There are many things we must pay attention to while we dive, some more important than others…
With things like breathing, air supply, no deco limits, buddy position, not to mention all of the amazing things to see around us, to name just a few, its easy to forget that the way we move underwater matters too!
We were all inexperienced, new divers once… We all found out the hard way that inefficient kicks tire us out, without making us move very far… Weak fins coupled with bad buoyancy often leads to stirring up the bottom and reducing visibility at best, or killing marine life and possibly getting ourselves hurt too, at the worst… We’ve probably even found that using our arms while swimming is a really bad waste of energy!
So… How should we be finning?
This video gives a very good demonstration of good, efficient finning techniques…. This is how we should all dive!
But as ever- it’s easier than it looks! So what can we do to make it easier?
Firstly, you need good fins! Weak flimsy fins are super inefficient, and you’ll alot of energy kicking your legs very fast (Often giving the illusion that a pair of fins is easier to use!) but without actually moving anywhere… By contrast, a pair of really big, stiff fins are very difficult to kick at all and will tire you even faster. If you get caught in a current with bad fins, you are doomed!
Secondly, we see that our positioning, and trim is important… To improve this you need a couple of things- Breath control, is the key to good buoyancy control, and using a BCD with a bladder to the rear makes it a lot easier to maintain a stable, horizontal profile. Preferably one that will allow you to place your weights behind you! This will help make you more stable!
So now that you know… Go practice! Finning technique and buoyancy control, are the most fundamental skills for a good diver, but also among the most difficult to learn. Pratice, practice, practice!
Let’s be better divers, and be better protectors of the ocean!