Diver Profile: Denise Quesnel

Hometown: Vancouver
Age: 27
Diving since: 2011
Total number of dives: 35

DIVING LOCATIONS

According to my dive log, various spots in Utila, Honduras and Playas del Coco, Costa Rica are most frequented. A quarter of my dives have taken place in British Columbia, which is where I live, but I don’t really have one frequented spot. There is no one convenient spot, and I always feel compelled to explore new sites before returning to an already visited one.

DENISE’S STORY

Q.When and why did you start diving?

I said for many years that I had no interest in diving. I think its because I was in denial, I knew once I tried it I would be hooked and it would be game over for me. I took the plunge before I left for my wedding in Belize. I wanted to be able to dive there because many people reported Belize to be among the most incredible and eclectic dive sites in the world. I got my PADI certification in Vancouver, since I wanted to be able to drysuit dive in the waters at home as much as possible. I love the water, and I am completely fascinated by what is beneath it. I started recording photos and video of my dives as soon as I felt competent underwater, and I now almost always take my stereoscopic 3D camera down with me. It really brings the dives back to life when I review the 3D footage afterwards, and non-divers really enjoy it too.

Q.What was your most exciting dive experience?

My most memorable experience was off the shore of Kona, Hawaii on a night dive. On this particular dive you bring lights down with you and chill out on the bottom, and before long plankton are drawn to the light, which in turn brings oceanic manta rays. Being that close to the mantas and seeing them emerge like massive gentle monsters from the dark was a completely captivating experience. They come within inches of you; I brought my 3D camera system on that dive and have some great moments from it. Any dive for me is amazing if I can find some little creatures too- I like to go on the hunt for them. A good dive for me will feel easy and natural; I can only really go a month between dives before getting the itch to get back in the water again.

Happy diving everybody!

Mask Skirt Silicone – What’s the Best Colour?

There are many pieces of dive gear that arouse great differences of opinion, and all make for interesting discussions on the dive boat. One of these discussions is the best colour for the silicone skirts of dive masks.

Back when dives masks were pretty much all made of rubber, 90% of them were black, and a few were some pretty ugly shades of green or blue. Most “experienced” divers stayed away from the coloured ones, as they faded out from UV in the hot sun, and became even uglier!

So for years, black pretty much reigned. Then the new miracle material for divers – silicone – came along, and at first, just because it has always been done that way, they were black. Then, the huge phenomenon of CLEAR silicone masks came out, and immediately became popular, especially with snorkelers and new divers. Many people felt that black opaque masks felt claustrophobic, dark, and gave the effect of tunnel vision, and the new clear masks felt much more open, and let more light in.

Millions of nice, bright clear masks were sold in the marketplace, but there is a big problem with that brightness that may people don’t realise until it’s too late. All that light coming in the back of the mask – especially when you are snorkelling face down in the sunshine, or even on scuba in clear, sunlight waters, bounces off the mask lens right into your eyes. The result is you see yourself in the lens, which can be annoying and obstruct some of your vision, but the biggest issue is the bright light tends to make your iris contract, allowing less of the light coming up from below – where all the stuff you are trying see is – to get to your retina. This is really easy to test if you have a clear mask. Next time you are out snorkelling or diving on a bright day – or even just go outside in your front yard if you don’t mind your neighbors questioning your sanity – place your cupped hands on each side of the mask, by the straps and block the light from coming in. I guarantee you’ll see more of the stuff you are looking for below you.

So, you were faced with one of two choices. A nice, bright clear mask that gives you reflections and reduces what you see, or a dark, claustrophobic one that gives you good vision, but makes every dive feel like a cave dive.

Until now. Last year I had my first opportunity to dive with a high quality frameless style mask with a skirt made of pure white silicone. When I first saw it I thought it was a gimmick, or possibly only popular in the Japanese market, where everything in white is very big. I could see no practical reason for it, other than a fashion item to match other white gear.

I was wrong! Once in the water, the aspect was so much nicer than a black mask. The dive seemed bright and open and just great – and then I realized I was seeing no reflections. Ten minutes into that first dive I was sold, and my long trusted black mask has never left my dive bag again, and probably won’t.

Next time you are in your local dive shop, ask to try one on. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Choose a Pair of Fins

Along with the mask and snorkel, a pair of fins is often the first equipment purchase that you will make as a snorkeler or dive student, and the choice can be a crucial factor in your enjoyment of the sport. Fins come in many sizes, shapes, styles, degree of stiffness or flexibility, designs and working principles, so choosing the right one can be a confusing task.

