How To Use Fins

How To Use Fins

The basic movement is called the flutter kick, which can be done on the surface or underwater. Keep your arms at your sides. You'll get more than enough power from the action of the fins alone.


  1. Keep your arms at your sides. You'll get more than enough power from the action of the fins alone.
  2. When swimming on the surface, keep your legs well below the surface. Bend slightly at the waist if snorkeling, or decrease your buoyancy if you have scuba gear.
  3. Swing your legs back and forth with your knees straight as if you were marching.
  4. Keep your feet extended. The force of the water should pull them into this position naturally.
  5. Perform long, strong kicks, which are more efficient than short, choppy ones. The effort should come from swinging your legs and not your knees.

Are you confused by all the theories, claims and opinions about dive fins? Essentially fins are just artificial extensions of our feet that allow our legs to be used to their full potential underwater. Our legs are our usual mode of transport on land, why wouldn’t they be when in the water? The basic principal of finning is that we use our legs to push the fins, the fins push the water and, in turn, we are propelled forward. It seems fairly straightforward, but there are many factors at play when a fin moves through the water, and there are many ways to make it work. If not, maybe you should be. Since kicking is your primary physical activity when diving, and because the efficiency of your fins and your comfort in the water affects your bottom time more than almost anything else, dive fins are one of your most important pieces of equipment. One of the most common complaints that people have about diving is that their feet and legs hurt when they try to kick with today's long or stiff fins. Force Fins are designed to let your toes really breathe, move and wiggle about like they're meant to do. Because of our true, open foot pocket, your toes are finally free!

Walking with fins on can be uncertain on dry land or on a boat. If you're snorkeling from shore, try putting your fins on and removing them in waist deep water. If you're snorkeling from a boat, don’t put your fins on until it is time to enter the water and take them off at the boat ladder before getting back on the boat. Your fins should fit your feet as well as a pair of shoes. don't settle on fins that are too small or too big. It will only hinder your swimming capabilities. If you plan to wear booties, try the fins on while wearing the booties. Weight belts are also important, especially in the Red Sea. They help you maintain buoyancy. Some people need them while snorkeling while others don't. To use your fins correctly, you must use an efficient kick. You can do this by using a slow flutter kick motion. Try to keep your knees and ankles relaxed to prevent your leg muscles from cramping. Once you're proficient in this skill, you'll notice that your fins propel you through the water. You'll hardly need to use your arms and can let them rest easily at your side, or keep one arm floating in front of your head to act as a bumper.


  • Break up your effort by doing a few strong kicks followed by a few moments of gliding without kicking.
  • The flutter kick relies on two fins working in opposition to each other. If you lose a fin, the only kick that works is called the dolphin kick. This involves bending slightly forward at the waist, and then arching your back, while keeping your legs stiff. This kick is difficult with a snorkel since your head is plunged underwater on each kick. Practice swimming with one fin to have the skill if you need it.

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Last Updated on Friday 17th December 2010