PDA

View Full Version : split fins whats the hype



mcc2318
11-20-2007, 18:20
is there any difference

Kunk35
11-20-2007, 18:30
Before getting scuba certified, I had never even put on a set of fins. Ever. So I started with splits. A while back I put on a pair of normal stiff fins, and I felt like I had pieces of plywood strapped to my feet. The splits are so easy moving through the water. I cannot however, perfect a way to back fin. Everything else from helicopter spinning to frog kicking I can do. But not reversing. I'll figure out a way though, cuz everyone says it's not possible! ( I get a little determined when people tell me something's not possible)

So I really like splits. Someday when I get into photography, I'll probably end up with a set of solid fins so I can reverse easier, but until then, I'm hooked on my splits!

Kory

BuzzGA
11-20-2007, 18:35
I have to admit I was only a partial believer...having read the hype but was a bit skeptical. However, earlier this month a friend we were diving with had an extra pair. I tried them on the first and third dive of the day and my wife tried them on the second dive...and now we are both believers. On the third dive of the day I noticed a big difference, I just wasn't so tired. My wife commented about how much lighter they were but she didn't feel as though she was losing any power and really felt like she picked some up. My suggestion is see if you can borrow a pair. Use them for one dive and then switch back to your regular fins.

tc_rain
11-20-2007, 18:40
I started with paddle fins and would start getting leg cramps during my third dive. I then tried splits and never had the problem again. I can’t think of any reason why I would go back to paddle fins.

skippy11
11-20-2007, 18:45
I tried a pair of normal fins and I too, though it was like having a board strapped to my foot. I own a pair of Tusa Zoom Fins. I love them!! The bend radius of your leg/knee is less. It also takes less force to kick (swim) w/ split fins.

I have been told split fins are great for people w/ knee problems or arthritis.

I am a believer!!

cshel
11-20-2007, 18:49
I have split fins. The only kind I've ever tried. On a recent dive I was with my buddy and two others. We were at a quarry and following some guidelines that went no where. I was in the lead and when I realized there was nothing at the end, I signaled to the boys (yes, 3 men) that we needed to turn around and go back to the boat where we turned off. They all nodded to me and I started following the lines back. I wasn't rushing, I wasn't kicking hard. I just put my feet together and concentrated on just moving my ankles. Well, I got back to the boat and turned to check with the boys and they weren't there! It took them several minutes to join me at the boat and we continued the dive. When we got to the surface, all they kept talking about how I left like a shot. They couldn't keep up with me. Like I said, I wasn't kicking hard. I was the only one with split fins, I love my split fins! I also have Tusa Zoom Fins, Skippy!

TRACI
11-20-2007, 19:18
I have a pair of scubapro twin speed split, which I have no complaints, but I think I am going to try out the mares superchannel, which are a paddle, who knows, they are so cheap, if I do not like them, I will not be out too much $$$$

Splitlip
11-20-2007, 19:23
Not hype. It is for real.
More thrust with less effort.
In my experience alternate kicks are for the most part more difficult and less effective. I can't reverse kick at all with splits (although I cannnot do it very well with paddles)

Soonerwink
11-20-2007, 19:37
I switched to split fins. I'm one who has some knee problems, and I wouldn't use anything else.

skippy11
11-20-2007, 20:26
Oh yeah one more thing I forgot to add....1) When I did my check out dives at CSSP vis was terrible. One of our instructors and myself had split fins on both were white and Black in color. We stagard between the group so the people behind us could visually see our fins to 'follow the leader'. Color - Love it. Also, we kept having to tell the instructor to slow down b/c thrustwise...you will go faster. Just my other two cents.

tc_rain
11-20-2007, 20:29
The Tusa Zooms were the first splits I tried and they are what sold me on splits. I ended up buying the bio fins. I like them too but they are a little heavy. You don't notice the weight in the water but a lighter fin for travel would be nice.

