MaxAir Testing Process

MaxAirTM Swim Fin Testing Process

Until now no one has implemented an objective testing protocol for swim fins which takes into account the actual use of the fins.  TECreation has gone to great lengths to develop an objective repeatable system for testing the overall performance of swim fins in regard to the amount of air consumed to travel a fixed distance at various speeds.  This protocol results in actual speed/air performance curves for the tested fins.

It is necessary to have a "control" subject fin.  This fin is run in every test batch to help calibrate out any variance in the capabilities of the tester on that day. Testing of existing fins, when this system was set up, has shown the TUSA X-Pert Zoom to be the most air efficient fin available so it is being used as the baseline fin for comparison.

Testing results are available here.  The test procedure we use is three laps of a 50' straight open water course at a fixed depth of 10'.  The elapsed time and tank air used is compared to determine efficiency.  This way the maneuverability of the fins is included in the test.  The speeds shown in the results are the average for the entire run of the course which includes starting from a dead stop, accelerating to "cruise" speed 6 times, and 5 180 degree turns.  The tests are run at various "cruise" speeds so a performance curve can be developed for each fin.  The testing process to compare 3 pairs of fins usually takes about 6 hours.

The video above shows an example of the course as swum with the Tusa Expert Zoom and an early version of the MaxAir.

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If you believe you have a fin which is more efficient send it to us and we will test it.

Improvements keep on coming.  On April 25, 2012 we tested fin versions 42 and 43 using a 300' closed course.  The results were astounding!  Fin 43 attained an incredible 50% reduction in air consumption over the TUSA X-Pert Zoom.  Check out the summary data here.  For full data on all runs click here.  Now it is off to the Patent Office - again... 

Low End Power

We have been getting questions from commercial divers (which includes first responders, military, and other who have to move a lot of gear throug the water) about MaxAir's power.  In late October 2017 we had a chance to answer it.  MaxAir has maximum power too.

Matt McCue, a 35 year old retired USMC Force Recon Diver who works out daily, helped in a, not too scientific, tug-of-war.  He was paired with myself, a 60 year old recreational diver who rarely works out.  We expected the difference in strength and endurance might show through but found out it was all about the fins.  Whenever I had the MaxAir fins on I was able to out pull Matt and whenever he had them on he out pulled me.  To be sure, it was no contest when Matt had the MaxAir fins on.  In one pull I was loosing so badly that I gave it everything I had, including breast stroking, and still lost.

We tested against the Mares Raptor, Excel+, and X-stream and beat them all.  The Raptor gave the best fight and the X-stream was no contest.  We are not picking on Mares.  We just happened to have those fins available.  We would love to try others and welcome all challengers.  Contact us if you want to play.

While we are talking about power, a one of the conclusions from a Navy study was that most divers associate leg pain with powerful fins although that association is absolutely false.  I have run into that association with numerous divers.  For some reason they cannot believe it possible to get power out of fins without hurting themselves.  The MaxAir fins are designed to do just that.


It seems everyone is hung up on Frog Kicking.  Here is how MaxAir does it.  Since the technology is hugely different the classic style does not work as well as it would with the boards of yore.  An easier modified stroke makes it a breeze.  Don't try this with your old boards, it won't work.

Even this video does not show the optimum stroke.  There are some modifications which will make it more efficient.  As with any new equipment it is necessary to work with it a while before the "standard" technique is established.  We would be glad to work with a good tech diver to get this dialed in.

Please bear in mind these divers are not trained on these fins.  These are simply the strokes they came up with in the few minutes they had the fins on.  I got these shots during Scubalabs testing of BCs so this was not a photo shoot.  It was simply some quick shots I was able to grab while I was also testing BCs, so don't diss the divers.  They were concentrating on their testing job.

Take a Closer Look

Now that we are back you can see the latest technology which saves you air while diving.  Check out the "MaxAir Swim Fins Save Even More Air" video at right.  It even has close ups of the vanes in action.

This time compressed video shows one test of the MaxAir fins.   A similar test was done with the Tusa X-Pert Zoom fins.  In the end the MaxAir used 43% less air than the Tusa at the same swim speed.

To see what we consider the most efficient swim fin check out our friends at Smith Aerospace.


Reduced Wake

Check out the wake turbulence testing to the right.  This test compares prototype 21 to the Tusa X-Pert Zoom.  Speeds and turbulence depths were determined by measuring the images frame by frame.  Turbulence depth is defined as the lowest observation of air bubbles.

The overall results indicate FIN 21 can attain a higher top speed while consistently maintaining at least an 18% reduction in the depth of the turbulent wake.  This means less wasted energy and less mess behind you.


Testing Process

This is 33 minutes time lapsed crammed into 1 minute 10 seconds showing the process for one cycle of testing fins for air efficiency.  If you want to know how air efficient your fins are it is necessary to get quite involved in a controlled environment.

This test process uses a 50' long course at a depth of 10'.  A run consists of 3 complete laps of the course.  The total traveled distance is 327' which is 6 lengths and 5 180 degree turns.  Once the diver's heart rate has fallen to its rest rate a run is started.  The diver records the tank air pressure then descends to the start point without breathing from the tank.  After equalizing the diver crosses the start point and takes his first breath from the tank and starts his stopwatch. At the end of the run the stop watch is stopped and no breath is taken from the tank after the end buoy.  The heart rate and elapsed time is recorded along with the final tank air pressure.  The tank air pressure is measured about 4 minutes after the run to allow the internal air temperature to stabilize.

Each run group of the 3 fins to be tested is swum at a predetermined rate such as dead slow, just coasting along, need to catch up, I could miss the bus, and my life depends upon getting there as fast as possible.  This allows for recording of air consumption rates at various swim speeds and makes it possible to create a fin performance curve.  

A normal test cycle takes about 6 hours because each of the 3 fins is subjected to 6 runs.  The distance swum is usually 5886 feet or slightly over a mile.  Needless to say the recovery period is longer after the faster runs.

The end result is a performance curve showing the total air consumed versus the swim speed for each fin tested.  Currently (11/2013) the Oceanic V6 is the most efficient commercially available fin tested but the MaxAir still beats that.

If you would like to know more about this testing process or have your fins tested please contact us.  

Manueverability Testing

Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach FL is a great place to test the MaxAir Fins.  Judy, a REEF senior fish identifier, tested the maneuverability of the fins and was quite happy with them.  We also saw a plethora of macro life.

Kick Testing

TECreation MaxAir Fin 65 initial kick testing in slow motion.  This 1/4 speed video illustrates how the vanes adjust to the proper angle of attack to generate lift. 

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