1. What type of diver are you?

In order to find the right pair for YOU, you must first have an idea of what you will do with them. Years ago, the basic flutter kick was the most popular, but now as the more sophisticated kicking techniques of technical, wreck and cave diving are being taught at basic scuba certification levels, you should look for a fin that performs well in all these categories.

New divers

Compare the benefits and drawbacks of the various styles of fins. Paddle fins are basic and do the job, and split fins are generally comfortable. Ask an instructor or more experienced diver what they look for in a fin. Make sure the fin that suits you now can grow with you as you increase your experience and demand more from your gear!

Experienced divers

Will look for a fin that can provide peak performance under more demanding diving conditions that new divers may not be exposed to. Cold water, currents, longer dives requiring more stamina require a more versatile fin that excels at all kick styles. Photographers and videographers especially require instant response for accurate positioning without damaging their subjects.

Technical divers

Any diver operating outside the accepted realm of open water dive qualifications, especially wreck or cave divers, will need a fin that can be used without stirring up silt or mud in an overhead or confined environment. Reliability is crucial to these divers, as due to depth and decompression requirements, or cave or other overhead restrictions, immediate surfacing due to a failed piece of gear is often not an option. Everything that takes you in must also get you out.

2. Categories & Comparing Fins

Paddle

The most common style of fin, paddles come in many forms, shapes, and performance levels. Some of the more powerful models have very thick and high side rails, making them less efficient for frog kicks etc.

Split

A patented design breakthrough in the 1990’s with new “propeller fin technology” the split fin concept has been very popular, but now many divers report they lack true top end power, and are not as good for technical style kicks.

Open heel or full-foot?

For decades divers in warm waters have used full foot fins. These days however, many tropical divers complain they have no protection walking barefoot over rocky or coral beaches, that they get sand in them, and chafe marks or blisters if the foot pocket is too loose or tight. More and more, warm water divers are switching to strap fins as they can wear a good boot for protection and comfort, get less sand inside, and enjoy the ability to accurately adjust sizing with a rubber or spring strap.

Fin choice has also historically been based on how much propulsion you require for the type of activity you expect in the water. A diver in a shorty wetsuit snorkelling in tropical water needs much less propulsion power than a fully equipped cold water drysuit diver in a current. It’s always been easy to find soft and comfortable fins, or big, stiff, powerful fins, but you’ll never get full top-end power from the soft pair, or every-day comfort and easy kicking from the stiffer ones, so it’s always been a compromise.

3. What to look for in a fin

The aquabionic warp1 fin uses revolutionary new patent pending warp technology that automatically adapts to a divers strength and style of kick. warp stands for “water adapting responsive propulsion”- and defines a new category for underwater propulsion. As you kick harder the blade geometry responds by generating a three-dimensional profile required to achieve maximum efficiency and power. The fin has very low side rails, allowing it to slice cleanly through the water on the outstroke of the more technical kicks like Frog, Scull, Back-fin, and Helicopter. This reduces resistance and improves efficiency on these kicks.

Diver Profile: Simon Morris

Age: 55
Diving since: 1973
Total number of dives: 2000+

CERTIFICATIONS

NAUI Basic1973
PADI Openwater: 1978
PADI Advanced: 1986
PADI Rescue: 1987
IANTD Nitrox: 1996
NACD Intro to Cave: 1999  

DIVING LOCATIONS

Australia, British Columbia, Great Lakes, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, China, England, Grand Cayman, France, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Florida, California, Pribiloff Islands, Bering Sea (Alaska) Washington State, & Hawaii.

SIMON’S STORY

Simon has always loved being in the water, whether it be river, lake, cave or ocean. Certified at 15, he just celebrated 40 years as an avid diver. Simon has always worked in the Diving Industry, for some of the major corporations, and currently as a partner and VP Marketing and Sales for CETATEK products inc., maker of the aquabionic warp1 fin.

At the same time he has enjoyed a successful career as a bronze sculptor with private and corporate collectors in nine countries, as well as several life size or larger commemorative public statues, and is the creator of the two nine foot tall bronze mermaids in Powell River, BC and at Sunset House in Grand Cayman. www.sculptorsimonmorris.com

His favorite dives include both mermaid sites, and most of the tropical locations he has visited, but the clear, cold and current swept waters of Northern Vancouver Island around Port Hardy and Port McNeil have always been the most electrifying. His most exciting dive was probably in a large school of Giant Bluefin Tuna in St. Margaret’s Bay, Halifax, in 1988, but there have been 500 close seconds with mantas, whale sharks, sea lions, walrus, wolf eels, manatees, mermaids, sharks, dolphins of all kinds, and most recently a friendly and inquisitive sea snake wrapped around his leg….

