Posted by JRM on March 21, 2001 at 13:18:25:
In Reply to: Re: Bio Fins-Useless kicks posted by Kendall Raine on March 21, 2001 at 11:03:30:
OK, perhaps I should preface this instead "kicks I don't use because they suck with BioFins." I'm sure that would make some people much happier. But since I haven't missed them yet, I don't see the need.
1. Bicycle (No the real bicycle, not the one referred to by PADI)
The reason the real bicycle kick doesn't work is because the water just flows out the slits, as you would expect it would. You really need a big surface area for this kick to be of value. It works great with my freediving fins, although in a rather limited application.
2. Modified frog (as opposed to crunchy frog). Again, the split works against you. Although the one or two times I've used this, it worked OK (at the surface). Still, the efficiency of the kick is lost due to the split.
3. The "I don't know the name but will describe it". Extend body out horizontal, fins pointed directly behind you. Pivot up at knees, keeping fins parallel with body (pointed back). Pivot feet down (fins pointed directly up). Power is on downstroke, returning to initial position.
Again, this works wonders with paddles, but sucks with splits. I use this freediving sometimes to cruise horizontally (it uses different muscles). I thought I read somewhere that wreckers use something similar, but I thought that odd because it would seem to disturb the water above you, bringing down a rain of silt.
Basically, anything that requires a rapid power stroke is going to suffer. But for normal cyclic fin kicks, they rock. And I've been in a raging current twice, and had decent performance both times. We managed to make it back to the boat while a party that surfaced a ways from us had to call for the boat.
But since I don't do OE yet, I really enjoy them. They generate the same propulsion for less work. And in addition, for people with weak ankles and such they're much gentler. Although I generally think of myself as having rather powerful leg muscles (have to in order to survive beach entries and exits with my freediving fins). Someday I'm going to try SCUBA with those bad boys. I think it was Terry who told me that some DIR folks in Florida use them (Sorry Terry if that wasn't you, it was someone at the demo).
The real drawback to them is the plastic buckle, which is evil. Gotta figure out how to get rid of that thing. The MonsterBerries were none too kind!
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