Reviews

Product, accessory and other industry item reviews (books, watches, DVDs, etc.) will find their home here.

 



Performance and History: Churchill Makapu’u Floating Swim Fins

Hey sentinels! Luis here with what I hope will be a useful review on one of my favorite action water sports accessories…

So autumn is in full swing here in the Mexican Caribbean. And that means wind and waves…FINALLY!. We also had some of the most active and dangerous storm systems going near and through our region with the disastrous results we have all read and watched in the news. And out of all this, certainly something good had to come out. Waves and beach breaks in the area, which would otherwise have kept dormant well into winter season, lit up and allowed for brief but memorable sessions.

That said, I was able to try a couple of swim fins on some of the bigger days we had over here, and compare them to my babies, my trusty, ol’ Churchill Makapu’u swim fins. I did a very general review of three of my favorite swim fin brands here, along with some other useful information (hopefully!) regarding safety and design of different fin types. Anyway, by far, Churchill Makapu’u swim fins still remain my favorite, numero uno choice, as far as swim fins are concerned. And this is why.

Churchill Makapu’u Floating Swim Fins

  • Rubber covering your foot is soft for complete comfort while the rubber found on the blade is stiff for more kick power
  • Mens Shoe Size Small (5-6.5) Medium (7-8.5) ML (9-10.5) Large (11-12.5) XL (13-14.5)
  • Women’s Shoe Size Small (6.5-8) Medium (8.5-10) ML (11-12) Large (12.5-14) XL (15-16)
  • Helps maintain total control of direction.
  • Patent dolphfin design offers optimum power and acceleration.
  • For further details, consumer reviews and prices, check them out at amazon.com.

 

Performance.

Churchill Makapu’u’s are designed for performance up and down the ability scale. My first pair lasted my entire adolescent life and a bit more, about 8 years. Big time wear and tear. First time in Puerto Escondido with them. At the time, I was sixteen. I remember the left fin got a small cut near the drain hole (bottom of foot pocket). Still, they performed admirably well, even after the small cut had turned into a full sized gash.

I got my second pair soon after, on a trip to California.

These Makapu’u’s are the ones that I currently have. I find it incredible that after nearly all these years of use, on and off, (I know…”get a new pair for God’s sake!”…what can I say…I’m sentimental sucker!), my Makapu’u’s still kick butt in the water, giving me the response and power that have made these swim fins legendary.

Another great thing is the weight factor. They are light in comparison to their heavier counterparts. This for me is crucial when I find myself in longer than usual sessions.

I never get cramps on my feet or rubber rashes of any kind. True, just like a normal shoe, your feet have “grow” into the fin, until they provide a comfortable fit.

Still, even shortly after I purchased them (so long ago!), I remember the one thing that stood out was how soft the natural, 100% gum rubber was, allowing my feet to fit snugly into the fins.

Although there are other specs worth mentioning, another feature that really stands out from the rest of the competition is the trade mark drain hole at the bottom of the fins which allows for sand and pebbles to literally “flush” out of the fin, helping a great deal in comfort and safety.

Sand trapped inside the fin, with nowhere to go, can become as harsh as sand paper grating on your feet. And just as painful when exposed to salt water.

The “drain” hole idea was a brilliant addition to an already unique patented dolphfin design, and the fin is shaped in such a way that it literally becomes a skeg on water for better control on the wave. Oh, and did I mention they float? As I got more confident riding bigger waves, wipe outs were a natural consequence. A few of these tumbles were really scary ones, and my Makapu’u’s would get lost in the chaos. I would always find one or the other, bobbing on the water’s surface or washed upon the beach.

I soon discovered swim tethers, and that was the end of that!

History:

These fins have been around since 1936. The story behind the change of Churchill fins from wartime black to peacetime green, including the technological development of a floating natural rubber blend to produce the recreational version of the fins, stands out as one of the lesser known business success stories known to water men and women around the world.

In fact, if you visit the British War Museum in London, there is a display showing a British Commando ‘frogman’ which includes one of the earliest pair of Churchill fins.

“The British commandos were Owen’s first big customers back in 1940. My dad, Bob Johnson, approached Owen after WWII with a formula he had developed for natural gum rubber which permitted the addition of a chrome color and would also make the cured rubber buoyant”.

There is much more to be said about the humble beginnings of one of the market’s top performing fins.

Widely used by life guards, as well as body boarders and body surfers in the heaviest beach breaks of the world, Churchill Makapu’u floating swim fins have become the go to swim fin for high performance action water sports. For the price of regular dinner for two at your favorite restaurant, you can own these amazing swim fins, sharing in their performance and history.


Timepieces that exceed expectations…

Dive watches offer a wide range of complexity and price. From the recreational weekend SCUBA diver to the professional dive instructor, to seasoned free divers and commercial divers. Below you will find reviews of so of my favorite dive watches. (Disclaimer: by clicking on the links that appear on any of the products below you will be transferred to Princeton Watches. If you purchase any of the products at their site, Princeton Watches will pay me a commission) Princeton Watches is awesome and a great place where you can Shop for Dive Watches – Best Price & Selection.

SEIKO WATCHES

Seiko has had a long-standing partnership with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). To celebrate this partnership, Seiko Watches has designed a line of unique diving watches with the PADI logo on the dial, elegantly complemented with the red and blue colors of PADI on the case.

Following, the SRPA21K1. A classic design for discerning divers.

The story of Seiko began in 1881, when a 22-year-old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo.

Today, after more than 130 years of innovation, Kintaro Hattori’s company is still dedicated to the perfection that the founder always strove to achieve.

Check out our huge selection of Seiko watches, for him or for her.

 

 

FEATURES:

  • Screw-down crown at the 4 o’clock position
  • High legibility
  • SPECS:
  • DRIVING SYSTEM: Automatic with manual winding mechanism
  • CALIBER: NO. 4R36
  • CASE: Stainless steel
  •  BAND: Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp                                                                                                                   with secure lock, push button release with extender
  • GLASS MATERIAL: Hardlex glass
  • WATER RESISTANCE: 200m Diver
  • CASE DIAMETER: 45.0mm
  • Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m

Casio G-Shock Master Of G FROGMAN Mens Watch – Atomic – 200M – Black

Designed in close consultation with dive rescue teams, the updated version of the Frogman provides a new level of high-performance functionality.

  • Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping (US, UK, Germany, Japan, China)
  • Receives time calibration radio signals which keep the displayed time accurate
  • Auto receive function (up to 6 times per day/up to 5 times per day for China)

 

 

FEATURES:

– Tough Solar PowerShock Resistant
– 200M Water Resistant
– Depth Guage Measuring range: 0.0 to 80.0 m (0 to 262.5 ft)
– Measuring unit: 0.1 m (0.5 ft)
– Measurement Duration: up to 6 hours
– Diving Mode: Auto measurement start/stop at a depth of 1.5m
– Automatic log memory: 20 records (dive start date and time, dive time, maximum depth, water temperature low for each record)
– Dive time and surface interval measurement function Dive time: 1 second increments, up to 23:59’59
– Surface interval: 1 minute increments, up to 47:59’59
– Memory capacity: One set of data (dive time, dive start time and surface interval)
– Ascent Rate Alarm: 5-second alarm
– Digital Compass Measures and displays direction as one of 16 points
– Measuring range: 0 to 359 degrees
– Measuring unit: 1 degree 60 seconds continuous measurement (20 seconds in dive mode)

For further features, please click here…