tarheeldiver
11-20-2007, 20:34
I use the scubapro twinjets and they work great

CaribbeanDiver
11-20-2007, 20:44
I have and used to use Tusa Xpert Zooms. got some XS Scuba Power Fins and felt a huge difference in performance. I got some Scuba Pro Jets and didnt see any difference between them and the Power fins. the Power fins are heavy though and in an attempt to lighten my travel bag, I got some OMS Slipstreams. They work as well or better than the Power Fins and Jets, are lighter to carry and have positive buoyancy characteristics. So far, I love the SlipStreams. (recently got em and only did a couple of dives with them so far)
I would not go back to splits, propulsion and ease of specialty kicks will make me stay with the Power fins or SlipStreams.

kev99
11-20-2007, 21:04
I have used both, but when it came time to buy my own gear, the LDS we did our OW with had a special package with ScubaPro Twin Jets, (not the new max). I had heard from a diver friend about how splits were the cats meow so I bought them without trying them. They are nice and powerful as others have said. The new ones are made from two materials I believe for differing compounds in the same fin. When we did our AOW, our instructor traded with me on a platform and swam around with them to try them out compared to his, and he seemed to like them as he gave me a "Humph, not bad" kind of nod and look down there! They don't give as much thrust for me when frog kicking (so as not to disturb the bottom), but it could be my technique of which my wife constantly tells me, "You're not kicking right!" Whatever, I only have a titanium plug in my left foot! Subtalar implant that still hurts even after two cortisone shots this year, but that is a whole other story!

Point being and as others have said, I would highly recommend a pair of splits. I would also highly recommend clicking on this link and reading all of the information they have here and checking out the extra links within the article: 18 New Fins - Scuba Diving Magazine (http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/fins/2007fintest_18_new_fins)

Doug B
11-20-2007, 21:15
I use the scubapro twinjets and they work great

My first few dives were with a traditional non-split fin. My dive buddy/instructor had some scuba pro twin jets. We switched fins underwater, and I didn't give them back until we were dry.

Bought my own a few days later, and I love them. Normal fins feel like I've got a 2x4 strapped to my foot. I can't even feel the split fins on my feet. Very nice. I won't give up my split fins, ever!

Oh, and the YELLOW scuba pro twin jets float.....ever so slightly. (I don't think the black or blue fins float though.) So, if you let go of one... it doesn't sink to the bottom of the sea.

Most other fins do not float.

CompuDude
11-20-2007, 22:08
I'll agree that splits are easier to kick. If all you're interested in doing is flutter kicking, a split will be a better choice every time.

If you're interested in truly conserving air and using non-silting and specialty kicks (like the back kick, which is nearly impossible with splits), however, using a good pair of paddle fins with a frog kick will be the way to go. Frog kick is far more relaxing than the fast flutter that gets the best response from splits.

tc_rain
11-21-2007, 00:04
Just curious, when diving dry do people have more problems with a more positive buoyancy fin then they would with a negative?

CompuDude
11-21-2007, 03:08
Just curious, when diving dry do people have more problems with a more positive buoyancy fin then they would with a negative?

Depends on how in control you are of possibly floaty feet. If you have a hard time with floaty feet, heavier fins can be good alternative to the crutch of ankle weights. If your legs already have sinking issues, however, heavy fins will only worsen the issue.

FWIW, floaty feet are a pretty common issue for drysuit divers, especially newer ones or divers who have not really spent the time to perfect buoyancy and trim. With enough experience, you should be fine with either light or heavy fins, although some still may be easier than others.

Zenagirl
11-21-2007, 06:36
I think personal kicking style is huge for whether or not splits are efficient/comfortable fins to use. I believe that my natural kicking style is incompatible with splits as every time I've tried them they feel like floppy pieces of rubber that take me nowhere. I've been told I kick too big for splits.

I also prefer to do my own version of a frog kick while diving (haven't a clue if it's "correct" or not) and splits wouldn't work for that, so I'll stick to paddles (Jets).

Personally, I think it's extremely important to not buy into any hype and TRY as many styles and brands as possible. Splits aren't for everyone, neither are Jets!

LiteHedded
11-21-2007, 07:19
I'll agree that splits are easier to kick. If all you're interested in doing is flutter kicking, a split will be a better choice every time.

