AERIS IS A BRAND NAME marketed in competition to Oceanic in the USA but there is a strong family connection between the two. However, when it comes to fins, American divers are notorious for wanting types that dont hurt their legs, rather than admitting that their leg muscles need to be stronger.
So I was expecting these fins to err on the side of ineffective floppiness, rather than efficacy reflected in used thigh muscles. I was happy to be proved wrong.

Foot-Pocket
The X3s have a capacious foot-pocket that enclosed my boot right up to the heel, so taking all the strain off my calf muscles.
Some of my favourite Italian manufacturers seem to be cutting back recently on the length of the sole of the foot-pocket, thereby losing this important feature.
Although these fins bear a US brand, they too come from the fin mines of northern Italy. The pockets are ribbed inside, so there is no suction effect that might make a snug-fitting fin hard to pull off in the water.

Blade
With strong side bars set in a rigid, coloured-plastic surround, the blade dips away from the line of the foot to the water, so that a soft centre-section scoops and propels the water backwards. This centre-section has hundreds of pimples and raised lines that help to keep the water running smoothly over the blade, and prevent any tendency to aeration. Its a design reminiscent of the head of a humpback whale.
There is not a split blade in sight - even though the mark under the blade confirms that the design is by Pete McCarthy, the man who thought up the Natures Wing concept that has proved so popular in the USA.

Straps & Buckles
The straps are fitted using conventional quick-releases. I took advantage of this to substitute a pair of proprietary stainless-steel spring straps, now offered by many manufacturers as an extra-cost option. This makes fitting and removing the fins instantaneous, with no risk of a rubber strap breaking, and the strap is self-tightening, so that the fin is always held firmly on the foot. No effort is lost in fin-waggling!

Efficacy
I cant say that the Velocity X3s proved better than the industrys best, but they did seem to work, and powered me along when I put in the effort. There seemed to be nothing special about them but they proved perfect for buoyancy in the water, never causing my feet to float up or to drag downward.
After 20 or so dives they still looked presentable, despite the fact that a helpful local person swam them ashore for me from the boat in high surf, and dropped one on the way.
It turned up later when it was hurled back by an angry sea on the rocky shore.
Id say that these fins make a good alternative to other similarly priced fins available.

COMPARABLE FINS TO CONSIDER:
IST Talaria, £75
Cressi Reaction, £69
Mares Avanti Quattro, £69

SPECS
PRICE £72
SIZES XS, S, Regular, XL
COLOURS Four
DRY WEIGHT 2.5kg
CONTACT www.oceanicuk.co.uk
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