New Kickstarter Funded Boot-and-Blade Binding System from Cetatek
Cetatek's Aquabionic full-foot fin may already be familiar to many divers, as it was distributed in Europe by Beuchat, a uniquely designed fin with a hinged blade and Cetatek's patented Water Adaptive Responsive Propulsion (WARP) technology. Tested by US Navy Seals, the Aquabionic fin was found to reduce air-consumption and overall energy expenditure.
In March 2018, Cetatek has taken this design a step further, introducing the Aquabionic abs, a hybrid boot that connects to a range of blade modules using a ski-boot style binding system. The boot is designed to be worn at the surface with 'the comfort, look and performance of a high-end sports shoe,' according to Cetatek's press release, with a range of interchangeable fins available that can be securely fastened to the boot before jumping in the water.
By eliminating foot pockets, straps and traditional diving boots, there are almost no components of the abs system that do not contribute directly to thrust. The complete system consisting of aquatic hybrid shoes, fin blades and bindings, weighs less than 4lbs/1.8kgs, and with a packing length of 16.5in/42cm, the abs system would be at the forefront of lightweight, travel-friendly fins.
The Aquabionic abs comes with three different blade options, pictured above from L-R: the 'warp', 'warp hybrid' and 'long carbon' blades. The warp blade is based around the same design as the original Aquabionic fin and dedicated to scuba diving. The warp hybrid is all all-purpose dive and snorkel fin, and the long carbon blade is designed for free-divers.
Attachment to the boots is simple with a ski-boot style step-in binding while the user is on hard surfaces and a one-handed instant connection between blade and boot when the diver is in the water. In all other respects, the Aquabionics abs is designed to perform in the same manner as a regular open-heel fin and cater to all forms of kicking styles.
Cetatek president and CEO Jan Ortwig said: 'In developing the Aquabionic abs line, my team and I are attempting to inspire people to embrace the ocean and to reinvigorate the sport with a revolutionary technology. Our protected slogan, "technically barefoot" paraphrases our aspiration to create the perfect balance between physical requirements, ultimate user friendliness and design.'
Cetatek is currently just under two-thirds of the way to raising its CA$65,000 (£36,000) funding target on Kickstarter with a deadline of 1 May. The system is expected to be available in November 2018, with a retail price of around CA$340 (£188) for a pair of boots, bindings and a choice of either the warp or warp hybrid fins. 'Early start' backers can receive up to a 35 per cent discount from the RRP.