Finning refers to generating propulsion when you move your scuba or snorkel fin. It is a basic skill, but still a very important one.
The technique comes naturally to those who have spent some time in the pool swimming or doing some watersports activities. But you may still have to learn it when you are wearing the fin for diving or snorkeling.
The proper techniques will help them.
Your snorkel or dive efficiency will increase if you select the right finning technique. Both physical fatigue and air consumption will also go down when you do this. Plus, you will disturb the environment less as well because you will kick up less salt in a silty bottom or inside a sea cave.
There are 3 main fin kick techniques you should know of. They are –
This is the basic technique used by most divers, and the only one that was taught until very recently. It is the same that you use in freestyle swimming. You will see the technique in use in the James Bond film Thunderball.
It is very popular because the technique is both very simple and efficient. You can generate good propulsion too. You can move at a good speed, even when you are trying to force against a current. Your legs will be moving vertically up and down, which is very useful when you are diving beside a wall that is covered with corals. There is little risk that you will be kicking the corals.
However, as the kick is forceful, your motions can make you tired, which is the only drawback of this technique.
This looks much like how your legs are positioned in breast strokes. You will have to give wide and large kicks using the full strength of your leg. This technique is very effective when you are diving in open water. However, you will need good buoyancy as propulsion and movement is not continuous.
You will hardly disturb the bottom when you are swimming close to it, which again will improve your visibility. However, this kick is not very effective in caves or close to walls.
This technique is best for technical divers. It also disturbs the environment the least. The kick comes from small hip and ankle movements, so it’s very limited. Propulsion, though, is going to be limited compared to the other techniques. However, it won’t tire you off.