A Fine Fin
The DEFIANT XT from INDIGO INDUSTRIES

Bottom Line

The Defiant XT from INDIGO INDUSTRIES has replaced my venerable pair of SCUBAPRO Twin Jets. These are the only set of blade fins that do not cause pain from excessive midfoot flexion.

I loved my SCUBAPRO Twin Jets. For the last 15 years, they have been my only set of fins, and for good reason. Besides being uberly-cool bright yellow in color, they were the only fins I could wear that allowed me to dive pain-free. I have tried many other fins to no avail. The blade pressure created by conventional (non-split) blade fins on my funky foot (clinically known as posterior tibial tendon deficiency) causes intolerable pain with any amount of midfoot flexion. That is until I tried out the DEFIANT XT from Indigo Industries.

UPDATE: Check out our review of INDIGO INDUSTRIES' TAC Non-Military fin.

Maybe you have haven’t heard of this company yet. You might have missed the many positive reviews in most of the popular dive magazines over the last couple of years. It’s non-traditional, modular fin design is an eye-catcher on dive boats.

Describing the fit of this fine fin is easier said than done, but here is my experience to date:
 

  • The structure of the Defiant XT provides a booted foot with a solid platform (officially called the power transfer plate) to work with. With its comfortable but firm foot pocket grasp, my foot and the Defiant XT become one.
     

  • The Defiant XT is negatively buoyant in salt water.
     

  • The Defiant XT fins weigh one pound less than my venerable Twin Jets (4 lbs v. 5 lbs weight respectively for each fin set).
     

  • The blades are about five inches shorter than the Twin Jets (∼20” versus ∼25”).
     

  • The Defiant XT uses different muscle groups in your lower legs, so don’t be surprised by a little muscle soreness to start.
     

  • Power is not a problem. Dolphin kicking at the surface seems to be particularly effective.
     

  • Reverse fin kicks are impossible with split fins. Finding the reverse gear with the Defiant XT is pretty easy.
     

  • Conventional rubber fin straps are an absolute pain in the bootie. Run—don’t walk—to buy a pair of spring straps for your Defiants. (FYI: Indigo is poised to produce their own spring straps in the near future.)
     

  • Not any spring strap will work; chances are your local dive shop won’t carry the right brand. I purchased the EZ Recreational Diver – Comfort Grip spring strap from Innovative Scuba Concepts. These straps come in four sizes: S-M-L-XL. For my size 15 feet, I use a size large. They work great.
     

  • Used regularly with the hard-soled Henderson Molded Sole Gripper Boot, the foot pocket fit is firm and tight—which is exactly what I need. Getting the fin off this boot can be a challenge at times, but I’m okay with that.
     

  • Three fin “stiffeners” are available with the Defiant XT. I used the “soft” stiffener. Medium and hard stiffeners are also available. Sizing information is available here.
     

  • I have yet to try the optional full foot pocket, designed for bootless diving.