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Don Woodson 05-19-2005 08:28 AM

Eugene, question.
What kind of fins do you pro divers prefer?
All I have is the same old jet fins I bought when I was a kid. They were the hot ticket back then. I look at fins now and see all kinds of strange and multi-colored designs with slits and gills etc, all promising to make me swim like Flipper. Mine still work fine, aside from the chrome buckles that have long since turned to corroded brass.
Have you tried them really long ones the freedivers use? Would they be suitable for pool laps and hard river swimming?
I still like mine, but their black and ugly, and make people look at me funny on dive trips.

Eugene R. Allen 05-19-2005 01:18 PM

Don - are you talking about the very stiff, black US Divers fins with the 3 flow through slots? Yes, old school, still got mine from Army scuba training. Way, too stiff. The fins I use are the cheapo foot pocket type that the Y provides. I check to see that there are no cracks just forward of the foot pocket from wear because if they are cracked there you lose quite a bit of thrust.

I have some of the long, slender fins you are talking about and they are way too stiff as well. You want a fast, small kick that doesn't toast your legs.

For purposes of swim drills I use fins called Zoomers for my skill drills, and the foot pocket type for the hypoxic swims.

Don Woodson 05-20-2005 05:20 AM

Yeah Eugene, they have the three slots in them. I never thought of them as stiff though, but now that you mention it...
I looked up those Zoomers. Bizzare, yet interesting: im%20fins&OVKEY=fins%20zoomers&OVMTC=advanced
I guess if I relate to fins like a car's transmission, no fins would be 1st gear, Zoomers would be second gear, my fins would be fourth, and the long freediver fins would be overdrive, sorta. I was swimming the river last year and noticed I had a hard time getting my heart beat up without fatiguing my legs. Zoomers look like they're just what I need. Gotta get me some.
Also on the link above, they show what they call Seal Goggles. I like! I bought one for riding my waverunner, so I don't lose my contacts when I wipe out. It works. Took a spill and flopped all over the water at about sixty mph. Hurt like hell and got some great laughs, but the mask stayed on. Doesn't have a nose piece. Rather disconcerting the first time I snorkeled with it.
Site above also has a $130 snorkel. I'm trying to figure out the usefulness of a purge valve in a snorkel. Guess there's a sucker born every minute.
They have a waterproof electronic metronome too, which would be pretty neat for your drills.
But an underwater radio???
Thanks Eug.

Eugene R. Allen 05-20-2005 07:51 AM

The Zoomers are good if you are swimming with people faster than you and you can't hold the send off time and you want to keep up. They give you just enough boost to plane you out in the water better and improve your speed. They are also excellent for the Total Immersion drills if you have a poor kick.

The third gear in your little auto analogy would likely be reserved for the foot pocket fins. For the hypoxic drills Zoomers are too short and don't give enough thrust, the Rockets and the free diving fins are too stiff and long and are cumbersome in the pool and very taxing on the legs for fast swimming. I have found the fins with the foot pockets allow for a nice fast kick with a short arc that keeps you from ruining your hydrodynamic profile. If you fin too big your feet and fins will create a lot of drag.

I always swim with the Seal goggles, very comfortable and great vision. Now while I am all for the $25 Seal mask, paying $130 for a snorkle seems awully high. The purge valve in the snorkle allows you to clear the water inside it by blowing it out the bottom which is easier than blowing it out the top since gravity helps rather than hinders your effort. I use a Finis freestyle center mounted swim snorkle for my drills...much better than a regular scuba snorkle for swimming. The metronome might be useful for keeping a low stroke count but I think the sound would annoy me. I like the underwater radio but haven't bothered to get one. My swim workouts take from an hour and 10 minutes to an hour and 30 mimutes so it would be nice to listen to something for all that time. Always more toys.

Don Woodson 05-20-2005 10:11 AM

Man I'm learning a lot here Eugene! Love to learn from a pro! If you ever end up with an F-18 in your toy box, I'll fix it...(you buy the parts).
When you say "foot pocket fins", are you talking about these?

But I'm having a hard time figuring this one out:
I take it the lower protuberence is a purge valve, and the other end goes in my ear?
Or does the mouthpiece section extend down my chin, with the breather tube going up thru my mask strap? And you can crawl and butterfly with it?
Come a long way since my first snorkel with the ping-pong ball that tried to kill me.
Looks like I'm going to learn to swim all over again.

Eugene R. Allen 05-20-2005 01:03 PM

No F-18s in my future...but I did fly OH-58s in the Army. I was an gig.

When I say foot pocket fins I'm talking more about ones like this: &product_code=50_2XXX

They are not quite the same as the ones I use at the Y, the ones shown are much nicer. The ones shown in the first link are likely to be the updated Zoomer fins. My Zoomers are red and look like foot pocket fins cut off just forward of the toes. Great for swim drills but no enough thrust for the hypoxic swims.

The second link is for the Finis swimmer's snorkle for freestyle swimming. It is designed for freestyle swimming and works perfectly for that. The funny bend of the air tube runs over the top center of your head a bit and because of the shape is easier to clear. The mouthpiece is the thing on the bottom and it has no purge valve. That funny looking thing in the middle is the head strap. Weird picture.

I don't do the butterfly so I don't know how deeply you shove your head into the water during the stroke. If your head goes more than a few inches under the surface you will likely fill the snorkle and have to clear it each time you come back out. Probably easier to go without.

This is a great tool for practicing freestyle, more accurately the crawl, because it allows you to concentrate on the underwater components of your stroke and watch your hand entry and stroke path.

Eric Moffit 05-20-2005 09:36 PM

your head shouldnt be going to deep while doing fly. if you want to go fast, you stay pretty much on top of the water. i still wouldnt buy that snorkel, but i dont think fly would be too much of a problem. and im trying the 20x25s tomorrow morning...ill report back.

Eric Moffit 05-21-2005 01:03 PM

did it 11:01 but i know i can beat that time. started off with too slow a kick bc i thought it would be more efficient and require less oxygen. well, it might have been more efficient but it was also slower and the extra time under the water made its increased efficiency pointless. so around 12 i started kicking faster and did much better. never really had any trouble w/ blacking out. oh yeah, and my fins were like the foot pocket ones from the link above but a little shorter and w/o holes. i think sub-10:00 on this one is a good goal.

Matt Gagliardi 05-21-2005 01:09 PM

Fins are for pussies...:wink:

I'll do it both ways (fins and barefoot) this week and let you know how it turns out.

Eric Moffit 05-21-2005 01:39 PM

Mr Cool himself decides to join the party and then takes the damn thing over.

i would like to know how finless goes, though. i think my time would fall off dramatically due to the compound effect of taking more time underwater and requiring more time to recover from more time underwater. i dont really like being called a *****, though, so maybe ill just have to put up or shut up.

by the way, Matt, do you happen to know Randy Burgess from Coronado? my brother is on his polo team (both HS and club) and I know he has coached a few Olympians. (bump)

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