Finalists of the Best Choice by Apneapassion 2023, the polymer blade Mares X-Wing fins are among the best offer on the market. But, maybe not promoted enough by Mares, it is the entire Mares X-Wing fins range to be absolutely extraordinary. Today Mares, in fact, has an amazingly complete offer of fins for freediving and spearfishing, which go from polymer, to glass fiber, to carbon fiber blades solutions. Not only, even the stiffness and lengths of the blades differ for different needs. All of them, hosted by the excellent Mares X-Wing foot-pocket, most probably the best solution on the market today among the most traditional design solutions. Let’s look better into the offer in this dossier on the Mares X-Wings fins offer.
Polymer blade fins
We have already presented the Mares X-Wing polymer blade fins, strong finalists of the Best Choice by Apneapassion in their category, with a dedicated X-Rays article. In brief, what is astonishing about these fins are first of all performance and comfort. The blade, in fact, pushes so much, it cannot be beaten by any other fin on the market, and the X-Wing foot-pocket is amazingly comfortable. Only be aware that the size indicates the measure without neoprene socks. The offer is also among the best on the market, with two lengths, indicatively 60 (Short) and 70 cm from the curvature, two stiffnesses, standard and Pro, and 4 different colours, black (Pro), blue, military green (Pro) and pink. The latter cannot be disregarded, as the matching of the X-Wing foot-pocket colour with the blade is really neat and beautiful.
X-Wing Apnea & Apnea S
Glass fiber is very often used for indoor apnea and freediving, as it maybe does not have the reactivity of carbon fiber, but has a very good one and a smoothness during the kick plus an ease of use which are quite unbeatable. Also, the price can be lower than carbon fiber. For such reason Mares offers two different glass fiber blade fins, the X-Wing Apnea and the X-Wing Apnea S, the short version.
The X-Wing Apnea freediving fins have a blade made of pre-impregnated fiberglass layers. Such material guarantees high and constant quality of the blade, avoiding micro defects which could in time lead to the brakage of the composite material. The variable thickness of the glass fiber layers determine the optimal flexion of the blade during the kick. The X-Wing Apnea are available in soft or medium stiffness. The colour has tones of blue and white, which are nice with the famous Mares polygon structure. Quite some white colour used for this design could be not totally liked as camo by some spearos, but at the same time it is a hugely good safety element to be able to locate the diver on the sea bottom.
X-Wing Apnea S
With the same logic and material Mares also proposes the X-Wing Apnea-S, meaning the Short version, about 10 centimeters shorter than the standard. The colour in this case has tones of black, grey and white still utilizing the polygon fantasy. These fins are available only in the Medium stiffness solution.
The end of the blade, just as for the polymer solutions, has a concave profile which helps to control lateral slide. In addition, two soft rubber water rails are applied on the blade. The soft rubber material permits practically no interference by the water rails to the curvature of the blade, still controlling water flow. The water rails are advanced solutions with variable hight for the best efficiency, which means no excessive additional weight, but good water flow control.
X-Wing C-S & C-Evo
Newly arrived as offer by Mares are also the top of the range fins, the X-Wing C-S and X-Wing C-Evo. These are fins with high quality pre-impregnated T700 carbon fiber. Both the models have a 30° angle between the blade and the X-Wing foot-pocket to permit a more relaxed position of the ankle during the kick. The difference between the two models is first of all in the length, where the X-Wing C-S are 600 mm long, and the X-Wing C-Evo are 750 mm.
Materials and construction
Due to the different length, the first are made of 11 layers of T700 carbon fiber, while the second ones of 12. The layers see a different orientation and thickness of the fibers to obtain a much stronger blade, also capable of a very efficient curvature. The directionality given to the woven also permits to avoid side flection and slipping. These are not simple carbon fiber fins, they are absolutely high quality and top technology ones. The layers are then pressed in aluminium moulds that lead to exceptional results in terms of resistance, reactivity and an absence of aesthetic defects. The blade is in fact exposed to a pressure of around 6kg per cm², and the heating process consists of rapidly increasing the temperature to obtain exceptional characteristics.
The longer X-Wing C-Evo are more indicated for freediving and deep spearfishing, while the shorter X-Wing C-S are particularly good in medium and shallow depth spearfishing, due to the reduced encumbrance and the greater acceleration (but lower top speed) a short fin gives compared to a longer one.
A very important characteristic of the X-Wing C-Evo is that to reduce friction they utilize the same superficial rough surface as is used on the hulls of the most recent America’s Cup boats.
The two models of carbon fiber blade Mares X-Wing fins differ also in the shape of the end profile. The X-Wing C-S maintain the same concave profile of the polymer and glass fiber models by Mares, to obtain the best control and sliding reduction. The X-Wing C-Evo instead have a convex profile to utilize as much as possible all the length of the blade, and so have the best thrust and top speed.
Both models of fins are available in Soft and Medium hardness to adapt to the different weights of the divers.
The X-Wing foot-pocket, one of the best on the market, if not the best as traditional solution, is extremely refined in each detail.
Available sizes are 36-38-40-42-44-46.