View Full Version : Fins that make you work too hard?

10-15-2007, 10:32
Looking for a little enlightenment here... In my OW and subsequent warm water dives I used full foot fins that were a dream to use. Not sure what they were, but I didn't have any problems with them. Since I live in the northeast, I purchased a pair of Cressi Pro Light open heel fins that I was told would be a good all around fin. Problem is, (and this might be from doing a shore dive instead of a boat dive too....) my thighs are *BURNING* from finning! I don't know if I was over-exerting on the surface, or if the fins are just so stiff that I wasn't used to it. Does anyone use these fins and have any opinions?


10-15-2007, 10:39
Were you're OW fins split? The fact that they were full footed shouldnt influence how tired the fins make your legs/thighs. What can influence this is the fit could have been poor on the second pair. Also, the cressis being paddle fins due move more water therefor requiring more effort. The fact that you did a shore dive and had to swim to and from your dive site (often times with/against a current) probably lended to the tiring of your legs.

Make sure that the fit on the fin was tight but not too tight and there is no rolling or wiggly of the booty in the fin. Also, it could just be that you werent used to all the work required on the shore dive. Might want to try several other pairs out including some split fins i your legs aren't in the best of shapes! I have had to use split fins due to a sports knee injury and they definitely help with exertion.

10-15-2007, 11:19
The OW fins weren't split, but they were much more flexible than the Cressi's. The swim out was an eye opener to me- I've decided that I like boat diving much better. I'll check my fit of the booties and fins again- I went out mere hours after purchase, so my fit may have been suspect as well...

No Misses
10-15-2007, 11:40
IMHO Shore dives are much more exercise.
1) loose sand is a PIA. especially when you are carrying an additional 50 lbs of gear.
2) Most shore dives last > 1hr. That is a lot of swimming.
3) I notice the surge more on shallow beach dives. I tend to swim harder in surge conditions. It's a mental thing. I don't want to go backwards (lose ground).
4) exiting in the surf is also a lot of work. Especially when your legs are tired.
5) then you have that long walk up the beach at the end of the dive.

The moral of the story - It might not be the fins.

P.S. I have an old pair of full foot Mares Avanti fins. I have tried others, but these are my favorite.

10-15-2007, 11:52
you said you used the full foot fins in warm water. The new fins, besides using them shore diving, is this local cold water diving? That could make a difference too.

10-15-2007, 12:12
Amanda, non-split fins with large stiff blades tend to require more effort than flexible or split fins, however, they can also be very efficient if used correctly.

A DM friend of mine uses similar Cressi fins and likes them a lot. His kick of choice is a kind of X-scissor kick. Imagine making an X behind you as you kick by pulling your feet to the opposite ends of the diagonal to load the kick (try cutting the water with the thin side of the fins) then bring them together so that water is squeezed between your blades and you glide forward. While gliding load then next kick along the opposite diagonal.

Another technique is the frog kick. Search for info and you'll find video clips of it. The idea is to keep your knees up and to mainly use your calves for the kicks. This way at least your thighs won't become sore (though your calves might). Again the idea is to kick and glide in a slow relaxed manner rather than to be constantly kicking.

Of course, these fins may just be too stiff for you and perhaps you'd be better off with another fin model. I'm no fan of split fins but they are easy to kick with for flutter. Same with force fins.

10-15-2007, 12:28
Thanks for the input! I've checked the fit, and think that they are a bit big. I tightened the straps down, and will see how things go on my next dive. I tend to flutter kick a lot- I was a swimmer for years... If I'm still not happy, I'll look into a different type of fins.

10-16-2007, 08:43
I come from a long swimming history too - there is a big difference in kicking for swimming and using fins, which you've not doubt found out. Using the thighs is natural for swimmers but not so great with paddles on, try bending your knees a lot more than feels natural in the down stroke - and try doing a messed up breaststroke kick (again feels a bit unatural) - both give you a nice pace, constant flutter kicking from the thigh is going to wear you down.