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How to find an excellent SCUBA class

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Walter, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,931
    23,316
    113
    Our concepts of efficiency are quite opposite. It's a big ocean. I'm not going to see all of it in one dive, so I'm not going to try. Instead, I'll stop and smell the blennies. You can't do that if you're swimming with your hands.
     
    Matt England and Jim Lapenta like this.
  2. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    6,216
    3,314
    113
    I am not sure I understand how discouraging the use of hands for swimming leads to either situation. Swimming underwater with hands / arms is far less efficient than swimming with legs and fins - the muscle mass and power of the legs is simply much greater than that of the arms. (I even make a point of noting how silly Lloyd Bridges looked in Sea hunt, when he was swimming underwater with his hands.)

    What do you see as the relationship between 'no hands' instruction and the use of inefficient diving fins? I don't get the connection, but I may be missing something.

    I agree, that there is a time and place for the use of hands. If a diver is in a very strong current, they may want to use their hands to pull themselves along the bottom. That is far less tiring (and more efficient) than trying to swim with hands / arms, and less tiring than trying to swim against a current with fin strokes alone. If there is a light current, and a diver wants to hold position on a wreck, they may want to put a finger tip on a surface to hold station. Teaching them to swim without using their hands does not preclude them from learning either of these techniques.

    I tell OW students beginning with the first session in the pool, 'Keep your hands out of the equation.' I make it clear that they should be able to swim forward, maintain buoyancy, turn, back up, etc. without any use of their hands whatsoever. Once they are able to do that, it is actually easier to teach them the proper use of hands for specific situations. Students instructed in this manner do not feel a need to use their hands for swimming, because they are facile in the use of their fins. I also tell students that, if they see another diver swimming with their hands, the chances are that diver was not given good instruction to begin with.

    In teaching climbing (e.g. rock climbing), I tell new climbers that their hands are used for stabilization, and to supplement the use of their legs. Many climbers start out by thinking that they are going to pull themselves up a rock face with their arms, which really isn't going to happen in most situations. They use their (FAR more powerful) legs for upward thrust, and their hands become adjuncts, for fine tuning position. Just s in diving, it is not a matter of 'either-or'. It is a matter of using legs / feet and arms / hands according to the power and efficiency of each.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  3. Dive Right In Scuba.

    Dive Right In Scuba. ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Underwater
    176
    86
    28
    This is interesting. As a long time instructor, I never thought I would see the day that someone would be arguing in favor of using hands in this way. Like Colliam7, I do not see the connections in the argument being made. Good finning technique with good quality fins will outperform hand use any day. The chief result of hand sculling is more rapid air consumption.
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  4. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,582
    8,977
    113
    Thanks, that was a relief. I'll be using my hands to hold my camera rig in front of me. My regular buddy uses his hands to hold his pole spear. None of us use our hands for "swimming" - e.g. sculling - if we're wearing fins. Why would we?
     
    The Chairman likes this.
  5. REVAN

    REVAN Manta Ray

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    Fins that are optimized for maneuvering will not be optimized for producing efficient forward thrust. A fin optimized for maneuvering would basically be a stiff panel on the foot (not great for swimming). The fins efficiency and performance is sacrificed so to make maneuvering easier, when sometimes a hand could be used to input a small amount of maneuvering thrust or drag more effectively than even a stiff fin.

    This is my point! Have a little flexibility to just do what makes sense. There's no need for obsessive compulsive habits.

    It is comments like this that are not helpful. While it is good to be able to use your fins to the best of their ability, the same can be said for the rest of the diver's equipment. If a hand can do something better than a foot, is it a sign of bad training to use it? Comments like this are inclined to make a students think; 'YES, using a hand to do something that could have been done by foot, though be it with more time and effort, is a source of public shame. Though nothing may be said allowed, others will surely think less of you unless you conform to doing things our way.'
     
  6. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,931
    23,316
    113
    I agree with Colliam, I don't agree with you.

    Want to improve your SAC? It's easy: put your hands together. Want to stop scaring the fish? It's easy: put your hands together. Want to stop silting out the dive site? It's easy: put your hands together. Want to finally acheive perfect neutral buoyancy? It's easy: put your freakin' hands together.

    I've never seen a great diver need or want to use their hands. However, I've seen a lot of piss poor divers flail like there's no tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
    tlj3071 and Bogtrotter like this.
  7. MiciSmart13

    MiciSmart13 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Port Ghalib
    4
    1
    3
    Totally agree with what has been discussed. I can totally recommend if looking to scuba Dive in the RedSea check out www.ducks-superior.com had amazing experience with them very professional, friendly and above all very safety conscious in all aspects. Totally recommend.
     
  8. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,582
    8,977
    113
    Dang. So, I have to choose between operating my camera and being a great diver, then? I guess I'll choose the former...
     
    Edward3c likes this.
  9. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    2,977
    1,836
    113
    When I teach new to be pilots, I have to ask them to sit on their hands while taxiing the aircraft out :)....no, that doesn't turn the aircraft on the ground.....
     
  10. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    1,168
    690
    113
    I don't know about you all but I find it FAR easier to back up using my hands than to do proper back kick fin technique. If it's easier then why not do it the easy way? I don't get the whole "never use your hands" thing. Doesn't make any sense! I can understand in a silt covered cave maybe there might be a difference, but in open water what difference does it make?
     

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