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DOL-Fin Orca Mk-2

First impressions are important for a new product that is as different from typical hardware as the Orca is from the hyperfin style monofins it competes against.  The following is Chris Morey's e-mail to Ron Smith of Smith Aerospace after his first diving session with a DOL-Fin Orca:


"Ron,

Just got back from the first dive.
I figured I'd have this fin around for awhile, get used to it, get the strappage sorted and all that and then give you my opinion. Frankly, based on my experiences with lunocets, I figured it would feel very mechanical, and I wouldn't like it.

Well, my opinion was formed with ONE dive. From there on out it was just reinforced.
IT ABSOLUTELY ROCKS!! This thing is excellent, Ron.

I had no trouble with the straps - nailed it the first time - dove for two hours, took photographs, stalked fish, swam about half a mile to and from the dive site - both surface and dynamic.

On the surface it doesn't feel quite as good as my hyperfin.
Both vertically and horizontally submerged it is amazing. I love my hyperfin - I've been swimming with it almost daily for several years - but I think the Orca may be better, and it felt great - it gives smooth, organic feeling feedback and responds perfectly to a disciplined classic monofin stroke. It also responds perfectly to pretty much any other kind of stroke - I prefer knees-straight/core technique, but your fin allows for swimming with arms down, and little flutter kicks and whatnot as well.

It also does not stir up the bottom like my hyperfin, and maneuvers way more easily for photography.

I'm seriously blown-away, and I agree completely with Eric.

cm"

[Eric Fattah's Review of the DOL-Fin Orca: https://www.deeperblue.com/gear-review-the-dol-fin-orca/]

Chris Morey is an experienced freediver who has written several monofin reviews for DeeperBlue.com


The Orca2 improves upon the original Orca design.  Upgrades include more comfortable and connected feeling foot binding straps and internal floatation for improved diver stability during deepwater freefall and a more comfortable surface posture during the pre-dive breath up.  New manufacturing techniques have lowered the price, and that in combination with its rugged construction and many other unique attributes, make the Orca2 an attractive new product for serious freedivers.  The Orca2 offers great performance, an assured fit with excellent comfort and a competitive lifecycle cost of ownership.

The DOL-Fin Orca achieves the superior efficiency freedivers have come to expect from hyperfin style monofins. Whether you pull back the power to optimize range for a max-dynamic performance, or are thrusting hard against a large negative buoyancy at the bottom of a deep dive, the DOL-Fin Orca delivers consistent high-performance thrust with superior comfort and durability beyond the expectations of even recreational freediving fins. With the Orca behind you, no longer will you have to contend with uncomfortable foot pockets and expensive hyperfins that only last a couple of years in order to achieve top level freediving performance.

The Orca is a modular system with replaceable parts, so this monofin can last as long as you want it to last. Its robust modular construction also makes traveling a breeze. Just remove 4 small screws and this sturdy monofin can fit in a suitcase with plenty of room to spare. This is the monofin freedivers have been longing for.


See what others are saying about the 2nd generation DOL-Fins on this Deeper Blue Forum:


Predicted Performance Across 25 Meter Pool*
Original DOL-Fin Orca with Kick-Kick & Glide Technique

Orca DOL-Fin Pool Performance

End of pool reached at 14.3 seconds with 7 fin strokes. 
Average Speed Actual = 3.2 knots.

Orca Mk-2 Specifications

Specification Table English Metric
Length 23 inches 58 cm
Width ( XL Fin span tip-to-tip) 44 inches / 32 inches folded 112 cm / 81 cm folded
Height 7 inches 18 cm
Weight w/ XL Fin 6.5 pounds 3 Kg
Buoyancy (approximate w/ XL Fin) +0.5 pounds +0.2 Kg
Color Black and Brushed Aluminum
Construction

 

 

 

 

Fin Anodized 6063 T6 Aluminum
Fin Tips Polyethylene  Plastic
Orca Body 5052 Aluminum, Cellulose Float, Polycarbonate Fairing
Bindings Polyester Webbing with Hook & Loop Fastener
Suspension Elastomer & Nylon Composite
Hardware Stainless Steel

Download DOL-Fin Orca Mk-2 Owner's Manual

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*This data was collected for the original DOL-Fin Orca monofin.  The Orca Mk-2 will be very similar and slightly better.  Measured performance is for 6 foot, 180 pound male freediver wearing a typical shorty-style scuba wetsuit, weight belt on waist and standard dive mask.  With freediving equipment and swimming techniques, performance will be improved.  Swimming technique is an intermediate level of kick-kick-and-glide fin stroke with arms overhead.