If you're interested in truly conserving air and using non-silting and specialty kicks (like the back kick, which is nearly impossible with splits), however, using a good pair of paddle fins with a frog kick will be the way to go. Frog kick is far more relaxing than the fast flutter that gets the best response from splits.
bingo

frankc420
11-21-2007, 09:09
Well, I guess I'll go against the grain here. I hate splits, or at least the pair I tried on (scubapro twin jets). I dive OMS slipstreams, have since like dive 10. When diving with the splits I was wore out by the time the dive was over. IMO, it was 3 kick cycles with the splits compared to 1 with my paddle fins. Maybe I was over kicking the fins and flexing them too much, if that's the case, I need to stick with paddle fins.

Maybe a stiffer split fin would suit me, but living in Mississippi I'm pretty limited on what I can try =(

wheelman
11-21-2007, 09:31
I tried a pair of normal fins and I too, though it was like having a board strapped to my foot. I own a pair of Tusa Zoom Fins. I love them!! The bend radius of your leg/knee is less. It also takes less force to kick (swim) w/ split fins.

I have been told split fins are great for people w/ knee problems or arthritis.

I am a believer!!


This is correct... I have a right knee issue, had a ACL rebuild and severe meniscus tears, and the splits are most definitely easier on the knee.

in_cavediver
11-21-2007, 11:47
Fins are just tools. To me, split/soft paddle style are great for light loads to move through the water. Easy on the legs, plenty of power etc. Paddles edge splits for manueavibility but not by much.

Now, you want to move a lot of mass, some of it not very streamlined (compared to a single tank rig), soft paddles and splits start having issues. When I have my drysuit, doubles and stage/deco bottle, I need fins stiff as plywood to make efficient use of my legs. I have lots of softer fins and I can kick like crazy, make a mess and not get very far.

[soapbox-on]Fins are a personal best choice. I seriously disagree with the notion of ankle wieght=crutch for floaty fins. Simply put, the solution of negative fins does the exact same thing and ankle weights, puts wieght where you need it. If you cannot comfortably use jet fins due to other factors (foot pocket etc), why are you thought of less for using a better fit fin and supplemental weight? [/soapbox-off]

To each its best purpose

tc_rain
11-21-2007, 11:55
Just curious, when diving dry do people have more problems with a more positive buoyancy fin then they would with a negative?

Depends on how in control you are of possibly floaty feet. If you have a hard time with floaty feet, heavier fins can be good alternative to the crutch of ankle weights. If your legs already have sinking issues, however, heavy fins will only worsen the issue.

FWIW, floaty feet are a pretty common issue for drysuit divers, especially newer ones or divers who have not really spent the time to perfect buoyancy and trim. With enough experience, you should be fine with either light or heavy fins, although some still may be easier than others.

I never had a problem but I use Bio Fins and they are heavy. I always wondered if I went to a lighter fin if I might develop a problem that I didn't have before.

Splitlip
11-21-2007, 22:13
The "hype" is really about Jet Fins. (please check the definitions of "Hype".
" give something more attention than it deserves or to try to make it seem more important than it really is"
"Extreme promotion of a person, idea, or product")

Jets work, Splits work, paddles work..

The only "hype" I see is with regards to Jets and their clones.

I own and like my Jets as well as my split fins.

mm2002
11-22-2007, 11:08
I haven't tried splits, but have been curious. It seems that I read a lot where they are slow starting from a dead stop. Not that I ever plan on drag racing under water, but just curiosity.

Grin
11-23-2007, 09:02
I tryed a few sets of my buddies split fins. Sucba Pros, I think they were. I absolutly hated them. It felt like I had no fins on. I have used larger regular fins for a long time and the difference in paddling rapidly vs slow and smooth was to much difference for me. About a year ago I went the opposite direction and bought a pair of Cressi 2000 longblades. The swim style for those is to paddle even slower. I love them. Slow long kicks that are designed for freedivers and efficiency. Benefits are you can really get some where if you want to kick hard, as in a current situation, or to chase fish down, as I spearfish alot. And if you take it slow and easy they are super efficient and raise your efficiency alot. I do agree they are not for out of shape people, unless they really do just go slow and easy all the time. I started running a year ago and I believe it makes a huge difference in my diving experience, overall, as far as not overexerting basically, ever, anymore. Overexerting is a huge issue for many divers, and I think that is where these splitfins come into play for many people. Basically it's tough to stress yourself with no traction. Little rapid kicks with no pressure on your legs will not wear you out as fast as if you had the same excitment level with big fins where you could wear yourself down real fast. If your in real good shape I would skip the spit fins and even consider long fins if you really think your in decent shape. I am not in spectacular shape, but I feel I'm in a little better shape than 90% of 43 year olds.

