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Advice for diving with one fin?

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by frontiernurse, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. frontiernurse

    frontiernurse Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: san francisco
    Hi all,

    I have a crushed, mis-shapen right foot with an old failing skin graft that has been getting severely shredded and infected with finning in the past 2 years. TMI? Sorry! Already tried multiple different fins, custom fins drummelled by a prosthetics/orthotics professional, wrapping the foot with various things... nothing has worked so far.

    I want to try just diving with one fin on the left. Wondering if others do one-fin diving? Is it safe when in a current? Does it affect trim? I saw some people say they just cross the finless leg and do a dolphin kick. does that work? Are there types of dives that should be avoided if just using one fin? Other techniques?

    Alternately, any other ideas for fin use that won't shred a weirdly shaped thin skinned foot?

  2. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    Not seeing your foot, I can't say for sure....but the Force Fin pockets and the way these fins kick, are unlike all other fins...

    You can use booties or neoprene socks...or nothing at all..though with the thin skin, I would do a thin high tech sock, and then a neoprene bootie with thin sole over feet.

    If you want a fin alternative, actually made to work with one legged divers, here is a way to go...even though the examples are with a freediver and a scuba diver with 2 legs.....but the guy that makes these Dol-fins, says they are absolutely perfect for a one legged diver--the shoe placement is just centered more--off-set..

    The Chairman likes this.
  3. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
  4. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ka'u
    I second Dan's suggestion of investigating Force Fins, depending on where the skin graft is.
    Or, as you already suggested, try crossing the un-finned foot behind the other. I had success with this when I lost a fin in surf. You won't get quite the power you would with two fins, but you definitely get more than half.
  5. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I saw a diver a couple of times with a prosthesis on one leg that was not suited for a fin. He just hooked the prosthesis over his good ankle with one fin and never missed a beat. He had been using free mismatched fins from dive shop rental fleets for years and asked how I like the F1s. I was skipping the next dive and let him try one. He said he liked it well enough to buy a pair... which would give him a spare.

    I see you are in the San Francisco area. You might be interested in the MV Freedom, a dive boat the Monterey Bay Veterans is setting up to safely accommodate ambulatory and non-ambulatory divers. The Lift to Freedom’s stern-mounted swim step travels between deck level to -4'.

    Attached Files:

    shoredivr and jsamuelson like this.
  6. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    I lost a fin in the surf zone once. Since I was already wet I made the dive. I used a dolphin kick for about five minutes until I found that making a flutter kick worked just as well and didn't wear me out as much. I swam over 1/4 mile underwater with no problems using both legs and only one fin.
    Z Gear, shoredivr and PeterNBiddle like this.
  7. sylverbard01

    sylverbard01 Angel Fish

    The honest answers to your questions it will suck. Current will tire your out and that could cause a co2 hit. Trim not so much just use a stiff fin like a scubapro jet fin not a twin jet. It will let you helicopter turn and one good easy kick will push you further. If its drysuit diving...honestly amputees and paras wear hand fins. You may have to invest in a pair to take the strain off of your feet.
  8. scoobydrew

    scoobydrew Master Instructor

    try shooting the guys at Diveheart a message, in fact they have a presence on Scubaboard, PM them (under the name Diveheart) and see what they recommend.
  9. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    Try something that will reduce the force on your compromised foot. FINIS Zoomers Swim Fins - Metro Swim Shop

    In one of my many courses, I was required to race with one fin. It can be done, exactly as others have suggested, but you need something that will work over time. The "foot over fin dolphin kick" is great for a short time, but I just can't see it as a solution.


    I have not tried what I am suggesting, so take it for what it is worth. I wish you the best.

    edit: Being explicit, use your fin of choice on your strong leg and something light on the other.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  10. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    OP-------get some 'handicap' gloves(they are webbed for better arm power in the water)---the ones some paralyzed people use for swimming/& diving...............

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