Well folks its that time of year again when we suit up and head to the gorgeous Coffs Coast on Northern NSW Australia. The Bluewater Classic has been going strong for now 22 years and it looks like its 23rd will be a cracker of a year. The 2017 Australian Bluewater Freediving Classic will take place in Woolgoolga this year, hosted by Coffs Harbour Bluewater Freedivers.
This year we have donated a pair of Penetrator Fins Ghost Blades for a lucky winner to receive!! The team at Penetrator Fins also looks forward to hopefully being able to attend and participate in.
Registration for this years event will be at Woolgoolga RSL between 2 and 4pm, 31 March 2017. With the competition on the 1st and 2nd of April 2017.
Entry is $70 with proceeds going to the National Spearfishing Team. You will also need to be a member of either the AUF or USFA.
Competitors are able to dive all day Saturday, but will need to be back onshore by 2pm Sunday for the weigh-in at Woolgoolga Reserve
Organisers will provide GPS co-ordinates for the southern and northern boundaries. There is no limit on where you launch or how long you dive
So here are a couple of the rules that need to be stuck to in order to qualify entry at weigh in:
Only 5 species per diver (you can present 2 of a species but the second fish will score less), fish score to a maximum of 25kg. You can spear whatever you like and find but for the competition weigh in please only present Pelagics', Jewfish and Snapper. To find out what species are on the list of head to the Australian Bluewater Classic Facebook page:
Competitors may only land fish between Evans Head in the north (29.10 S) and South West Rocks in the south (30.96 S) for purposes of competing.
Safety is paramount and no diving without a float will be permitted.
To find more information and the full rules please head to the Australian Bluewater Classic Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1294549540567207/
With just over 2 weeks to go we look forward to seeing you all there! Good luck!
#notsotrustysidekick and Larry
Want your own set of Ghost Fins then head to:
Some of the species on the list - see Facebook for full listings
Custom Design Fins are seriously becoming the hottest item of 2017.
Penetrator Fins owner Larry, has been at the forefront of implementing ways to improve on the features, prints and look of fins in today's markets.
Over the years we have been lucky enough to manufacture custom fins for you guys, our wonderful customers. We get some pretty awesome designs and ideas come through from you all, and often are are asked to design and create something unique based on a theme or logo. (#notsotrustysidekick fave at the mo is the banana leaf)
All our prints and custom prints are done using our IML ( In Mould Labeling) Technology, which means it wont peel or scratch off. Prints can be placed front and back using this advanced technology we have developed, creating a more personal look for each client.
Penetrators' IML technology has come at great cost and research, constantly trying to improve the appearance and vibrancy of prints, reviewing inks, materials, application processes, ensuring that the resin and heating cycle used for the blade making process itself doesn't interfere with the end result, giving us the products you see today.
Our in house digital printing capability means we have full control over image design and quality. It also allows us to be able to provide fast turn around on custom fins with most taking no more than a week from initial concept to completed fins. We can work closely with you to push the boundaries and deliver result based products.
I want to say a special Kia Ora and Mahalo to all of you who are loving our Tangaroa and Hawaiian Fins, they are going off on our Instagram!
While all of them look awesome and we love to see the end results, here are a few that we will make special mention to. To see more of our custom jobs make sure to like our Facebook and Instagram.
To create a truly unique pair of fins we just need you to sketch out a concept or even better supply completed artwork or images. High resolution photos work best but we can talk you through the process step by step so why not get in touch via our Contact Us page and we can look at options for you.
Ok so this little bugger has taken all day to upload.........
We will be doing more how to videos in the next coming months and I am sure my camera skills will improve (lol I will probably still get told off by our fearless leader Larry), so please if you would like us to cover anything email me at email@example.com.
Larry recently has had the luck of being able to go up north and enjoy what the ocean has to offer at 1770 and Central Coast of QLD.
Larry, Dave (local legend) and Levi (one half of the #noobspearo team) made the 7 hr drive from the Gold Coast to 1770, the guys made it safe to their accommodation for the night before leaving before first light to fight for the ice bags at the local servo, before heading out to the wild blue yonder.
They were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay out overnight on the Great Barrier Reef on the Penetrator Fins Boat ( and went out again only 3 weeks later on Daves' as it was epic the first time). The lagoon they anchored up in provides great shelter for boats of all sizes and often you will see quite a few for the overnight pit stop. With three burly blokes snuggled up for the night(oh so cozy!), there was talk as to what the next day would hold, where they would go and what they would catch and of course... who would get the biggest fish! (while telling #notsotrustysidekick about the adventures, our fearless leader Larry kept referring to Dave's back in the 80's stories ....... hm okay..... the 80's were a good year for me to Dave!!)
Diving quality was good with visibility to 20 meters. Species available were mainly Coral Trout and Spanish Mackerel with the odd Green Job fish and Cobia around too.
Sighting a 4 plus meter Tiger Shark was a great finale to the weekend but bitter sweet as Larry dropped the 20kg Cobia he shot from under it.
By the end of a few days all were happy to get home with their catch, savoring it until next time they can get up there.
Then came news that the weather was awesome at Cairns and surrounds, Larry was extended an invite and hospitality by Rick of #aimritehawaiiusa to come up and see what the QLD Far North Coast has in the way of diving and fishing. Larry promptly booked flights and made his way up.
But as usual the weather can take a turn at the most inconvenient time. With flights booked Larry decided that the trip was still worth the go ahead to see what species he and Rick could find.
Needless to say the QLD Far North Coast didn't disappoint!! On this trip Larry was lucky enough to meet some local friends of Rick's and they soon all became friends extending the same hospitality and general awesomeness to Larry, together they showed him some of the best spots for diving and opportunities to see fish we don't get here on the Gold Coast.
There was lots of Barramundi seen and Larry was keen to get one but due to it being out of season they were a no go fish unless he wanted to cop a fine (and a lecture from the #notsotrustysidekick if he got one!)
While the visibility was between 8 and 1.5 meters and the diving was a bit deeper than Larry was used to, he stayed within his comfort zone and was still able to pull off bagging some nice Fingermark.
Lastly I want to thank everyone who has given Larry great opportunities to catch some excellent eating fish lately, so thank you Dave and Levi.
And to Rick, his family and the new friends up north for your hospitality given and opportunity for a feed of Fingermark and Crays (it is pretty tasty!)
And to all the divers out there, while a great pair of Penetrator Fins will always help you to get the most out of each dive, you always need to dive within your limits, know what species are on and off season and what bag limits may apply to them.
Happy diving and fishing,
From the #notsotrustysidekick
The Penetrator Carbon fins featured in some photos can be bought using this link:
Wow what a few (7 to be exact) years it has been!! Throughout that time we have continually tried to improve the end product that we know and love today! Needless to say but heck we have dramatically improved, so worth all those hours blood, sweat and tears to get the awesomeness we have today!
And we wouldn't have been able to do it without all our fans, supporters and brand ambassadors over the years. So thank you all!!
This year we will be have "flashbacks" to the days of old as well as showcasing photos from customers showing the lifestyle that we are all so fortunate to be able to live, due to our passion for free-diving, spearfishing and good fish.
My humble #notsotrustysidekick will be out and about and re-posting photos and writing about the underwater lifestyles of our customers as well as introducing you to our brand ambassadors.
So make sure to tag us @penetratorfins as well as #penetratorfins as she will be following up and featuring photos on our blog, instagram and facebook accounts.
If you have any suggestions throughout the year of things you would like to see or for us to write about please let us know!!
Hears to a wonderful 2017!!
Larry and the #notsotrustysidekick
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 some of 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 $359.
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,