Fin buckles -how boring, you may
think. This was my impression until recently. I decided to buy some
spare buckles for my Plana Avanti fins, and for fun decided to try
them out when I went diving in Stoney Cove. My old type were of
a Fastex style, two-piece clip, common to most fins these days.
The new buckles, introduced earlier this year, are one-piece -
they simply articulate and so extend the length of the buckle. Instead
of having to tighten the fin straps once on the foot, the Mares
fin straps can be left adjusted to the correct length, then simply
snapped shut once on the foot. This is very easy, even when wearing
thick gloves, and saves a fair amount of time when you're about
to enter the water - as well as being important, for example, if
hurrying to get into the water for a drift dive, or responding to
The most noticeable advantage is when you're getting out of the
water. With the old-style buckles it was necessary to either unclip
one half of the strap, or to loosen it; this can be quite a challenge,
even with warm hands. With the new buckle, it is possible to open
it up with just one finger; very quick and easy, regardless of what
gloves the diver might be wearing.
It is good to see that a manufacturer has considered redesigning
such a previously accepted item. In my experience, it is sometimes
these little things that make more of a difference to a dive than
some of the larger items of equipment!
The Mares Fin Buckles are now standard on all Mares fins and can
be fitted to previous Mares fins models. They will also fit most
modern open-heel fins, not just the Mares, though the manufacturers
don't recommend it. Price £6.95 each, £13.90 a pair.
For details of stockists, contact Blandford Sub-Aqua on 01923 801573.