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mitsuguy
11-05-2007, 18:27
using your arms while swimming underwater... I realize it is not very efficient when compared to using fins, but what in the world is wrong with using your arms for a quick turn, flip, or what not?

ya see, I'm a swimmer at heart, and am extremely agile underwater, even with gear on, but I use my arms to change direction, do quick turns and such...

it seems as though this is looked down upon...

opinions?

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 18:42
Well, other than being made fun of, picked on and laughted at... not much really. It has been the way to show that you really have mastered this SCUBA thing..

Actually, if you are doing anything underwater, it is important to have your hands for doing things.. but other than that.. it does not matter.

To tell the truth (you have to keep this to yourself), I once had to do the swim for shore from, oh just over 5 miles out, and sometime during that swim... I decided that using my hands was a really good idea.

fireflock
11-05-2007, 18:45
There's nothing 'wrong' with it, kind of like there's nothing wrong with swimming laps using a doggy paddle. As long as you're happy with how you propel yourself underwater and you're not hurting anyone else, I don't care what your arms are doing.

It can be a bad habit, though, that you might regret developing. It's inefficient, as you point out, and you might start doing things underwater that require both hands. Develop good habits from the start and you'll sail right into using a big camera rig, running a reel, spearfishing, or whatever else without having to reprogram yourself.

Rich

comet24
11-05-2007, 18:47
I used to want to use my hands and did at sometime. Don't much any longer but still want to every once in a while. I was a competitive swimmer once upon a time and I think that may be part of it.

RoadRacer1978
11-05-2007, 18:59
I lower vis requiring you to stay close to your buddy it can be a hazard for him. Other than that I don't see a huge problem in it if that is what you want to do.

NitroWill
11-05-2007, 19:01
Well theres several reason its not good to use your hands to paddle..
* you cant always use your hands to do this - i.e. in tight conditions (not even necessarily caves/caverns) or with taskloading - so it is good to be able to completely control yourself w/o the use of hands
* one more thing to hit coral/other dives..
* in high current conditions it can actually decrease efficiency


For surface swims, not really an issue but I don't see why just the fins wouldn't do. You should be able to precisely control your every move with just your fins - just have to practice and dive!

mitsuguy
11-05-2007, 19:15
I am quite good doing all these special turns and such with just fins... but the thing is, I am much more efficient when using arms, and I would bet most people are that have any experience swimming prior to scuba...

my reasoning - obviously when possible - why use some weird, inefficient fin kick, when a quick arm scoop movement will do the same thing...

I realize there are times when this isn't possible, but when it is, why not? or maybe it's just my biology - as an ex-competitive swimmer, most of my propulsion without fins on comes from my arms...

NitroWill
11-05-2007, 19:17
Well then maybe you should focus on developing your kicks more - because once you do I guarantee your kicks will be much more powerful and efficient then your arms. I use to swim competitive too but scuba is another world and its all about conditioning your body to do something its not use to (i.e. dont hold breath underwater)

liuk3
11-05-2007, 19:25
I think that underwater, using your hands is supposed to be less efficient than finning with your legs, so it could potentially hurt your air consumption by requiring more exertional effort on your part to get around underwater.

quasimoto
11-05-2007, 19:27
I don't see how a hand could be as efficient as a fin. There is a lot more
surface and usually uses more powerful muscles.

I really hate diving with a "hand diver", unless they are using sign language. I have had my reg pulled out of my mouth by a hand diver. This may not be as big an issue in blue water but in the quarries it can be a mjor issue.

mitsuguy
11-05-2007, 19:33
Well then maybe you should focus on developing your kicks more - because once you do I guarantee your kicks will be much more powerful and efficient then your arms. I use to swim competitive too but scuba is another world and its all about conditioning your body to do something its not use to (i.e. dont hold breath underwater)

um, there is no way you can tell me that these helicopter kicks I see videos of "experienced" people doing are more efficient than a couple arm movements... I've tried (both with my splits and paddles)

I know how to fin swim... again, been doing that for a long long time I am extremely agile underwater, but I am more agile when I use my arms as most people should be...

mitsuguy
11-05-2007, 19:38
remember guys, I'm not talking about all out swimming underwater using your hands... I am talking about a few precise hand movements to control direction or a push of water to modify direction...

by using both ends of your body, there is more torque vs just using your feet...

RoadRacer1978
11-05-2007, 20:36
I know when close to the bottom in the lakes I dive if I use my hands to change direction, it is usually one quick move. It works for changing direction, but stirs up alot more silt than making the change in direction slowly with proper finning technique.

in_cavediver
11-05-2007, 20:43
The one problem with hands is silt. I don't know of any anti-silting hand sweeps.

That said, I use my hands occasionally, especially if I get a bit unbalanced air wise in my drysuit/wing. Its not as much a propulsion thing as a body positioning thing though.

The reason you see 'advanced' divers do helicopter turns, reverse sculling and other fancy kicks is that there are times when you have to maneuver in a silty environment while using both hands (thing running a reel). Being able to control body position allows those complex actions without disturbing visibility.

Trust me - learn the kicks. They are really helpful, even if you do occasionally use an arm sweep/scoop.

mitsuguy
11-05-2007, 22:02
The one problem with hands is silt. I don't know of any anti-silting hand sweeps.

