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Footpocket Weight Comparison

We get a lot of questions from customers asking us about the various footpockets that are available and if they will fit our Moana blades. So we are going to do a few articles about the various foot pockets that we are offering to help customers understand the differences. This article is going to cover one of the most frequently discussed topics: weight. 

We decided to grab the pockets we had in stock and compare them all in a size 9. Most foot pockets cover a range of sizes, such as 9-10 or 8-9. So we grabbed each style of pocket with a 9 in the size which should be acurate enough for this camparison. The pockets we looked at are:

Pathos Fireblade 8-1/2 - 10 (46-48)

Salvimar Step(same as Neptonics, Hammerhead, Riffe) 8-9(42-43)

C4 300

OMER Stingray 9-10(43-44)

OMER Stingray Short 9-10(43-44)

The first thing you will notice is that the sizing is all over the place. The US men's sizes don't really match up to the European sizes shown on the blades. The bottom line is that some run small and some run large. We will be posting more on that in a subsequent article. 

freediving foot pockets pathos omer short and salvimar step bottoms of pootpockets
(Bottoms. From left to right: Salvimar, OMER Stingray Short, Pathos)
The next thing that really stands out with these various products is the tendon design. The tendons are the two long protrusions that extend from the foot. They are left over vestiges from rubber and plastic fins. The tapered tendon stiffened up the soft blade material for more efficient power transfer. The tapered profile also allowed for the blades to have a stiffer base and increased flex towards the tips. In modern composite fins we can achieve fare superior characteristics by controlling the lamination schedule.  By placing carbon or glass in varying amounts and locations, we can achieve a blade that is lighter and far more efficient than a rubber or non-reinforced plastic(such as polypropylene). We will get more in-depth about fins blades in another article.
With these different manufacturers, you can see that they have different approaches to their tendon designs.  And these different tendons can actually have a major effect on blade performance as well as weight. A carbon blade with a very soft base might perform better with stiffer tendons, while those same tendons might be overkill on a blade with a stiff base.
freediving foot pockets pathos omer short and salvimar step tendon comparison
(Tendons. From left to right: Salvimar, Pathos, OMER Stingray Short, Omer Stingray) 

The MOANA hybrid blade gets its name from its design. The tip of the blade is soft and the base is stiff. This allows for a lighter kick while freediving but also gives you some backbone when you need it, such as fighting a fish or swimming in harsh conditions. This stiffer base allows for a smaller and lighter tendon. One pocket that stands out to us (and has proven to be very nice in the water) is the little-known OMER Stingray "Short".  This foot pocket has the same "shoe" as its big brother the Stingray but it has shorter and thinner tendons. Much thinner! And much lighter! This pocket actually won as the lightest rubber pocket of the group (the C4 300 was by far the lightest but it isn't rubber, it is a stiffer plastic). And the Stingray is widely known as a comfortable foot pocket. Right now this is one of my favorite pockets to pair with the Moana blades.

The Pathos pockets are only slightly heavier (less than 10 grams more which is only about a 2% increase). But don't let it's light weight fool you, the Pathos foot pocket is very stout. It actually features a stiff sole and tendons with softer uppers. This stiffness provides more efficient power transfer from the foot to the blade. The downside, and we think its a major downside, is that the foot pocket must be permanently glued to the fin blade. If you need to remove the foot pocket is must be cut off. If done carefully the blade can be reused, but the foot pocket is almost always destroyed at that point. 

 

(The four above photos show how much smaller the "short" tendons are compared to the regular stingray tendons)

To weight these various products we used out mixing scale. It is precise to 00.1 grams which is far more precision than is required for this review. 