shadragon
11-23-2007, 09:23
is there any difference
More power with less effort, but you do have to kick differently than standard fins to use them to their max. Luckily, my OW instructor showed me the right way and it makes all the difference. I love mine.

One downside is it is hard to frog kick in them and they are supposed to be more of an entanglement hazard. I use them dry and wet in cold and tropical waters. I swapped once with a guy who had regular Cressi fins and they shimmied side to side on the down stroke. Splits are smooth and do what I want them to do...

CompuDude
11-23-2007, 14:31
One downside is it is hard to frog kick in them and they are supposed to be more of an entanglement hazard.

They're only an entanglement hazard in situations where you are running line, as in wreck penetrations and cave diving. I wouldn't worry about entanglement with them outside of those scenarios.

mitsuguy
11-23-2007, 23:34
I've been playing around in the pool with fins lately (and just swimming as well)...

So much of all of this depends on each individual diver.

type of fins:
*no fin swimming is more aerobic than strength - even untrained swimmers will almost always run out of aerobic ability before they run out of strength in their arms/legs

*split fin swimming prefers someone who favors a flutter kick or standard frog kick and has more aerobic ability than outright strength

*paddle fin swimming is geared more towards someone who is stronger than they are aerobic

type of swimming styles:
*flutter kick - aerobic moreso than strength

*frog kick - strength moreso than aerobic (And for the record is an entirely different kick than you are taught without fins)


That's the basics - I've spent quite a bit of time swimming, trying to learn the benefits and downfalls of all these different kicks, different fin styles, and whatnot...

edit: I kinda liken it to car motors - some have high hp, not a lot of torque, some have torque, not a ton of hp... or for a more physical comparison - if you ride bikes and you are constantly in higher gears (more force required), then you will probably prefer paddle fins, whereas if you are a "spinner" and prefer a gear or two lower with a faster pedal speed, then you will probably prefer splits, or a more flexible fin... (Armstrong would be considered a spinner - usually averages 100 rpm pedal speed, whereas competitors may average 50-70 rpm, and still be close - they use more muscle than aerobic)

CompuDude
11-24-2007, 02:39
mitsuguy, I pretty much agree with the overall assessment, although I could quibble here and there.

The one thing such a comparison really doesn't address is this: What's the goal of diving? If the goal is to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, you want the fastest fin. Under many circumstances (but not all), that's going to be the split fin with a flutter kick. But if the goal is to slowly cruise a smaller area, maintaining precise positioning throughout the dive (my goal as a photographer, btw), then a paddle fin with a leisurely frog kick is going to fit the bill much better, and use less air in the process.

mitsuguy
11-24-2007, 03:19
But if the goal is to slowly cruise a smaller area, maintaining precise positioning throughout the dive (my goal as a photographer, btw), then a paddle fin with a leisurely frog kick is going to fit the bill much better, and use less air in the process.

again, it comes back to preference and how your body has been trained...

remember, your more powerful frog kicks may get you farther, but you will probably use similar oxygen amounts as someone that does a leisurely flutter kick... different body types may be more efficient one way or the other...

Some body types allow for quicker muscle impulses, some allow for slower, stronger muscle impulses - for the most part, if two people are of the same fitness level, then they will have similar oxygen consumption rates over a set area - law of conservation of energy - a more powerful kick takes just as much out of you as a few less powerful kicks...

as far as positioning - again, different people have different ways to do things efficiently, but I will agree that a paddle fin probably is better for precise movements...

here's an example for ya - underwater, I can swim about 50 yds on a single breathhold in the pool with paddle fins on - either dolphin kick or flutter kick (I find similar efficiency both ways) - I can barely eek out 25 yards with a frog kick - it is definitely more precise, but, depending on what or how much ground you want/need to cover, it's definitely not the most efficient...

