The fins were the Shot FX models from Aqua Lung’s women’s range. The company also make a male version, and this is called the X Shot.

The Design
Aqua Lung says that X Shot fins have evolved from the technology used in its earlier Slingshot and Hotshot models.
The maker uses the term “Power Transmission Zone” to describe the fin’s blade-to-foot-pocket connection. This has a V-shaped rubberised section that stretches at the mid-fin pivot point just in front of the wearer’s toes to help snap the blade back in place between fin-strokes.
The blades are built with a high-flex centre panel set into the stiffer high-performance elastomer blade.
This creates a spoon effect when finning, allowing for more water movement, and ergonomic side-rails are meant to prevent the water spilling over the edge, to aid stability.
The foot-pocket has a rigid foot-bed with a non-slip moulding on the inside and a flexible rubberised dorsal. There are also rubberised non-slip sections on the underside.
The fins are finished with Aqua Lung’s own stainless-steel spring-straps fitted with flexible heel pads. X Shots are available in a choice of three colours and four sizes

In The Water
I took the X Shot fins to both the Maldives and Egypt to try them out. The blade was medium-sized and the spacious foot-pocket proved a good fit with 5mm neoprene boots – it was also long enough to encompass almost the whole of my foot, leaving very little heel exposed.
The spring-straps were very easy to get on and off with the aid of the large pull-loop on the heel-pad, and they held my feet securely without any uncomfortable pressure on my Achilles.
The X Shot’s performance was tested to the max when we encountered fast currents in the Maldivian atolls as tidal movement squeezed the sea through channels between islands and sunken reefs.
They came through the challenge without collapsing at the mid-point of the blade, proving that they were stiff enough for these conditions.
I did suffer a bit of muscle-burn in the process, although to be honest my own model of fin would probably have produced much the same outcome.
I found that the X Shots provided a bit of snap in acceleration and responded well to quick changes in finning speed or style. They felt extremely stable, and didn’t produce any twisting or wobbling when pushed hard.
In Egypt on a wreck safari the length of the blade proved to be perfect for my style of diving when penetrating tight wreck interiors. Some of my fellow wreck-heads prefer shorter blades for this purpose but then have to compromise in the power department.
I found these fins easy to frog-kick with too, pushing water behind instead of beneath me to ensure that I didn’t destroy the vis by kicking up clouds of soft silt.  
I took them to our outdoor pool in January to test their pulling power against a set of digital scales.
The water was bitterly cold, so I wore a drysuit and Rockboot combination and found that the foot-pocket was a little tight, but not uncomfortably so.
The X Shots produced very similar results to the women’s Shot FX version from the group test, pulling the scales round to just under 22kg.

Conclusion
I’ve been using Plana Avanti Quattros as my fin of choice for many years and I’m sure that in time my muscles have been honed to deal with the extra kicking force needed to get the best from them.
The X Shot fins behaved in a very similar way to the Quattros and I needed that muscle power at times, especially when faced with strong currents with my bulky camera rig.
The fins came through everything the ocean could throw at them – with flying colours.
The Shot FX and its male counterpart differ only in the design of the foot-pocket and the colour combinations.
I like these fins, and I’m relieved that I no longer need to contemplate cross-dressing to dive with them.

PRICE £82
SIZES S, R, L, XL
BLADE LENGTH 62cm (size Regular)
BUOYANCY Negative
COLOUR Blue, orange, black
STRAPS Stainless-steel spring with soft heel-pad.
CONTACT www.aqualung.com/uk
DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%