Wednesday, June 17, 2009

XFin Composite Spearfishing Blades and Foot Pocket Assembly

Here is a basic step by step way to fit your Xfins or other composite freediving fins in you foot pockets.
Some of the components my vary but the basic principals should be the same.

Step 1
Trim foot pocket ends
First you will need to trim the ends of the foot pockets sides. There is a small nib which normally fits into the plastic blades. I trim this at a 45 deg angle so it does not catch on line etc. Remember only trim a few mm ... 
Step 2
Insert Xfin into foot pocket
Next insert the Xfin blade or similar into the foot pocket, pushing the blade as deep as you can. Very important rememeber that the bolt must not sit in the bend of the fin!! This should be about 10mm past the bend, or you will create a weak spot. If the bolt hole is on the bend you might need to trim the end of the blade that goes into the pocket so that it can go deeper in. It some times helps using an existing blade as a template so you know how much to trim.
Once you are confident the blade is sitting in the pocket and is not skew, mark the hole and drill to the correct size for the bolt to fit through.
NB dont tighten the nut and bolt too much, just enough for the lock nut to take on the bolt and secure the blade.
Step 3
Step 3 glue or silicon the grooves
This next step is not always necessary, but will avoid some frustration down the line. Some foot pockets have larger grooves than others and don't grip the blades all that well, and pop out when bent.
I suggest gluing or siliconing the blades in place.
I personally use silicon (I try find the hardest grade) as you can always remove the blade and get the silicon off at a later stage. With glue that might not be an option. Other glues that work well are Sekaflex and in extreme cases Locktight.

Using a nozzel fill the grove with silicon, just enough to fill all the loose space....(with glue you use a lot less)
This is a messy job and it will be handy to have a roll of Bog roll near. .... the best stuff for wiping silicon up.
Step 4
Getting the sides on can be tricky
Pushing the sides on can be tricky ... oh and you will get the silicon on you hands!!
Bend the sides right back opening up the grove and push it onto the blade. The blade edge will slip into the grove and the silicon will fill the gaps

Here is a small video clip that might help.

Some of the silicon will ooze out, just wipe it up with bog roll or tissue paper.

Step 5
Now that you have the sides on make sure that the blade edge with the ridge on is properly in the groove. I use the handle of a hammer to tap the edges onto the blade. 

I hope this helps you in getting you Xfin or similar composite freediving /spearfishing blades into your favorite foot pockets.