Zenagirl
11-24-2007, 07:43
Then there are those of us who rarely swim/dive in a straight line and spend a lot of time moving around in tight areas looking for critters. I want fins that can give me the ability to move precisely with a lot of control. Splits won't do that for me, which is why I like the short, broad, stiff Jets.

I still believe at the end of the day that the trick is finding which fins are right for YOU. Split or paddle, it doesn't matter a lick, just as long as YOU like them and they do what YOU want.

mitsuguy
11-24-2007, 12:12
Then there are those of us who rarely swim/dive in a straight line and spend a lot of time moving around in tight areas looking for critters. I want fins that can give me the ability to move precisely with a lot of control. Splits won't do that for me, which is why I like the short, broad, stiff Jets.

I still believe at the end of the day that the trick is finding which fins are right for YOU. Split or paddle, it doesn't matter a lick, just as long as YOU like them and they do what YOU want.

jets are definitely one I haven't tried that I want to... not quite a paddle, definitely not a split - definitely not made for moving distances for sure...

CompuDude
11-24-2007, 12:49
But if the goal is to slowly cruise a smaller area, maintaining precise positioning throughout the dive (my goal as a photographer, btw), then a paddle fin with a leisurely frog kick is going to fit the bill much better, and use less air in the process.

again, it comes back to preference and how your body has been trained...

remember, your more powerful frog kicks may get you farther, but you will probably use similar oxygen amounts as someone that does a leisurely flutter kick... different body types may be more efficient one way or the other...

Some body types allow for quicker muscle impulses, some allow for slower, stronger muscle impulses - for the most part, if two people are of the same fitness level, then they will have similar oxygen consumption rates over a set area - law of conservation of energy - a more powerful kick takes just as much out of you as a few less powerful kicks...

as far as positioning - again, different people have different ways to do things efficiently, but I will agree that a paddle fin probably is better for precise movements...

here's an example for ya - underwater, I can swim about 50 yds on a single breathhold in the pool with paddle fins on - either dolphin kick or flutter kick (I find similar efficiency both ways) - I can barely eek out 25 yards with a frog kick - it is definitely more precise, but, depending on what or how much ground you want/need to cover, it's definitely not the most efficient...

Isn't that exactly what I was saying? It depends on how far and fast you want to go, and how much ground you want/need to cover.

Little flicks of a frog kick, when you're doing it right, actually use less energy than a full flutter kick, because you're using smaller muscle groups that require less energy to utilize. That's where your efficiency comes in. Moving around in that 25 yard patch, once you take off the time pressure, uses barely any energy. Moving around the same smaller patch, using a flutter kick which is required to really move anywhere with splits, if going to require more energy.

That equation is reversed if you need to traverse large distances in a given amount of time, however... then the numbers come closer. But I barely flick my Jets when I'm moving around looking for critters. Doing the same search pattern in splits actually uses considerable more energy. And this isn't a body type thing, it's a training thing.

It takes some training to learn and perfect the frog kick. A flutter kick is pretty brainlessly easy, although there is the modification to it that is necessary for a split fin (small and quick vs. big and wide).

Sample frog kick (http://www.frogkick.nl/movies/frogkick_1.mpg)

Btw, how is a Jet fin "not quite a paddle"?

Zenagirl
11-24-2007, 13:20
Yeah, I was kind of wondering how Jets "aren't quite a paddle" either. Also, I have no difficulty using my Jets to swim distances, both underwater and on the surface.

mitsuguy
11-24-2007, 13:44
Yeah, I was kind of wondering how Jets "aren't quite a paddle" either. Also, I have no difficulty using my Jets to swim distances, both underwater and on the surface.

I'll answer both of you here - the jets are short, wide, scoops, not the typical bladed fin, which is why I say "not quite" - maybe I should say "not the average" paddle fin...


As far as energy efficiency, You will still find that to cover a set distance, you are going to use as much energy whether you are using a frog kick or flutter kick...

