One of the most popular fin companies that has gained its popularity in the last several years is Stealth.
These fins do actually resemble Churchill’s in many ways, but they have made several innovations (colors, drain hole system, fin arc) to their fin models as well.
Based out of Australia, Stealth has built up an impressive group of team riders to wear and promote their brand, their team of top pro’s consist of Ben Player, Dave Winchester, Pierre Louis Costes, Jake Stone, Joe Clark, Nick Gornall, Jason Finlay, Mark McCarthy, Drew Innocend, Alex Bunting, Lachlan Cramsie, Charlie Holt and Thorpe Wauleu.
They have really come onto the scene by storm and have released several new fin lines and pro signature models. Here is their whole fin line reviewed below:
The S3 is the latest and greatest from Stealth fins. It is sort of a combination of the S1 Classic and the S2.
The S3 takes the regular blade arc from the S1 and the drain hole concept from the S2 with an addition to foot pocket grips, that basically sums this fins changes up in a nut shell! But we will dive deeper to explain…
The fin arc goes back to the good old classic dolphin arc, much like Churchill’s or the S1 Classic Stealth, which is great to see as this is a tried and truly awesome swim fin design.
The drain holes are a similar style to the S2 but improved, the two holes are larger. I think this is a great move as the S2 holes were very small and it would make larger rocks that got stuck in your fins impossible to be drained out.
A traction design at the bottom of the fins foot pocket was added for better footing and non-slip. This is a great addition, it helps get better footing when walking out to the surf on rocks or a jetty. Also, coming back in from a surf where you have to climb up on a rocks, reef or jetty can be kind of sketchy as well so traction design can really help in these situations where it can be very easy to slip.
The three angled rails were not included in the S2, as it did for the previous two models. This is completely fine with me, I can do without these as I think they were not 100% necessary and they are not very stylish or aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.
Currently there is just two options for colors but I bet there will be more options for colors in the future.
Pro Riders Signature Model Fins
- Ryan Hardy Signature Model – Blue / Gold
- Nick Gornall Signature Model – Black / Midnight Purple
Ryan Hardy was a new addition to the Stealth Team. Ryan is one of the top bodyboarders in the world and one of my top favorites. He has always use Churchill fins for his entire career before this move so it is not surprising that his colors are Blue / Gold, just like Churchill fins.
I think this is the best fin yet from Stealth and this is the one I would get. (I would get the blue / gold Ryan Hardy 🙂 )
Okay so the s2 and S3 are an innovation and twist to the awesome Churchill fin classic. Any good entrepreneur takes a product everyone loves (and is selling well), innovates it and puts their own twist on it and that is what we have here.
Pro Riders Signature Model Fins
- Jake Stone Signature Model – Black / Yellow
- Joe Clark Signature Model – Blue / Orange
- Dave Winchester Signature Model – Gray / Yellow
- Ben Player Signature Model – Gray / Orange
- Pierre Louis Costes PLC Signature Model – Blue / Gray
With the S2 there are two big differences here. First, the fin blade is flat! There is no arc at all, it is just straight across but at a slanted angle. This gives a slightly different feel when paddling and using these fins compared to the normal arc fin blade. It looks pretty cool and stylish too! Secondly, there is a new and improved drain hole system. Normally, there is a hole in the center of the bottom of the foot pocket. This has needed to be improved upon for quite some time so it’s about time someone did this! The problem was your toes could actually get stuck in the hole when a big wave blasted you, making it pretty painful. Also, rocks that got into the foot pocket down by your toes couldn’t get out easily. Now those two problems are solved with the “Jet Vents” drain hole system. Rocks and pebbles don’t get stuck at the bottom by your toes and you can no longer get your toes stuck because the old hole in the center is no longer there.
Another great thing about Stealth fins in general, not just the S2, is that they are made of 100% floating Malaysian rubber. This is the best quality rubber out there for fins. This is a HUGE distinction from Churchill fins because Churchill use to make Malaysian and then changed to Chinese rubber, which sucks. So this is a massive plus about Stealth.
