When dive industry pioneer Bob Hollis founded Oceanic in 1972, he was committed to making innovative, reliable dive equipment that was accessible to every diver, everywhere. Over the last 40 years, Oceanic’s many diving equipment innovations have become benchmarks for durability and affordable performance.
The original Viper Fin is one such industry standard. This time-honored classic scuba fin has been used by divers around the world. Oceanic could have just kept producing the classic Viper, but with modern materials and new design technologies, they found room to make the proven classic an even better performer!
The Viper 2 is a lightweight, super durable, and performance-oriented general scuba/snorkeling fin that has a number of innovative features. Available in a full foot design or open heal, strap-on design, the Viper 2 is constructed with a precision blend of hydrodynamics and materials technology for ultimate comfort, efficiency, and performance. The Viper 2 has engineered channels and side rails that direct water flows off the tips of the fin without allowing water to “spill” from the sides of the blade, which increases the power and efficiency of each stroke.
We looked at comfort, construction, performance, and durability while testing the Viper 2. Since Oceanic claims that the Viper 2 fin is really ideal for all diving and snorkeling skill levels, we decided to punish the fins with what would generally be considered “hard” conditions” for such a lightweight fin.
So, out of the box, the fins are attractive and nicely designed with a low-contrast logo. Available in 5 colors, the fins come ready to dive. The strap and buckle system for the open-heel version is industry standard size (which could be easily upgraded with spring straps if one desires). Replacement heel straps should be easy to obtain if one needs to.
The Viper 2 fins are noticeably light! The reviewer was pleasantly surprised at the low weight and compact package of the fins. They fit in our standard-sized suitcase as well as in our dive bag with ease…making these an ideal “travel fin”. Because there is no additional camber to the blade/foot pocket, these are low-profile in your dive bag, leaving room for other gear.
The straps and buckles swivel for optimal placement over the diver’s heel and they appear to be robust connection points. Our USA size-12 boots fit the foot pocket comfortably and seated securely.
Since they are advertised to be suitable for “all levels of divers”, we decided to test them moving a heavy load from depth, over a long-distance dive, and also in current.
During product tests, the Viper 2 was used to move a total weight of 320 pounds (145 kg) of diver and gear around for an hour, covering almost 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) with no issues or failures. The fins are comfortable for long wear and are less fatiguing than heavier, more traditional fins.
To test the fins under load and in more extreme conditions, we donned the Viper 2 over 3mm booties with a hard sole and dropped down to 100’ FFW (30m). Wearing a steel 100cf cylinder and 20 lbs of lead, we safely ascended by just kicking to a depth of 30’ FFW with zero air in the BCD. The Viper 2 fins did not distort or fail and were able to move the diver successfully and safely. Once at 30’, we went into a horizontal position and using a variety of finning techniques (frog kick, scissor kick and dolphin kick) tried to “overwork” the fins. They kept working fine and did not break or over-torque and stayed firmly positioned on the feet.
We then took the Viper 2 fins to the river and dived a section with a moderate current (1-2 knots). The goal was to be able to hold position over a fixed object on the bottom while finning against the current and work against the current to move forward. In both cases, we were able to do so without major difficulties. Due to the large profile of the diver with full gear, there was a lot of water pressure against the diver…making the job substantially harder than it would be for an unencumbered snorkeler or smaller-statured diver.
The Viper 2 was a little too lightweight to move us efficiently against the current. While holding in place was relatively easy, the blades are not rigid enough o move a large diver against the current. Once again, this would not be an issue for a snorkeler or smaller-statured diver, but these fins are not ideal in heavy current, so plan accordingly.
Bottom line, these fins are robust enough to push a large diver and gear or propel a snorkeler with ease. While not “technical fins”, the strap-on Viper 2 is stiff enough to allow a heavily loaded diver to maneuver. These are really an ideal fin for the typical recreational scuba diver and snorkeler, especially one who travels, but can be used in a pinch for more technical dives. They earned a permanent place in our travel dive gear and every recreational diver should consider these attractively priced and well-constructed fins!
- Flexible Power Thrust Channel directs water off the tip of the blade for improved power and efficiency
- The oversized blade produces increased thrust and propulsion
- A generous yet streamlined foot pocket fits a wide range of boot styles while significantly reducing drag.
- The foot pocket is comfortable in thicker soled dive booties and offers a positive and solid feel when the fin is properly cinched on.
- Extremely lightweight for increased performance and ease of travel
- Open Heel features easy adjust quick-release buckles
- Four sizes: X-Small, Small, Regular, and X-Large
- Oceanic Viper 2 Full Foot Fins – $54.95 USD – $69.95 USD depending on size
- Oceanic Viper 2 Open Heel Fins – $89.959 USD