I believe you will find it is partially a training thing, but moreso a body thing... To move a certain distance, you must create X amount of thrust, to create X amount of thrust, you must move Y amount of water. With the frog kick, you scoop a large amount of water and push it backwards - a strength exercise - using muscle strength consumes oxygen. With the flutter kick, you deflect water backwards in what seems like it may be less efficient because you are having to kick more, but at the same time, you are exerting less effort...

All in all, it comes down to what works for you... There is no magic kick that is markedly more efficient across the board - maybe one that works better for you or better for someone else, but not always across the board.

(there is obvious proof that the flutter style kick is most definitely the fastest, but the frog kick has its benefits in that it is a resting kick)

CompuDude
11-24-2007, 15:09
Yeah, I was kind of wondering how Jets "aren't quite a paddle" either. Also, I have no difficulty using my Jets to swim distances, both underwater and on the surface.

I'll answer both of you here - the jets are short, wide, scoops, not the typical bladed fin, which is why I say "not quite" - maybe I should say "not the average" paddle fin...

Are you sure the difference is that dramatic?

Here is an Apollo Bio-Fin XT (size LL), a Mares Quattro (size S, my wife's), an XL Jet fin, an XXL OMS SlipStream, and an old size L Mares Power Plana. (Every fin I had laying around that I could grab for a picture.)

I tried align them at the back of the foot pocket, starting where the side walls rise to compensate for the little extension coming off the back of the some and make the comparison as fair as possible.

The difference in length seems to be about an inch or less.

So Jets are a bit wider than some fins, sure, but unless you are talking about the smaller size Jets, they're not all that short. (Even people with smaller feet tend to use bigger booties so they can use XL Jets, when practicel, from what I have seen, so the numbers of XL and larger Jets in use vastly outnumber the size L and smaller Jets in use.)

Puffer Fish
11-24-2007, 15:47
But if the goal is to slowly cruise a smaller area, maintaining precise positioning throughout the dive (my goal as a photographer, btw), then a paddle fin with a leisurely frog kick is going to fit the bill much better, and use less air in the process.

again, it comes back to preference and how your body has been trained...

remember, your more powerful frog kicks may get you farther, but you will probably use similar oxygen amounts as someone that does a leisurely flutter kick... different body types may be more efficient one way or the other...

Some body types allow for quicker muscle impulses, some allow for slower, stronger muscle impulses - for the most part, if two people are of the same fitness level, then they will have similar oxygen consumption rates over a set area - law of conservation of energy - a more powerful kick takes just as much out of you as a few less powerful kicks...

as far as positioning - again, different people have different ways to do things efficiently, but I will agree that a paddle fin probably is better for precise movements...

here's an example for ya - underwater, I can swim about 50 yds on a single breathhold in the pool with paddle fins on - either dolphin kick or flutter kick (I find similar efficiency both ways) - I can barely eek out 25 yards with a frog kick - it is definitely more precise, but, depending on what or how much ground you want/need to cover, it's definitely not the most efficient...

Isn't that exactly what I was saying? It depends on how far and fast you want to go, and how much ground you want/need to cover.

Little flicks of a frog kick, when you're doing it right, actually use less energy than a full flutter kick, because you're using smaller muscle groups that require less energy to utilize. That's where your efficiency comes in. Moving around in that 25 yard patch, once you take off the time pressure, uses barely any energy. Moving around the same smaller patch, using a flutter kick which is required to really move anywhere with splits, if going to require more energy.

That equation is reversed if you need to traverse large distances in a given amount of time, however... then the numbers come closer. But I barely flick my Jets when I'm moving around looking for critters. Doing the same search pattern in splits actually uses considerable more energy. And this isn't a body type thing, it's a training thing.

It takes some training to learn and perfect the frog kick. A flutter kick is pretty brainlessly easy, although there is the modification to it that is necessary for a split fin (small and quick vs. big and wide).

Sample frog kick (http://www.frogkick.nl/movies/frogkick_1.mpg)

Btw, how is a Jet fin "not quite a paddle"?

Interesting subject. There have been several studies on fin efficiency (including the scuba mag ones), and all have shown that correctly designed split fins are more efficient. The university one, used O2/CO2 measurement of the swimmers breaths.

