Hollis F1 bat fins… Best of the best review

October 12, 2014

Backmount Scuba, Sidemount Scuba

Hollis F1 fins bat fins are my latest purchase…. How do they stack up?

Scuba fins are the topic of much opinion in scuba diving circles but I think I have found a winner in these Hollis F1 fins. The predominate tech fins include the original scubapro jet fin, The dive rite XT, the OMS Slipstream and a host of jet fin copies. My fin collection has included the OMS Slipstream, the Dive Rite XT, split fin (which i received a ribbing for owning), as well as a few others including carbon -fibre free diving fins.

Lets start with the F1 and the foot pocket, after all that’s what comes first. The Hollis F1 has a generous foot pocket with an adjustable standard spring strap. That’s right the strap can be adjusted with one of two settings.  I did not think that this would be necessary but as it turns out, its a good feature. My summer boots are not as padded and therefore the firmer of the two settings is great. My winter booties on the other hand fill out the roomier version just nicely. This was an advantage over the OMS Slipstream I had and the Dive Rite XT. Don’t get me wrong though, both of the later fins are excellent, just not right for my foot.

Hollis F1 in the water ….

Once in the ocean the  Hollis F1 displaces water beautifully. I’m not going to sugar coat it though, these fins require a moderate amount of leg strength to propel your through the water and i had a great opportunity to test this while swimming head-on into an outgoing current.  I felt these fins , pound for pound for effort, were pushing me easily through the current. Whats more, the full foot pocket improves the position of the feet and I experience no leg pain or cramps.  These are heavy fins, I believe the same weight as the Scubapro Jet fins from all the research I have done over the years. This may an issue for some travelers, but for me, the fin is as important as my regulator so I am happy for the weight to come with me on my overseas trips.

Sink or Float … How did they perform?

These Hollis F1 are negatively buoyant. I will make one point though, my winter booties are 7 mm padded and can be a bit float-ie. This fin with that boot trimmed off perfectly. My summer boots have a rock hard base  with 2 mm of slip on sock like neoprene fabric. I think they will be foot heavy with this fin. I kick predominately frog kick and these fins are exceptional in this style of kicking,  but even in flutter and modified flutter these fins are great.  Turning and  adjusting my position in the water was excellent too. I felt that I had total control. Having come from a really maneuverable set of OMS Slipstream, I was concerned that this would be a problem with the larger fin but to the contrary. I found these responsive with even the smallest movement.

After a long search I think I found what I am looking for in a fin. The Hollis F1 bat fins ticks all the boxes for me.

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