The Design
The new Blade fins are constructed using Atomic’s “Power Loop Monocoque”, which involves two structures combined with a flexible skin.
The frame of the monocoque has been inspired by technology used in racing-car and aircraft design. One structure loops over the front of the foot-pocket and down the side-rails of the fins, while the second connects the base of the foot-pocket to the inner blade with a floating stabiliser in the centre section.
The side-rails run the full length of the blade and act as stiff spines, which become more flexible as they taper towards the tip. The frame material is rigid and this, according to Atomic, is where the fins generate their power.

A synthetic-rubber flexible skin which, through clever moulding techniques, joins everything together, allows the fin to gather and contain the water flow, channelling it where it needs to go. Oversized wings at the tips of the side-rails are there to add stability.
The fins are fitted with rubber straps as standard, with Atomic’s EZ-Lok buckle system that snaps into place on pegs placed either side of the foot-pocket. Spring-straps are available as an alternative at extra cost.

In Use
I took the fins to the pool to put them through the same power tests used for the last comparison. The large foot-pocket engulfed my rock-booted feet, leaving very little heel exposed.
I warmed my muscles with an extended leisurely swim around the pool using both flutter- and frog-kicks. The fins felt as if they were an extension of my legs and extremely stable, showing no signs of twist or roll.
They did however feel rigid, especially when initially increasing the kicking speed, which added to a feeling of sharp acceleration as they snapped me through the water.
I clipped a line from me to the scales and finned as hard and as quickly as I could. At this increased kicking rate the blades felt more pliable than when gently finning.
They cut through the water easily and caused very little strain on my overworked calf and quadriceps muscles, giving me the impression that they were not producing much in the way of power. So you can imagine my surprise when my assistant shouted out the reading on the scales.
During the group fin tests the highest reading we had achieved had been 23kg, produced unsurprisingly by the ever-consistent Mares Plana Quattros. Atomic’s newly designed Blade fins produced a pulling pressure of – wait for it – 22.5kg!
I was shocked, so I dug my trusty Quattros from my dive-bag and put them through the same test and checked the scale readings again. I must have been even more determined this time, as I got a reading of 23.25kg.
So, surprisingly, Atomic’s new Blade fins had very nearly toppled the long-running champions of the fin world!

Conclusion
The Blade fins not only performed extremely well in the pool but have since cut the mustard out in the real world of diving.
I took a pair with me on a short trip to the eastern Atlantic, and although I did not encounter any strong currents, prolonged diving sessions left me feeling less fatigued than perhaps I would have normally have been.
The styling, described as “wicked” in the sales blurb, is actually created by the monocoque design. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these distinct fins are certainly eye-catchers.
It’s not all about the looks, however – the Blades worked well enough to very nearly
steal the kicking crown. Kudos to those clever Atomic engineers.

PRICE £118
SIZES S, M, L, XL
COLOURS Blue, red, yellow and silver. SIZES S and M in pink or purple
WEIGHT Size XL, 2.38kg (pair)
STRAPS Rubber with EZ-Lok buckle. Atomic spring-straps available at extra cost
CONTACT www.atomicaquatics.com
DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%width=100%