The fact is, and many people don't like this, they are more efficient...

The reason has to do with how effectively the water is pushed in the path one wants to go...

The most efficient kick with split fins, is actually sort of like peddling a bicycle... not what most people would think.

Surprizingly, it seems that even the frog kick can be done more efficiently, although I am at a lose to explain how that was done, but here were some actual measurements:

http://www.scubadiving.com/upload/images/pdf/200411_scubalab.pdf

I would guess, that one has to learn some new sort of frog kick, because the one I know does not work.

in_cavediver
11-24-2007, 16:03
But if the goal is to slowly cruise a smaller area, maintaining precise positioning throughout the dive (my goal as a photographer, btw), then a paddle fin with a leisurely frog kick is going to fit the bill much better, and use less air in the process.

again, it comes back to preference and how your body has been trained...

remember, your more powerful frog kicks may get you farther, but you will probably use similar oxygen amounts as someone that does a leisurely flutter kick... different body types may be more efficient one way or the other...

Some body types allow for quicker muscle impulses, some allow for slower, stronger muscle impulses - for the most part, if two people are of the same fitness level, then they will have similar oxygen consumption rates over a set area - law of conservation of energy - a more powerful kick takes just as much out of you as a few less powerful kicks...

as far as positioning - again, different people have different ways to do things efficiently, but I will agree that a paddle fin probably is better for precise movements...

here's an example for ya - underwater, I can swim about 50 yds on a single breathhold in the pool with paddle fins on - either dolphin kick or flutter kick (I find similar efficiency both ways) - I can barely eek out 25 yards with a frog kick - it is definitely more precise, but, depending on what or how much ground you want/need to cover, it's definitely not the most efficient...

Isn't that exactly what I was saying? It depends on how far and fast you want to go, and how much ground you want/need to cover.

Little flicks of a frog kick, when you're doing it right, actually use less energy than a full flutter kick, because you're using smaller muscle groups that require less energy to utilize. That's where your efficiency comes in. Moving around in that 25 yard patch, once you take off the time pressure, uses barely any energy. Moving around the same smaller patch, using a flutter kick which is required to really move anywhere with splits, if going to require more energy.

That equation is reversed if you need to traverse large distances in a given amount of time, however... then the numbers come closer. But I barely flick my Jets when I'm moving around looking for critters. Doing the same search pattern in splits actually uses considerable more energy. And this isn't a body type thing, it's a training thing.

It takes some training to learn and perfect the frog kick. A flutter kick is pretty brainlessly easy, although there is the modification to it that is necessary for a split fin (small and quick vs. big and wide).

Sample frog kick (http://www.frogkick.nl/movies/frogkick_1.mpg)

Btw, how is a Jet fin "not quite a paddle"?

Interesting subject. There have been several studies on fin efficiency (including the scuba mag ones), and all have shown that correctly designed split fins are more efficient. The university one, used O2/CO2 measurement of the swimmers breaths.

The fact is, and many people don't like this, they are more efficient...

The reason has to do with how effectively the water is pushed in the path one wants to go...

The most efficient kick with split fins, is actually sort of like peddling a bicycle... not what most people would think.

Surprizingly, it seems that even the frog kick can be done more efficiently, although I am at a lose to explain how that was done, but here were some actual measurements:

http://www.scubadiving.com/upload/images/pdf/200411_scubalab.pdf

I would guess, that one has to learn some new sort of frog kick, because the one I know does not work.

Ah yes, but realize, there is more to this.

Remember, you must use the kick in the environment you intend to dive. A fin who is most efficient in full flutter kick may be very in-efficient in a reduced flutter kick to presever visibility (if divers care that is).

Another point I would like to see addressed is how well fins work in accelation and inertia testing. As we all know, it takes more energy to start moving a heavier object than a lighter object. Do split fins work as well when working against a larger load?

Completely by observation of divers today, you can see some trends. First - tropical rec diving single tanks. Anything goes and everything works. Dry suit divers - starting to see a bit more selection based on fin buoyancy characteristics. Up north, more paddles than splits but in no way overwhelming. Moving to double tanks/tec divers - I have yet to see one in splits (though I am sure there are a few).

