Spat: Stealth Vs Science Aus.

Same, but different.

By Dan Dobbin.

It must be tough being in the swimfin game.

With the majority of bodyboarders being more conservative than a Trump rally in Texas when it comes to fin design, trying to do anything new and gaining traction in the marketplace is nigh on impossible.

Like toothbrushes marketers who are forced to add different grips to the stem, or disposable razor companies who just add more blades, there is only so many avenues fin manufacturers can venture into in order to try to differentiate their product.

So it wasn’t too big of a suprise to see the bitchy little above exchange go down around the similarities between the Stealth 2 fins and Vipers new all black delta models.

I mean, outside of colourways and contours, culturally we’re essentially locked into the asymmetric, dolphin tailesque design that Owen Churchill conceived just shy of ninety years ago.

Cast your mind back 25 years if you’re old enough and relive the many splendid assortments of designs and shapes swimfins came in. Original Vipers, Kpaloa’s, Redley 2’s, Manta blades, Hydro fins, Fangz, Bluntcuts. Different designs, easy identifiable. All relegated to the dusty shelves of history in the wake of Stewart, Hardy, and the Churchill cut.

Does this speak to a deeper issue? Are cultural norms and aesthetics holding us back from developing better performing fins, or is it simply that the original design is the best design? Mayhaps swimfin companies are just lazy and copy each other work?

Can we claim, in a Francis Fukuyama way, that we have come to end of swimfin history? Nothing new to evolve, no technological breakthroughs outside of slight variations on a singular theme?

Much to ponder….

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