Happy diving everybody!

Caption This

Write a Caption. Win the Fin.

(Hey, we’ll even throw in a mask and snorkel)

Just leave a comment below with a caption for the picture above. We’ll pick the best one and send the winner a free pair of aquabionic Warp1 fins, complete with mask and snorkel!

For more information, please view our terms and conditions.

SCUBA Gadget – warp1 live dive review

Many thanks to John McKenzie of SCUBA Gadget for his comprehensive review of the warp1 fins.
Read the Full Review
[hr]

Fins are the hardest scuba product to review because your experience is subject to your body, the dive conditions, what fin you wore on your last dives and much more. Because CETATEK’s aquabionic warp1 is as they say, “a different fin with every kick”, it took this review challenge to a whole new level. We always require at least 8 dives on any fin we are reviewing. With the warp1s we have over 30 dives, in all kinds of conditions. Additionally, I went back and forth between the Warp 1 fins and other brands and kept noticing different things about the warp1s on each testing cycle.

Now here is why the warp1s have earned our editor’s choice award.

Read more

Unterwasser Review: NEW “TURBO FIN”?

Have a hard time reading German?  We have the translation; Find out what Unterwasser has to say about the warp1 in their latest review.
view original
[hr]

NEW “TURBO FIN?”

The aquabionic warp1 first appeared in prototype form in 2011. This year the refined production model is available to the market. Is it as good as stated?

A first test…..

Without much fuss….let’s get down to business.
Two hours of test diving and comparison against CRESSI Reaction, SCUBAPRO Seawing Nova and Jet Fin, and TUSA X-Pert ZOOM Z3 split fin proved that the warp1 can do everything the competitors’ products can do. Every kick style, including frog, back-finning, helicopter, small rotations of the ankle, and big amplitudes are accomplished with no effort.

Is the fin more efficient? Because we weren’t able to lab test and couldn’t measure exact propulsion data we can only offer a subjective opinion. The warp1 is definitely more efficient than the split fin, and also slightly ahead of Sea Wing and Jet Fin, and equal to the Cressi Reaction. We can’t promise that the warp1 is suitable for divers lacking leg strength

[quote]The warp1 earned our seal of approval for the most extraordinary fin of the year.[/quote]
Even though the flexible pleated membrane is not really a new concept, the detail and quality of the fin is definitely exceptional.
In addition we confirm the designers did their homework in regard to comfort and size of footpocket- even the widest dry suit boots fit

Conclusion: the warp1 is definitely worth our “buy” recommendation, despite a higher price tag. We are certain that the warp1 will have an impact.

SPORT DIVER – Gear Guide 2013

Thanks to SPORT DIVER magazine for awarding us the EDITOR’S PICK for their 2013 Gear Guide.

Download the full SPORT DIVER 2013 Gear Guide HERE.

DIVER Magazine UK Review

John Bantin reviews the aquabionic warp1 fins in the January 2013 issue of Diver Magazine (UK)

[quote]The good news is that these fins work. I put them on and got about doing what I was sent there for, getting around dive sites and taking pictures. I couldn’t fault the warp1, which seemed to send me surging through the water at every stroke. I was able to use my usual lazy, long-stroke flutter-kick in open water, a sideways frogkick when passing through the constrictions of sea caves, and to work within the interior of the Zenobia without stirring up the silt and spoiling the otherwise gin-clear vis. Unlike some fins, the warp1 didn’t need a high-frequency kicking action to make them effective – which is lucky, because I rather wanted to take it easy.[/quote]

[quote]the aquabionic fins felt lighter and provided more effective finning and seemed considerably easier to dive with. You didn’t feel it in the muscles of your legs so much, but they still gave me adequate power.[/quote]

Read the Full Review HERE:

Many thanks to John Bantin for his excellent article about the aquabionic warp1 fins in the January 2013 issue of Diver Magazine (UK).

We would like to clarify his statement that “the primary marketplace for such a fin is the USA” – in fact CETATEK designs products for use anywhere in the world where there is water, having the warp1 internationally available.

Any Star Trek link is entirely coincidental, as the acronym “warp” stands for water adapting responsive propulsion.

Many thanks for your support John!

…a different fin with every kick

The new aquabionic warp technology by CETATEK provides fins the ability to instantly adapt and continuously change based on the demands of the diver. The unique construction of the warp1 blade allows changes in its geometry and surface area under load. At rest, the blade is relatively flat, but as the diver starts to kick, the stiff blade rails are forced to separate, and at the same time the flexible and pleated central membrane stretches to create a deep scoop to effectively channel the water to create thrust. LEARN MORE