I had got the idea that Mares had moved production to Estonia, with all sorts of associated problems, and because it has introduced so many newer fins that attempt at least to emulate the fine performance of these fins, I had assumed that the company had discontinued them.
Not so. You can still get what has proved to be the fin of choice for dive guides worldwide, and they are now made for Mares in a factory in the Czech Republic.
Had I known this, I would have included a pair every time we’ve done a fin comparison test. After all, they remain the benchmark by which all other fins are judged.
Finding yourself in an unfamiliar diving location and discovering that the fins you brought along are ineffective in strong currents (see the lead review) is one of the horrors of packing for a trip away.
I’ve done it more than once in my life and I hope never to do it again.
I have seen other divers get back on the boat and throw their fins down on the deck in disgust. I’ve never seen anyone do that with Quattros.
Mike’s Point in Raja Ampat is next to an island so subject to strong currents that the US Navy Air Force bombed it during WW2, thinking that the wake it produced at its lee side indicated a Japanese warship in disguise.
I have been there three times and only got into the water once, when the flow was just manageable. Two young German divers were impressed at my strong finning when I turned a corner into the full force of it and finned my heart out to get to a quiet eddy.
I was impressed too, because all my effort was translated into forward movement by my fins. They were Mares Plana Avanti Quattros.

The Fins
These fins have a four-channel design with a long blade that scoops the water as you apply the downthrust, shovelling it effectively off the blade end. Then they fold the other way to give the same effect with the upthrust.
The foot-pocket is long, so in size XL my big feet are included right up to the heel.
This means that there is very little strain on my calf muscles, and my bigger thigh muscles are allowed to do their best to thrust me through the water.
My feet are held snugly in position by a strap that is levered into place by the Advanced Buckle System (ABS), which has now been rethought to make it easier to undo once back on your boat.
Even so, if I owned a pair of these I would substitute stainless-steel spring-straps in the correct size to make my feet snug in the foot-pocket, and remove the risk of disappointment should a rubber strap break just before diving.

In The Water
It was like diving with a pair of old friends. There was no tendency for my fins to slip sideways under heavy work, because all the water is precisely thrust off the ultimate blade ends.
Not only that, but when it comes to packing, a pair in size XL weighs only 2.2kg.
A word about the sizes. These fins come in either small (S), regular (R) or extra-large (XL).
I have heard stories of divers returning to dive shops with a pair of these fins that they’ve bought because they find they have two marked “R”, asking to exchange one for a left-footed fin!
These fins are very effective. They caused a problem for Mares, because they make it so difficult to sell other fins. I rate them with top marks all round.

Mares Wave, £69
Scubapro Twinjet Max, £99
Seac ProPulsion, £90
TUSA X-pert Zoom Z3, £132

COLOURS Blue, Yellow, Black
CONTACT www.mares.com
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