That said, I use my hands occasionally, especially if I get a bit unbalanced air wise in my drysuit/wing. Its not as much a propulsion thing as a body positioning thing though.

The reason you see 'advanced' divers do helicopter turns, reverse sculling and other fancy kicks is that there are times when you have to maneuver in a silty environment while using both hands (thing running a reel). Being able to control body position allows those complex actions without disturbing visibility.

Trust me - learn the kicks. They are really helpful, even if you do occasionally use an arm sweep/scoop.

thats what I was looking for... nothing wrong with it in certain spots, especially in conjunction with proper finning... avoid it in other places... etc...

BSea
11-05-2007, 22:16
Hey, you guys need to look at the Sea Hunt episode. Mike Nelson used his hands all the time.

Isn't that what people mean when they say "I wanna be like Mike"?

Doghouse
11-06-2007, 05:48
As a swimmer, you know your hands help you with direction and control. But all those laps they make you do kicking is because the power is from your stomach and legs.

Hands are ok to steer and scull.
IMHO

Zenagirl
11-06-2007, 07:31
Mitsuguy....if it works for you and your buddy, don't worry about it. I was also a competitive swimmer and agree that there are times when a quick hand movement is more efficient than trying to kick.

kenmendes
11-06-2007, 07:50
it does stir up alot of silt for your buddies so i would just be causious on how you do it

awap
11-06-2007, 09:57
It contributes to excessive gas usage. If it is your gas supply that is regulating bottom time, then you are shortening your buddy's dive. Using your most efficient muscles will decrease your SAC.

Tableleg
11-06-2007, 13:58
I don't use my hands simply because I'm lazy. I can turn myself with my fins, so why not? And besides, it's much more fun when thinking of Dori's "Swim swim swim!" if you're not using your arms! :smiley36:

Tableleg
11-06-2007, 14:28
Is there a listing of all the different fin strokes all in one place somewhere?

terrillja
11-06-2007, 15:24
Depends what you are using your hands for- people who use them to push up because they are overweighted will tire themselves out quickly, so using the hands a lot can be a sign of a problem in that circumstance.

kyfriedchipper
11-06-2007, 23:19
you're gonna use more energy and your air's gonna be out quicker because of that

wgt
11-07-2007, 06:40
Not using one's hands underwater is a taboo, albeit seemingly excessive. It perhaps arises from the fact that novice divers tend to overindulge in dog-paddling or flailing at the expense of smooth rhythmic kicks. The motions are painfully awkward and indeed inefficient when demonstrated by the inexperienced diver, particularly when buoyancy is suspect. However, imagine somebody carrying a bag of groceries up many flights of stairs. At some point, it is likely that he/she will grab the rail, giving it a tug to navigate a corner or giving it a little extra push near the top of a flight. But, now imagine a group of on-lookers jeering at the moment that our climber touches the rail with the hand.

It's all about efficiency. Of course, skilled scuba divers kick smoothly and pull their arms out of the way to reduce drag while cruising underwater. Very skilled divers, however, can subtly and rapidly regulate direction/depth with crafted and highly efficient hand-movements -- even while lugging or aiming a camera.

The entire body is an instrument underwater. The wise diver should not be afraid to use its parts skillfully, simply because of an overstated mantra.

chip104
11-07-2007, 18:01
one of my dive buddy uses her hands all the time to make the quick turns. She got too close to the reef once and in her excitement to turn around quickly she smacked her hand right into a sea urchin. OUCH!

UCFKnightDiver
11-07-2007, 18:14
one of my dive buddy uses her hands all the time to make the quick turns. She got too close to the reef once and in her excitement to turn around quickly she smacked her hand right into a sea urchin. OUCH!

well I guess that might be a reason not to lol, yeah my bouyancy is not to good yet, and I use my hands, want to start lobstering though so I need to practice and get better at just using my fins

quasimoto
11-08-2007, 16:29
If you decide to do other activities underwater..photo, video, spearfishing, you won't have too much of a choice and you will learn how ineffective it truly is.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
11-08-2007, 21:55
I realize there are times when this isn't possible, but when it is, why not? or maybe it's just my biology - as an ex-competitive swimmer, most of my propulsion without fins on comes from my arms...

Then, perhaps you should wear your fins on your hands. :smiley2:

gibson1525
11-09-2007, 07:06
i think the negativity came from inexperienced divers using their hands for the majority of their propulsion. this has obvious problems and therefore is taboo. i see no problem with using your hands for quick turning movements. it's not like you are out of control crashing into the reef with arms flailing trying to get control. you've got arms why not use them if it works best for you. if you get a camera later i'm sure you'll be able to adapt.

mitsuguy
11-09-2007, 07:22
i think the negativity came from inexperienced divers using their hands for the majority of their propulsion. this has obvious problems and therefore is taboo. i see no problem with using your hands for quick turning movements. it's not like you are out of control crashing into the reef with arms flailing trying to get control. you've got arms why not use them if it works best for you. if you get a camera later i'm sure you'll be able to adapt.

Thats the reason I started this post, I guess... I have seen some people who are like what you said - entirely out of whack...