They were called Mares Avanti Quattros, and since then manufacturers, including Mares, have been scratching their heads to come up with something better. Tigullio, another Italian manufacturer is one of them.
The new Tigullio Venom fins follow more in the spirit of those original heavy rubber fins and, although I consigned my own to a car-boot sale in the early 1980s, I am aware that a new generation of divers has rediscovered heavy fins within the past 12 years. Venoms are for these divers.

The blades are big and fairly rigid, with only a small soft flexible section in the centre. They are held firm by side-rails that have been designed rather like the flying buttresses of Rheims Cathedral, in that they sprout from alongside the foot-pocket and are attached only at the very end of the blade.
The hard plastic part of the blade dips away from the line of the sole of the foot at quite an extreme angle.

The foot-pockets seemed to be fairly capacious in that not only are they wide but they took my mighty plates of meat right up to the heel.
This meant that there was no loading on my calf muscles, precluding any tendency for me to get cramp after a bout of hard finning.

Straps & Buckles
These are very conventional, in that the buckles part by squeezing the two sides together for easy removal after a dive.
The heavy rubber-like straps are pulled tight when donning the fins in the normal way, by pressing on the side-release.
I found I had to be careful to ensure that this side-release returned to the locked position, or the straps would work loose during hard swimming.
I think, in common with many fins, that these could be improved immeasurably with the substitution of stainless-steel spring straps.

In our recent side-by-side comparison test we used an underwater speedometer to compare objectively various models of fin. These new Tigullio Venoms did not arrive in time for this exercise, but using a pair of fins from that test and getting the same result as before, we are confident that the underwater speed achieved with the Venoms bears comparison.
They felt quite heavy on the feet, and I achieved a top speed of only 0.6m/sec, so its safe to say that these fins will suit the plodding drysuit diver in the way that old-fashioned Jetfin-style fins find favour with those who dive in cold water.
Those who wear wetsuits and might have to get their heads down and go for it to pass a current point on a reef might find the Venoms a bit ponderous.
So I get the feeling its the heavy-duty coldwater diver for whom these fins are intended to appeal. n

Cressi Reaction, £64
Aeris Velocity, £69
Seac-sub Propulsion, £59

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