The three angled rails down by the drain hole system were reduced in size compared to the S1’s.
The rest is very similar to the S1 Classic is regards to the fin pocket, ankle strap, angled rails etc.
The Stealth Classic is of course the first fin they came out with. While Stealth has come out with 2 other fin types, the classic still remains a great solid one to get.
This fin, out of Stealths line, resembles the Churchill fin design the most. Have you noticed there are a lot of very similar (aaahhumm… knockoff) fins recently being created in the market that look just like Churchill’s? Well long story short, Churchill fins patent thingy expired which lets anyone make fins just like them, and many fin companies took advantage of it. “Why?” you may ask. Oh, it’s because Churchill’s are legendary! They are a really good fin, and they are also smart and patented that fin so no one could copy it… until now.
FinBin.net is about being awesome so I will sugar coat or lie to you (yep). Every fin review on here will not be some generic “these fins are great bla bla bla, oh and you should buy right here at this button >>>” because that would be boring and dumb and because you wouldn’t want that right?! Okay cool, because I keepz it real.
Now having said that, these fins are awesome! That is because they basically copy Churchill’s and Churchill’s are awesome. They copied a design that has worked and people have loved for about 70 years. No brainer.
Now there are two main differences between this fin and Churchill’s. First there are these three strength bars on the bottom of the fin. They come from the foot pocket area and go down towards the fin tip. This helps strengthen the fin. You can see this in the first picture above. There second difference are the colors, Stealth has a larger selection of colors as you can see below. The Gray/Sun Gold are Dave Winchesters signature model and the Gray/ Orange are Ben Players signature Model fin.
Each fin is specifically designated for each foot, so you have a left foot fin and a right foot fin. This is because of the fin blade, it is arc’d like a whale or dolphin when you put the two fins together. If you have any trouble with putting your fins on I wrote about it explaining everything right here. The foot pockets on this fin are identical and not designed for each foot like other fins so the only reason there is a right or left fin is due to the fin blade arc.
The rubber is as high quality as it gets. 100% natural Malaysian rubber. This rubber also float. One huge distinction though is that this fin, and any other, that is “floating” does not mean that it is a “bobbing” fin. Let me explain, the majority of people expect this fin to bob and exceed the top of the water like a buoy, that is NOT the case. Any “floating” fin floats but it rises to just beneath the surface of the water and they rise to the top kind of slowly, they don’t speed to the top right away. So when there is turbulence and waves out in the ocean it can keep the fin down and it can be hard to see the fin because the water wont be very clear. To know what to do when you loose a fin, check out this article on our site here.
The angled blades on each side of the fin are there to stiffen the blade and make it more powerful for acceleration and thrust. This is a medium to medium-high powered fin. It is a great all-around fin and is powerful when paddling but also very comfortable to use which is crucial because it does’t matter how “great” a fin is if it is uncomfortable to wear!
Again, it’s a solid fin and I would recommend them. Now lets get into the newer models with some interesting innovations to this legendary classic style fin.
When I compare Stealth to Churchill and how the two are very similar by no means do I mean to say anything negative about Stealth or don’t buy. My view, review and recommendation is actually the complete opposite, I just call it like I see it as far as copying etc. The thing is, Churchill is sort of not getting with the times. They have apparently let their patent expire (I am not sure on the exact legalities of this) and they have done other things recently like change their rubber from Malaysian to Chinese, making it much worse, putting all Churchill lovers on a frantic hunt to get no longer produced Malaysian rubber fins, not cool. This is due to Churchill being bought by a big Chinese toy company, Wham-O, who doesn’t really get this whole fin and bodyboard thing.
Where am I going with this? Maybe Stealth (and other fin companies) copying and innovating on an epic product is a great thing for us fin users. A company that wants to take a epic product and make it better, put time, resources, effort and money into an otherwise apparently dying fin (Churchill’s). With Churchill letting patent expire, changing to cheaper fin rubber and basically acting like they don’t care, I guess, to a company that wants to breathe new life into a declining fin and be on the cutting edge of fins means a great future for fin consumers who want the best.