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Proper technique for swimming with fins?

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  • Proper technique for swimming with fins?

    There are some videos where people are scissor kicking with their fins, others where they're doing a constant flutter. I've also seen people stay on their side while swimming and others rotate from flat to sideways like when swimming without fins. Does anyone know how they would tell you to swim during BUDS and/or NSW Prep? I couldn't find a definitive video which I could discern uses proper technique, so if anyone can share one that would help.

  • #2
    I'll weigh in here.

    First: If you contracted, shipping in six months or less, or - already swimming slick CSS 500Y 8:30 or better, and are proficient with the eggbeater kick, it's time to start swimming with fins. If not, those things are where you training time belongs.

    That said:

    1 - Stay on your side. If you are on your side, your kicks remain in the water. If you are flat, your fins will breach the surface, where they don't propel you.

    2 - Use a constant flutter kick, varying it as needed between short and fast and long and slow. Don't load and fire big scissor kicks. With the added surface area of the fins, you are putting tremendous pressure on your knees and ankles. Pressure that's fine with a bare foot, but with a jet fin, you are begging for injury.

    3 - I know there are people doing a dolphin kick technique the entire time. Unless you are a D1 level swimmer with a very well developed dolphin kick, I recommend you don't do this. Later on in the pipeline you will need the hip flexor strength for the tank tread (twin 80# tanks) and they limit your range of motion. A dolphin kick won't work with this. A dolphin kick also doesn't work if you are towing a pack on a line (phase 3/SQT) or towing a person because it's not constant, even propulsion.

    The dolphin kick is a useful tool in the tool box for when your hip flexors or quads need a break, but it should not be the ONLY tool in the box.