Using No Fins to Improve Technique with Them

Finally a short one.

Had the privilege to do an orientation yesterday for 11 divers. I am not sure if I mentioned this technique previously, but I have been doing this for years now from beginner to highest level divers, so I thought I would share it now. If you want to improve your frog kick technique, take your fins off. Yes, you can actually move without fins. I recommend you do it in the pool first, of course. You will be surprised at just how well you can move, actually, even with doubles and stages if you like.

The great thing about this is if your technique is not good, you do not move. So, by feel, most divers will naturally feel their way into pretty good technique. If you are teaching, you can work with those that have trouble on the how to do frog kick, but most will self adjust and begin to make way. After ten or fifteen minutes most are moving with ease and will be commenting that they never believed they would be able to do this and be surprised as to just how much they can move. Remember to find the glide as well.

Tamer works on no fins use to improve his frog kick in the deep end. He worked first in the shallow end on the same.

Tamer works on no fins use to improve his frog kick in the deep end. He worked first in the shallow end on the same.

It also lends itself to early and easy adoption of flat turning (turning or rotating over a fix position). I heard several comments that flat turning was actually easier without fins. Yup, levers are a lot shorter. Make sure you try it in both direction. You would not want imbalances in your technique.

This little shift also lends to finding your way to the ever elusive being about to swim backwards. Without fins, you can feel what angles with your feet make things work for you. Plus, it tends to be much more intuitive.

One note. When you put the fins back on, you will need to be much more patient with the movements as it takes more time to allow the water to move around the fins than your feet (longer levers). So, slow way down and remember to allow the movement to develop over time. If you put your fins on and then move with the same speed, I assure you that you will get frustrated. Remember, by slowing down, you speed up.

If you are teaching, remind your clients about this. It will save you some headaches.

I have found this is a “trick” that is rarely thought of, turns what people believe on its head, and naturally accelerates rapid technique improvements. Give it a try.


2 Comments on “Using No Fins to Improve Technique with Them”

  1. Very interesting approach, reminds me of teaching skiing without poles.

    Regards, Stephen Mendel 310-413-9309

    • Grant W. Graves says:

      For sure, used to do that too. With kids, the poles got in the way more than helped in the beginning and usually they were used more for hitting each other. LOL Of course, all they ever wanted to know is when can I get poles?

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