How to Use Your Fins Properly in Scuba Diving

Going nowhere?

Some divers find that even though they bought the latest high-tech fins, they are not making the progress through the water that they would like. They see others in cheap old flippers shooting past them. They have difficulty swimming into the tiniest bit of current and often find they use up a lot of air and are exhausted after a swim.

To make swimming less of an effort and more efficient, you need to know how to use your fins properly. Your scuba instructor will help you to do that.

Getting it right

A pair of fins fitted to your feet gives you the opportunity to use the most powerful muscles in your body-your thigh muscles. If you just make bicycle movements with your legs to move around in the water, you won’t make much forward progress. You need to be sure to present the blade of each fin at the best angle to the water in order to shift as much water as you can and propel yourself forward.

Finning practice

This exercise can be practised in the pool with your fins on. Face a wall and stretch out your arms so that your hands or fingertips touch the pool wall. Point your feet and stretch your legs out rather like a ballet dancer. Now, lift one straightened leg and kick downward, then do the same with the other leg. Repeat the movement with the first leg and keep going. You should be able to feel the force that you are creating with your legs as your hands are pushed into the pool wall.

Finning efficiency

The downward kick has the most effect in pushing you through the water. It doesn’t matter if you bend your knee a little on the backward stroke. Just keep kicking.

You’ll find that you can take long leisurely fin strokes and enjoy good results. You don’t have to flutter kick very fast unless you are using a special pair of fins designed for you to do that. The long, leisurely fin strokes are so effortless that you will find that you can keep them up for a long time and travel a considerable distance.

The efficiency of this stroke means that if you find that you turn a corner of the reef and encounter a fierce current, you will have plenty of energy in reserve to fin quickly and accelerate through it to where the water is calm again.

Being efficient with your fins, and using the most powerful muscles you’ve got, means that you will exert less effort and use less air when swimming.

Arms to the sides

The hands of scuba divers are used for grasping and holding things. Do not use them to do the breaststroke, instead put them down by your side or fold them across your chest. Any sudden arm movements can be a nuisance and even catch in the regulator hose of another diver, perhaps pulling out the mouthpiece.

Once you’ve got your finning action right, it’s time to look at the rest of your gear. Make it as streamlined as possible. A diver should swim horizontally. If you tend to walk upright through the water, you probably need to check your buoyancy control.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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