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Using Split fins in Strong Current!

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by SeaHound, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. HammerNoMore

    HammerNoMore Instructor, Scuba

    My opinion of split fins?

    I've only used them once and that was during my equiment exchange for Divemaster. My buddy and I exchanged equiment before so that we would be switching into our regular gear rather than out of it. My buddy used split fins.

    We did this in a pool with 0 current. I immedatly noticed 2 things:

    1. I felt like I had no fins one (i.e. I might as well have had no fins on because I wasn't getting any "umpf" out of them.)
    2. I felt like my feet were weightless.

    I wound up pulling myself hand over hand to the other end of the pool to do the exchange and was never happier to get rid of a pair of fins in my life.

    Disclaimer, I spent as most 2 minutes moving in split fins so they might take a little more getting used to, I was also overweighted by plan.
  2. Shadow

    Shadow Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    I find my split fins to be fine. I can keep up with anybody, even though I am much smaller and weaker. But they feel like noodles on my feet when I have to do a surface swim on my back. They don't seem to work real well up-side-downish.

    Also, I get into our RIB with no problems with my split fins despite the fact I can't even do a single chin-up. Can't get into a canoe wearing only a bathing suit to save my life (really - I've actually had to do this, I needed a boost!) Must admit that I clip my rig to the dinghy and take it off before propelling myself aboard.... Getting in with no fins is impossible for me.... Tried that, too...
  3. kazinvan

    kazinvan Solo Diver

    I like my Oceanic Vortex V-12's, don't want a paddle fin as these work great.
  4. simonk999

    simonk999 Barracuda

    If you're in current, let's say not in blue water, it is usually less strong near whatever underwater topology you have, e.g. the bottom.

    In this case, not requiring the full, powerful kicks needed for strong propulsion using paddle fins is a good thing, since you don't really want to be kicking the bottom.

  5. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    OTOH, one disadvantage to splits that doesn't seem to be mentioned often is that the vortexes that come off the fins will travel a long distance and still have enough energy to stir up the bottom. I've seen divers with head up/feet down trim stir up the bottom from 15' above it when using splits.

    Objective tests have repeatedly shown that they are the fastest, most efficient fins, but there are some drawbacks.
  6. simonk999

    simonk999 Barracuda

    Charlie99, that's an interesting observation. Indeed the vortex generation is the design goal of the splits, vs the general "push some water" theory of operation of paddle fins. Maybe split users need to wear a sign visible to following divers:
    "caution, wake turbulence" :wink:
  7. scubatoys

    scubatoys ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    Weird that you would say that, as I've found basically the opposite... The water coming off the fins goes more 'straight back' instead of down... so I guess if as you say, the divers are head up, feet down, they are kicking at the bottom, and since these fins have more thrust, they will push more water, but if in a good diving position - horizontal, I find a lot less bottom disturbance.

    Here's a link to a video on apollo's site that shows the effect of swimming right along a sandy bottom with splits: http://apollosportsusa.com/videos/apollo4.ram
  8. farfromwater

    farfromwater Nassau Grouper

    Having recently coverted to Bio splits, I would agree with Uncle Pug on the "instant" thrust... a paddle will beat it in that category.
    However, for the average rec. diver, I wonder which is more important: having the ability to thrust yourself forward a bunch with one big kick, or overall efficiency and comfort over the entire dive.

    I had ankle surgery some time back and the constant torque of the paddles would make that ankle ache pretty bad after a dive or three. With the bio's, no pain at all, and performance was fine for me. As others have mentioned, you do have to modify your kick to a shorter stroke... see the link to apollo in Larry's message below. There's no way you'll master this in one trip down the length of the pool if you've used paddles for years, old habits were hard for me to break. A full hard kick will get you nowhere fast with the bio's... kinda like spinning your tires in a car. The proper stroke makes all the difference with these.

    There certainly are conditions/divers who would need the paddle, but for me, I'm just an average diver chasing lobsters and an occasional mermaid . The bio splits were a welcome change for me.
  9. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    LOL ... take a close look at ankle and foot positioning of the side shots towards the end of the film. Obvious rigging of the test in favor of their product! :banana: Maybe they figured that, with all the bogus criticism of splits floating around, that a little bogus hit on paddle fins was OK ???

    I've seen lots of split fins used near the bottom without stirring anything up. OTOH, the first time I saw an out-of-trim diver stirring up the bottom from 15 or 20' up it really caught my attention. At first it was hard to even figure out who was causing these puffs of silt to appear. Kind of reminded me of this toy I used to have that you shoot vortexes or smoke rings all the way across the room.
  10. zboss

    zboss Solo Diver

    about the RIB... but I wonder if it may be true in other situations... i.e. diver tow. The "tests" of these fins should be a lot more comprehensive. Anyhow... I change my mind about what kinds of equipment I like every year. My store loves me.

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