We would like to congratulate all competitors in the Brisbane Freediving Open for a fantastic event!
Today the Penetrator Fins family went to view some amazing action the pool watching competitors in the Dynamic No Fins category.
Whilst we were there founder of Penetrator Fins Larry caught up with the officials and one of the organisers Nicole, to learn some of the rules and regulations of competition.
Penetrator Fins would like to acknowledge the tireless safety efforts of all involved, we found this to be remarkable and want to take this opportunity to remind all divers either freediving or spearfishing that safety should always be number one and that a Samba or Shallow Water Blackout can happen to anyone anytime.
We look forward to seeing the final results and prize winners!!
Well it has been a while since I updated this mostly due to being very busy. We have been developing several new products further with continuing in field evaluation to ensure the high quality standard we aim for is being met. These include our Underwater Hockey fins and the new Kevlar spearfishing blades.
Demand for Penetrator fins has increased 2 fold this year so recent improvements in manufacturing such as our in house CNC router for blade cutting has greatly
increased our capacity to not only meet this demand but produce accurate repeatable blade profiles in large numbers. This machine also produces our novel key rings and engraves our logo. You can watch a video of it in action below.
We have now begun manufacturing composite blades for Wettie Spearfishing in New Zealand. Wettie is a well established brand and a market leader in the supply of speafishing gear especially wetsuits. For inquiries in New Zealnd contact the team at Wettie Spearfishing:
Shop Phone: 09 479 4232 Or 0064 9 479 4232
Darren Shields on 021839118 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma Shields on 0210499762 - email@example.com
James Young on 0211736255 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop Address: Unit C, 121 Rosedale Rd, Albany Auckland 0632, NEW ZEALAND
Kevlar Composite spearfishing blades
These are a shorter blade made from the highly damage resistant material Kevlar in combination with our advanced epoxy resins and other fibre re-enforcements. The design brief for these blades was a light but powerful blade for hunting Mulloway and crays in washy areas.This material combination has exceeded our expectations both in toughness and performance creating a blade with near carbon fibre response and composite blade durability. The natural Kevlar gold colour makes these blades highly visible even in dirty water for an added safety benefit. For those who like to remain stealthy they can be customised with any of our camo patterns or resin colours. These blades will sell for $350 and come with a 3 year guarantee.
Our carbon fibre blades are continuing to perform well with players at top level both in Australia and New Zealand putting them through their paces at competition level. Carbon fibre blades with Beuchat pockets are available now for $330.
For international level competition we are currently developing an even stronger blade that will meet the CMAS structural failure protection requirements for composite blades. Stay tuned for progress on the "BALLISTIC" range of Underwater Hockey fins to be released soon.
New custom imbedded images:
We have completed the process for embedding full colour prints into our carbon blades using the cray print (pictured) as an example of what is possible. The process does add some expense to a pair of blades so will be considered and priced on a case by case basis. If you have any ideas for customising your fins get in touch so we can discuss the options with you.
Hi Vis images so your buddy can see you from the surfaces in low visibility conditions. We recently customised this pair of carbon blades for Coffs Harbour diver Mick Davison.
Fin travel and storage bags
These are currently being manufactured and will be available before Christmas. Made from heavy duty synthetic canvas with padded interior. Keep in touch for more info very soon.
Last week saw the arrival of our CNC Router Cutter. This machine will cut out the fin blades from the composite or carbon fibre material using a computer generated cutting file. This means greater accuracy and larger production capability.
The working area of the machine is 1850mm x 1250mm x 200mm so we can machine any 3 dimentional shape within those axis. We will also be utilising the router for tool making for some new projects that are in the pipeline. Development on our underwater hockey fins is progressing well with production tooling currently being made and the first batch of production blades due by the end of June.
Things have been very busy since my last post here. We have been developing new products and improving existing products. Our dive boat is now up and running for testing our products and providing demos. We recently also attended the Big Fish Comp at Nelson Bay hosted by the Living Water Freedivers of Newcastle, Australia.
Here is a quick summary of what we have been up to at Penetrator Fins.
Improvements in our Composite and Carbon fins.
Some changes to our production process has greatly improved the finish on all our blades. The top side of the blade now has a smooth surface while the underside is still slightly texture but with a slick new finish that resists scratching and is much easier to clean. The same high quality resins and reiforcements are still used along with our computer controlled high temperature curing process.
Nelson Bay BIg Fish Competition
On 26 February Brody and I drove the 900 kilometers to beautiful Nelson Bay on the New South Wales mid north coast. We also sponsored the event providng a pair of Penetrator Composite Freediving blades. A great turnout of over 40 divers competed in the 6 hour competition to see who could weight in the biggest fish. The event was won by Greg Finn with a 19KG Yellow Tail Kingfish. Despite average visibilty we had a great days diving and would like to thank the Living Water Freedivers and especially Tri Tran, Mick Beattie and Ian Mallett for their gracious hospitality.
Dive Boat Project
After looking around for a suitable dive boat we settled on an older model Haines Hunter V17R and set about rebuilding her as a dedicated spearfishing and freediving paltform. 8 weeks of solid work went into refurbishing the hull and outboard and fitted her up on a brand new trailer. We have had many dives out of this boat now and the renowned sea handling attributes of this desing shine through. If your ever around South East Queensland and looking for a dive and opportunity to test some of our fins feel free to get in touch and weather permitting we are always keen to get out for a dive and catch a few fish.