(All weights above shown in Grams. From top to bottom: Stingray, Stingray Short, Pathos Fireblade, Salvimar style, C4 300)

 STYLE

WEIGHT(g)

OMER Stingray

656.2 

OMER Stingray short

514.1

Pathos Fireblade

524

Salvimar style(Neptonics, Hammerhead, Riffe, etc)

620.6

C4 300

322.2

New U.S. Customs and Border Protection App for clearing into the U.S.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) just announced a new app that will allow pleasure vessels to clear into the U.S. in select areas, including Florida. CBP states that the app can be used by anyone from any nationality regardless of their citizenship. We did call CBP and learned that if that person does not have a Local Boater's Option (BR number) then they are still required to report in person to a CBP location within 24 hours with their arrival number and passport. 

cbp roam app small vessel reporting bahamas

Here is this information we received directly from U.S. CBP:

 

INTRODUCING A NEW OPTION FOR REPORTING YOUR PLEASURE BOAT ARRIVAL TO CBP
 
Hello SVRS member,
 
It is our pleasure to announce that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is launching the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM) app, a new way for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry in select locations nationwide! This app provides pleasure boaters with a convenient and efficient way to report their U.S. entry from a personal device, as opposed to calling their local CBP number.  Please note: Float plans are no longer required, and the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) is being discontinued in the coming months. A notice will be posted to the SVRS website with a specific date and thereafter all travelers will be directed to utilize the CBP ROAM app. Your SVRS, Local Boater, or Registered Traveler numbers will remain in effect and can be utilized and saved within the app to expedite reporting. 
 
What is the CBP ROAM app?
The CBP ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides a new and faster option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP. Travelers can use their personal smart device (or a tablet located at partner businesses) to satisfy reporting requirements in select areas. All travelers, regardless of nationality or citizenship, are eligible to use the CBP ROAM app.
 
Where can the CBP ROAM app be used?
Currently, the CBP ROAM app can be used to report U.S. entry by pleasure boat in Florida, select locations in Minnesota, and in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River area between Buffalo and Ogdensburg, NY. Additional locations are being added, and travelers should contact their local port of entry to confirm whether arrival submissions via the CBP ROAM app are accepted.
 
Download CBP ROAM on your Android or Apple device! Detailed instructions on how to install and use the app on a personal device are attached for your reference. For more information on the CBP ROAM app, visit the CBP ROAM page on CBP’s website. For CBP ROAM questions or comments, please reach out to cbproam@cbp.dhs.gov.
 
This program is a pilot and is still under development; please report any difficulties or comments to this email box and we will respond as quickly as possible.
 
Happy boating and stay safe!
 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Future of Walker's Cay

The Future of Walker's Cay

Growing up in South Florida, the Bahamas have always been a favorite escape. And as a kid, no place was more alluring than Walker's Cay. It was like a Safari Lodge for salty fisherman. And it didn't matter if you were on a sportfish or center console. Chasing Marlin, Grouper or Bonefish. Everyone knew each other and there was a real sense of community among all the locals and visiting fisherman(many of later were there almost every weekend).

Walker's Cay was just far enough from Florida and just small enough to go unchanged for decades. As the rest of the Abacos boomed with development and tourism, Walker's small size and private ownership allowed it to keep its charm and personality. 

When I was 10 I caught my first bonefish right off Walker's. I remember my friend Dave Lee and I running a small Dolphin skiff from the marina to Great Sale and fly fishing all day for bonefish, barracuda, and sharks. We went out for a day with Billy Black on the Duchess and caught wahoo and Mahi just off the reef. And coming in I'll never forget seeing swell hit the reef in the pass and breaking, the first surfable outer reef break my eyes had ever seen. In college, Jason Norcross and I spent 5 weeks in the Walker's Marina on his dad's 31 contender. We set up a tent on the bow every night and slept on air mattresses. We had a $69 window unit plugged into shore power and setup to blow cold air on us. And we spearfished all day every day. It was one of the most formative trips of my life. And that 31 contender was named The Headhunter and it became the namesake for our brand when Jason and I started Headhunter Spearfishing in 2002. 

All that changed in 2005 when hurricanes devastated the island. With the hotel and marina in shambles, the Island was closed to the public. And has remained closed. But it looks like there is about to be another chapter written in the Walker's Cay story. A press release this week announced that Texas businessman and philanthropist Carl Allen has purchased the island and will soon begin a “phase one development plan”.

Not a lot of details were given regarding his plans for the island, but he did mention that he has been going since he was 12 and has a love for Walker's and the surrounding community. I hope he can steer this project in the right direction and restore Walker's to its former glory.