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With fins vs without fins

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by engblom, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    I understand what you are describing on the surface with fins splashing. I alter my technique on the surface as compared to my ordinary underwater kick.

    If moving slowly, I'll use an awkward-feeling, slow, deep kick. If I want to get somewhere quickly, I kick faster but with a shirt fin stroje that keeps the fins mostly submerged.
  2. Hank49

    Hank49 Solo Diver

    With proper fins and technique, you will consume less oxygen swimming on the surface as well as descending. This is why free divers and free dive spearfishermen use long blade fins.
    Good fins, proper weighting and breathing technique in preparing for a free dive are key factors to efficient free diving.
    If you can, take a free dive course with Performance Freediving International.
    I was a scuba instructor, surfer/body surfer, but the free dive course was a real plus. You will learn a lot.
    Big wave surfers are taking those courses.
  3. EireDiver606

    EireDiver606 DIR Practitioner

    It’s a lot safer with fins.

    Have you ever tried to swim with booties on? Doesn’t work well...
  4. scrane

    scrane Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boise, ID.
    How big are your feet?
  5. engblom

    engblom Angel Fish

    41-42 European size
  6. remante

    remante Angel Fish

    With fins for sure! Swimming/snokeling feels so good with them.
  7. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    I am going to say that you need fins, just not he ones you are using. I have been experimenting with fins for decades now, and have developed a design I call the "scoop fin." Basically, is is a flat-blade fin which has the interior cut out, and replaced by a flexible membrane which is tight on the foot side, but forms a semicircle at the far end of the blade (see my modified White Stag Fins in the photo). This modified fin leaves almost no splash on the surface, and is more efficient that other blade types.

    Take your fin and cut out all the material except a one-inch interior U-shape to attach the flexible material to, and cut the flexible blade material so as to be tight at the toes, but firm that semi-circle at the end of the fin. Use the cut-out blade material to form strips to sandwich the flexible blade material between, and glue them together. I use Shoe-Goo for the glue. Then drill holes and use either screws or rivets to ensure that the material stayes in place.

    You will have a lighter fin, which provides scoop action channeling the water towards the rear effectively on both the up and down stroke.

    Here is some of my early work on these fins, from the 1980s:
    This shows a diagram of how the flexible inner part of the fin, the "scoop" would increase the force against the water.

    And here's a test I conducted in Alexander Springs State Park, Florida in the 1970s of this concept, showing the flow of water with the strings attached to the screws holding the flexible inner part of the fin together.


    Attached Files:

    Bubblesong likes this.
  8. WeRtheOcean

    WeRtheOcean Nassau Grouper

    If there are currents or wave action, I recommend fins for safety. Now, I have crossed a river mouth without fins, but it was a scary effort.
  9. D_Fresh

    D_Fresh Barracuda

    I could not agree more with this post...

    I sometimes use the "slow, deep kick" that Seaweed Doc described, but mostly I use a slow modified frog kick. (Modified because my legs are not bent 90 at the knee as they would be underwater).

    But anyways, I find that, with fins, both kicks allow me to leisurely cruise around with very little effort, saving energy for my next dive. Also, with only 2 strong kicks I can zoom right up to my girlfriend to see what she's pointing at or get her attention for some other reason.

    Give it a try before changing your gear, then make the call. Good luck!
  10. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    Both. If being serious about my dives I use Picasso America Black Team fins. If I'm having fun I might forgo fins. Lines and wrecks make spider walking great fun. In an empty water column where I can't pull, glide, use my toes like an ape on a line, or push with my feet, I prefer using fins.

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