Finning, for anyone relatively new to the world of scuba diving, is the one skill involved in diving that you probably can do, even before taking your first diving lesson. Different types of fins have their different uses. However, different fin kicks should also be used in different situations.
Finning is the action of kicking your legs to generate forward movement. You use that skill when you swim and if you’ve ever paddled in any kind of pool or body of water. You’ve probably been doing it since you were little. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are any good at it or do it effectively.
Different Types of Finning Techniques
To help you get the most out of your finning techniques whilst scuba diving, we’ve put together a helpful guide to improving your kicking and learning which style to pick and when to use it.
Picking Out the Best Kicks for the Right Situation
One way to really improve the efficiency of your diving technique is by choosing the best kicks for the right situation. This helps to reduce your air consumption and the overall fatigue you are likely to experience while diving.
This also means that you can increase the duration and enjoyment of your dives. The choice of kick can limit the amount of disturbance to the surrounding environment that you cause, which is a great way to practice responsible scuba diving.
Different Types of Fins Kicks
Scuba diving is an awesome sport and its one that comes with a range of different skills to learn over time. After you’ve grasped the basics of diving, you’ll want to start mastering your buoyancy and saving as much air as possible to make your dives longer lasting.
There are many ways you can achieve this, but in this post, we are going to discuss the different types of fin kicks to help maximize your kicking method, save energy and promote responsible diving. The method you use depends on your diving environment and also your style.
Overall, there are three finning techniques that all divers should be aware of and work on. This short video will explain these types of fin kicks and below we’ve provided more detail to help you master these finning techniques.
1. Flutter Kick (Basic Technique)
The basic and first finning technique that divers learn to use are flutter kicks. This is like the action of your legs used when swimming freestyle. If you watch most divers underwater, you’ll see them using flutter kicks.
It’s popular with good reason though, as it is considered the strongest finning technique and produces an exceptional amount of propulsion. Speed has always been important, especially before BCDs were available and it was the main way to maintain your buoyancy.
The forcefulness of the kicking is its biggest advantage. When fighting a current or moving at fast speeds.
Due to the vertical movement of your legs during this kick its also ideal for coral wall diving because there’s less chance of you kicking corals or backwash caused by your kicks damaging corals.
On the other hand, the downside to this style is that because of its forcefulness it takes a lot of effort and means you consume a lot of air.
2. Modified Flutter Kick
Technical divers are the ones who commonly use modified flutter kicks or bent-knee cave diving kicks. This is because it causes the least amount of disturbance in the water.
As you have bent knees while performing this technique, there is limited movement with the full kicking motion only being created by a small amount of hip movement working in conjunction with the ankles.
Meaning that compared to the other kicking techniques mentioned in this post, there is limited propulsion, but the upside is that that reduces air consumption and fatigue.
The small amount of movement makes it perfect for diving in tight areas, such as caves, above corals and around shipwrecks.
3. Frog Kick
Frog kicks are like the leg part of the breaststroke you’ve probably done while swimming. A wide and large kick that makes use of your full-length strength. This is ideal for open water diving when you are close to the deepest parts and a water column.
The movement produced is horizontal or the closest thing to it and means that when you swim close to the bottom of the water, you cause a minimal disturbance which means there are no visibility issues for other divers following you.
Due to the width of the kick though, it’s not good for diving near walls or through caves. The upside is that when used with great buoyancy, this technique will become the one you use most as you perfect it.
As a result, the level of your air consumption will decrease. And as you more accurately trim your placing under the water, the better you will be able to make use of the gliding stage before kicking again, meaning not just the air consumption will be reduced but your energy use too.
Picking The Best Scuba Fins For Your Type Of Diving
In order to perfect your finning techniques, you’ll need the right kind of tools. And when we say tools, we mean scuba fins. Investing in your own set of fins will ensure consistent skills and finning techniques on each dive, as well as comfort.
So, if you are new to diving or still trying to perfect your skills, you now have a better idea about the best kicking to use. Furthermore, you also have a good idea of where to use these different finning techniques, whether you are diving and swimming around caves, shipwrecks or in open water.
There’s a different technique that’s suitable for different parts of the water and types of dives. To become a competent diver, really you need to try and become skilled in them all.
About the Author
Kristy Wood. Scuba diving is more than a passion to me, it’s a part of who I am. Since the day I took my very first underwater breath, I knew that my life would be focused around the ocean and everything that belongs to it. Now, I travel and dive as much as I can, exploring the rest of the world, trying new dive gear, discovering dive destinations and reviewing them here for you. All while educating people of the threats our marine life and oceans face every day and what we can do to help defend it.