for efficient surface finning which is extremely importantwhen dealing with current. Not having the proper angle will take a fin that kicks well up and down and make it extremely difficult to swim in current with. Lets be honest, we spend more time on top kicking in current trying to breath up so a fin designed to do both well should be a requirement.
Taking it one step farther, Penetrator fins are manufactured under strict scientific laboratory control conditions. Each manufactured run is produced with materials measured to the gram, they then undergo a computer controlled and monitored cure cycle at high temperature. Every cure cycle is logged and filed for future reference if required. Doing so allows them to ensure quality and not have “batches” of blades that go out to customers wish end up have poor performance or worse, break.
We were recommended to the owner Larry Grey by the guys at Noob Spearo. Larry sent us over a set of blades ready to go. Due to a couple hurricanes and a very busy schedule we weren’t able to get this product review done in a timely fashion BUT for the same reason we were able to put the blades through their paces for over 6 months.
First impression was that these blades are smooth! No wobble, no stiff feeling in parts of the kick cycle and extremely good both up and down as well as on the surface kicking in current. The more I dove them the more I was impressed. In my opinion if a blade is doing what it should you really don’t think or notice much about them. Its only when your struggling on the surface to stay over a spot or feel like you need more when dragging a fish to the surface that shine a light on blade issues.
The additional benefit of dragging this review out over 6 months is the durability was most defiantly put to the test. Its always been my opinion that one of if not the most important quality of a carbon blade should be durability. Sure their are blades out there that may be slightly more responsive but if you look at them wrong they break. No one wants to invest a bunch of money on a long offshore trip or worse an international destination and have their signature series blades break on day one. I wouldn’t say we abuse products we test but we sure as hell don’t baby them. The Penetrators show zero signs of damage other than a LOT of scratches. No cracks, no chips no problems.
In conclusion, I really don’t have anything negative to say about the Penetrator freedive fins. In reality I was impressed and continue to be impressed by their performance. If you’re looking for a new set of blades in 2018 I would highly recommend taking a long look at the offerings from Penetrator.