Composite fin materials comparisons.
We often get asked why carbon fibre outperforms other materials used in making fin blades. To demonstrate the difference in stiffness of various materials and combinations of each we fabricated 5 test strips with equal weights of each material. The photo here shows what each strip is made from. Each strip had an equal amount of weight suspended from it and the picture tells the story.
Test strip 1. 100% Carbon Fibre produces the least deflection proving the high strength and stiffnes of this material making it ideal for performance freediving fin blades that are not subject to a high degree of abrasion or abuse around rocks etc. The high strength and stiffness of this material means less has to be used to create a very light and responsive fin blade. This in turn makes the blade more likely to be damaged due to thin laminates produced.
Test strip 2. Carbon Fibre outer layers with Kevlar between. This produces slightly more deflection but still performs very well. Bend stress loads are carried in the outside skins of the strip so in this case the Carbon Fibre is doing most of the work while the Kevlar core is subject to mostly shear stress. A combination of Carbon and Glass Fibre works very well when layered this way also.
Test strip 3. Carbon/Kevlar Hybrid fabric has 50% of each fibre woven together to form an even amount of each material. You can see from the photo that this is not an efficient way to combine these materials when compared to test strip 2 which has the same amount of each material combined in a different way. These fabrics are generally used to gain an "averaged" use of the properties of both materials and do not exhibit "ideal" use of either Carbon or Kevlar Fibres. The Kevlar fibres in these fabrics can also be pigmented red or blue.
Test strip 4. 100% Kevlar deflects vastly more than the laminates containing Carbon Fibre demonstrating the much lower stiffness of this material when compared to Carbon. An advantage of Kevlar is its inherent abrasion resistance and it deflect further before failing than Carbon Fibres. These properties make it an ideal material for a fin subject to abuse during rock hopping in rough water. The high cost of the Kevlar and cost of processing it however make it hard to justify choosing this material for a pair of "rock bashing" blades.
Test strip 5. 100% Fibre Glass clearly deflects the most of all materials tested. This is no surprise given it is a much lower cost material than the others. Fibre Glass will deflect greatly before failing. This combined with its low cost make it the ideal material for rock hopping or "hard duty" diving.
There are many more variables to consider when assessing composite materials for fin blades such as resin used, impregnation process used and curing cycles all of which we will look at in future articles.
If anyone wishes to discuss which material is best for your particular style of diving please contacts us we are very happy to discuss any of this with you,
We have recently found that not all aftermarket blades are being fitted correctly to footpockets. The insert shape can vary from a little to a lot between the different footpockets available. When purchasing blades from us we will tailor the insert shape to suit your choice of pocket. this will position the blade correctly in the pocket and reduce wear between these two components. Accurately fitting blades will also increase power transfer between the footpocket and the blade.
We are also happy to make available at no charge some templates to help those who wish to fit their own blades just contact us and we will send you the templates and instructions free of charge. These are "glue on" paper templates that can guide cutting or sanding to the correct shape.
We made the trip to Seal Rocks for a spearo social diving weekend and had a fantastic time. Seal Rocks is a magnificent location and Camp Treachery at Treachery Beach was made available by the very gracious "Brownie" for all and sundry to enjoy.
Too many cooks?? Or learning from a legend.
The weather gods turned on perfect dive conditions and some nice fish were taken by some divers. Brody and I stuck to the rocks and picked up some nice whiting.
Perfect rock hop conditions.
We gave away a set of Penetrator Camo blades. Dave Hunter gave away a Pranga and Ryan form Spear and Fish Downunder donated some great prizes. It was great to meet a fantastic bunch of people that shared a common love for this fantastic sport.
Wayne Anderson winning the Red Camo Penetrator Blades
Brody winning the Dave Hunter Pranga, check these out at www.davidhunter.com.au
We would like to thank www.spearoz.org
for organising the get together and all who turned up and made the weekend so enjoyable. Look forward to next years event.
We here at Penetrator love our spearfishing as well as general sightseeing underwater. But we do get our knickers in a knot when we see people going out to spear without safety in mind. The clan from Penetrator were down at The Spit, Main Beach QLD and saw a group of young guys all keen to go out and spear. Watching them walk up the rock wall getting ready to enter the water we noticed that the three guys only had one float between them and no flag. Now we know there are no hard and fast rules for rec. spearfishing but c'mon people SAFETY FIRST!
There are so many boats, line fishermen etc cruising round in the water that you would be mad not to look out for your safety.
So do yourself a favour, never go spearing without a float or flag each, research the area - make sure your allowed to spear where you are looking at going. Finally always dive with a buddy.
12 th Nelson Bay Big Fish Comp 3rd place getter accepting Penetrator Composite Fins. Congratulations "Noddy"
Great weekend last weekend, the weather was perfect and there was a great turnout! It was nice to meet so many new people and to put a few names to faces too.
We would like to congratulate all those who entered and to those who were lucky enought to win some prizes!!
Hope everyone had a great time, look forward to next years comp!