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How did the first scuba divers fin swim?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Anthony Appleyard, May 16, 2011.

  1. Anthony Appleyard

    Anthony Appleyard Nassau Grouper

    This query arose from current edits to the Wikipedia page "Frogman"
    Frogman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It seems that breathing set swim diving (= scuba diving), started in Italy in the 1930's.

    I always assumed that finned scuba divers from the beginning swam in the familiar way like the legs of the crawl stroke.

    But this new Wikipedia editor claims that the first between-the-wars swimfin swimmers swam like frogs, or like the legs of the breast stroke ("frog kick"), "whence the name "uomini rana" (Italian) = "frogmen"", and that crawl-stroke-like fin swimming came later.

    Please, who is right?
  2. captain

    captain Captain

    There were no scuba diver as we know them today before WW II. There were gogglers, breath holding swimmers similar to what is snorkeling today but snorkels were uncommon. Scuba as known today was the result of Cousteau and Gagnon inventing the Aqua Lung. All the earliest movies I have seen of scuba show the common flutter kick not the frog kick.
    Goggle divers were primarily spearfishermen and the frog kick is not the best kick to use when staking a fast moving fish.
    The Italian military divers were probably the first scuba divers, they used shallow water rebreathers. The term frogman probably originated from the US underwater demolition teams of World War II. They for the most part did not use scuba, just mask and fins.
    In opinion it is the cave and wreck divers who made the frog kick popular in scuba.
    I have been involved in diving for over 50 years and my first contact with divers using the frog kick routinely came from the cave divers.
  3. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    If you look at the old Mike Nelson Tv shows and the earliest Cousteau films ( he invented the "aqualung" or scuba gear as we know it) you will find that Mike used the flutter kick and Cousteau used both. A frog kick is preferable if you ar near the bootom, so that you won't kick living things or silty deposits.
  4. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    Although I'm by no means among the first to SCUBA dive, I don't ever remember seeing the frog kick while diving in the 60s or 70s... only when watching my teammates swim the breastroke or IM (which I could not compete in due to my illegal frog kick). This of course does not in any way denigrate its use as it does make sense near the bottom (if I indeed could employ it efficiently!)
  5. Brendon

    Brendon Barracuda

    Your information is quite wrong.

    1878 - A self-contained underwater breathing unit unit is invented by Henry Fleuss.

    1893 - The first underwater camera is invented by Louis Boutan.

    1911 - Draeger of Germany releases an oxygen rebreather.

    1923 - The first underwater color photographs were taken by W. H. Longley.

    1925 - Yves Le Prieur releases a very successful self-contained underwater breathing unit.

    1933 - The Bottom Scratchers of San Diego was founded by Ben Stone, Jack Prodanovich, and Glen Orr. This group became the first in an era when diving clubs were vastly popular. Across the country, many clubs followed in the years to come. Members of the early Bottom Scratchers also included Wally Potts, Jack Corbley, Bill Batzloff, Lamar Boren and Jim Stewart.

    1933 - Louis Ce Corlieu patents the first swim fins in France and later in the US.

    All of this before WWII... Learn something about history before you make such bold statements. I can go back 1000yrs earlier if you like...
  6. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    There's a difference between the kick that the DIR people use and made popular from caving and what a true old style frog kick is.
    The new style is more of a sculling action where your knees remain bent with feet upward and the fins rotated outwards then turned in and squeezed together for propulsion all the while keeping knees bent at a 90 or 45 degree angle.

    An old style frog kick is where the entire leg is used. The legs are drawn up, the fins spread out to catch water, then the legs are extended while the fins are pushing water and the calves are employed for the final extention of the power kick. The ending position leaves the body and legs straight.

    The new version is a modified sculling kick not a true frog kick.
    Teamcasa likes this.
  7. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub


    I suppose it all boils down to inadequacies in remembering

    as opposed to

    attempting to glean and possibly misinterpret then
    spread the gospel to all according to others from a

    I innovated the frog kick mid 1990 post injury, and also
    pulled up my jacket sleeves well before Michael Jackson.
  8. captain

    captain Captain

    I posted nothing wrong. I simply made the comment that to most divers today scuba means the common open circuit demand system and it was invented by Cousteau in the 1940.
    There were many attempts to develop a self contained devise, most were either unsuccessful or impractical because of a limited air supply until Cousteau invented the demand regulator. All early rebreathers were pure oxygen units hence depth was limited to less than 30 feet.
    If you read my post the first line says "there were no scuba divers as we know them today". Beside most early attempts at self contained diving didn't involve swimming, just walking along the bottom so it doesn't pertain to the OP question question about kicking styles..
    Ze_Abron, macado, Splitlip and 3 others like this.
  9. Cudabait

    Cudabait IDC Staff Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Houston, Texas, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Captain 1 Brendon 0 :rofl3::rofl3::rofl3:
    Sp00nman, Paladin, Splitlip and 3 others like this.
  10. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    Still alive and kicking from the group mentioned known as the Bottom Scratchers.... is my friend Dr. Raymond McAllister , Professor Emeritus at FAU.... :)

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