After forcing a smile while having to view their spectacular images of this rarely seen predator, I made the decision to get a pair of stainless-steel spring-straps.
The problem with having just one pair of springs for divers who alternate between wet- and drysuit diving is the fit. Drysuit boots are by default much larger than the thin neoprene wetsuit booties, so you either compromise on size, suffering a looser fit than you’d like for the smaller boots, or get two pairs, one small and one large, then change them when you need to.
Until now, that is, because those geniuses at Aqua Lung have produced “one-size-fits-all” adjustable spring-straps, and sent me a pair to try out.

The Design
I love simple solutions to the annoying little problems that seem to litter my diving experiences, and the design of these straps is exactly that. A durable, flexible plastic rod with spaced out holes is set inside twin stainless-steel springs, the ends of which have plastic pegs set at 90°, and these push into the holes in the rod. Move the springs outwards to make them longer and inwards to shorten them – simple!
The plastic rod actually sits inside the heel-pad and can be accessed by pushing a locking section inside, then sliding the adjustment rod out to expose the holes and spring-ends.
After you’ve made the adjustments, it’s just a matter of putting everything back in place.
The spring-straps are connected to a set of fins via a shrouded hard plastic sleeve that fits neatly over the flanged peg that’s moulded onto nearly all makes and models of fins.
I say “nearly”, as some use different systems, so it would be worth checking to ensure that your fins are suitable before attempting to fit a set.

In Use
I have had these straps on my own fins for a few overseas trips wearing 2mm neoprene boots, and I have also conducted some colder-water diving with my drysuit and rock-boot combination. The adjustment couldn’t be easier, and only needs to be done once at the start of a session or series of dives.
The heel-pad is broad and spreads the pressure across the Achilles area at the back of the foot, making for comfortable finning.
Each pad has a substantial pull-loop that is part of the overall mould. When the straps are in position the loops face upwards and slightly outwards, keeping them low-profile but still enabling easy access to pull the straps on or remove them after a dive.
The heel-pads are quite stiff and, unlike the curved generic pads found on Aqua Lung’s high-end fins, they are flat in profile.
I thought this would prove uncomfortable when I first used them, but found after a few dives that they had moulded themselves to mimic the profile of my heel and now resemble the generic versions.

Conclusion
If you’re in the market for a replacement set of straps for your fins and, like me, alternate your exposure suits, these adjustable models could be the answer. I’ve no idea whether they’ll last as long as my previous single-size models, (which have been resigned to my spares box) but I’m willing to bet they’re still going strong after the next few years – something I’m sure can’t be said for rubber straps and buckles.


PRICE £40
SIZES One size fits all
MATERIALS Marine-grade stainless-steel, plastics
ATTACHMENT Flanged peg
CONTACT www.aqualung.com/uk
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