In the end - get what you like and is appropriate to the environment/equipment you dive.

Splitlip
11-24-2007, 20:10
Yeah, I was kind of wondering how Jets "aren't quite a paddle" either. Also, I have no difficulty using my Jets to swim distances, both underwater and on the surface.

I'll answer both of you here - the jets are short, wide, scoops, not the typical bladed fin, which is why I say "not quite" - maybe I should say "not the average" paddle fin...

Are you sure the difference is that dramatic?

Here is an Apollo Bio-Fin XT (size LL), a Mares Quattro (size S, my wife's), an XL Jet fin, an XXL OMS SlipStream, and an old size L Mares Power Plana. (Every fin I had laying around that I could grab for a picture.)

I tried align them at the back of the foot pocket, starting where the side walls rise to compensate for the little extension coming off the back of the some and make the comparison as fair as possible.

The difference in length seems to be about an inch or less.

So Jets are a bit wider than some fins, sure, but unless you are talking about the smaller size Jets, they're not all that short. (Even people with smaller feet tend to use bigger booties so they can use XL Jets, when practicel, from what I have seen, so the numbers of XL and larger Jets in use vastly outnumber the size L and smaller Jets in use.)

I can see Mitsu's point.

Here is a my USD Original Blades Size M compared against my One of my Jet fins Size L.

msprzeor
11-24-2007, 23:07
yeah, I have a pair of jets and a pair of bio fins ... I love the both but for very different reasons ... and, yes, there is a big difference between the fins. The bio fins are great if I'm going to be doing a lot of swimming because they are easier on my ankles and they definitely take a lot less muscle to move them in the water. For most of my recreational diving I use my jets because I have a lot more mobility (back kicks / helicoptering) and, like someone else had mentioned, they are great for frog kicking which is easier on the environment (especially in cave / cavern type environments)

Zenagirl
11-25-2007, 07:42
Great discussion!! I'd certainly never argue that one fin is "better" than any other. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and to me it's all about finding the one that you like the best.

Splits just will never be a fin I will use because I'd have to drastically modify my kicking style to make them effective. The times I've tried different splits, I find them to feel like floppy ribbons on the ends of my legs with little propulsion abilities, and definitely no ability to maneuver. I've been told that my kicks are too big and powerful for splits and actually "wrong" in style. Never heard that a bicycle kick is best for splits, but that would make sense since that's totally NOT how I kick.

I have the medium Jets so they are considerably shorter than regular paddle fins. Then again, many think I'm insane since I don't wear booties with them either. ;)

mcc2318
11-26-2007, 14:45
i figured this thread would maybe get 3 or 4 hits!

scubajane
12-06-2007, 18:08
more good Info abut fins. I'm in the process of looking at fins. It's good to hear real diver stuff instead of just statistics thanks guys!!

adv_diver1
12-10-2007, 20:09
Never tried them, but they sure look cool... there is a pair out there, I think by Mares and they are split with a third side fin. They look like actually fish fins to me... not sure how good they work, but they look really cool!!!

Mycroft
12-10-2007, 20:29
Being as large as I am, I have a pair of XL sized Atomics. Other than having to watch my feet ont he dive boat to keep from tangling them up, I love them.

And they seem to work really well behind my scooter!

PsychDiver
12-11-2007, 05:21
I started with a pair of old Dacor blade fins (very stiff). So stiff they made your legs ache. I bought a pair of Scuba Pro split fins and the difference was dramatic. Easier kicking, more speed, less leg fatigue, fewer leg cramps, etc. But they are very very long and were a problem in the aquarium that I dive in to feed fish and clean the inside of the acrylics. So I took my old Dacor fins and my band saw and split them. Best choice I have ever made. Now I have a pair of shorter split fins that still give fair performance, are much easier to use and no leg cramps. While I am sure there are some great blade fins - I am a split fin man now. :smiley9:

Scubakraut
12-11-2007, 15:47
I like my Atomic splits
Atomic Aquatics SplitFin (http://www.atomicaquatics.com/splitfin2.html)