Do you get underwater and notice that you don’t have the power you feel like you should have? Are you kicking and not really getting anywhere? Learning different finning techniques for scuba diving is one of those essential skills which results in gaining maximum comfort underwater.
If you answered ‘Yes’ to the previous questions, you more than likely are bicycle kicking.
The problems with the bicycle kick
This is a very common finning method for people brand new to scuba diving. Bicycle kicking means you bend your knee and bring it towards your chest before extending your leg back behind you before repeating the same movement on the other side (imagine high stepping on land, but you’re doing it horizontally, underwater). By moving your legs in this way, you are not actually getting any use out of your fins which is why you don’t move much when finning.
The flutter kick is actually the finning technique you want to go with… at first 😉
The flutter kick is the easiest and most common form of finning while scuba diving. It’s easy on the knees, hips and ankles… plus, it’s powerful. Instead of bringing your knees towards your chest, you keep your legs extended behind you and move from your hips. See our YouTube video to get a full breakdown on this finning technique, plus the frog kick which is discussed below!
Want to have more control? Level up your buoyancy game
Before splitting hairs about your scuba finning techniques, there is one big skill that you should really focus on. Take some time to work out your weighting and buoyancy in the water while scuba diving. Finding your correct weighting is key because you will only be able to play with different finning techniques once you are able to hover. The glide and hover part of finning while scuba diving is what makes for efficient movement in the water.
The frog kick
Once you have some comfort with your buoyancy and flutter kicking, it will be time to play with some other finning techniques. A favorite among scuba diving professionals is what’s called, the frog kick. This kind of finning allows you to have a powerful kick which is also placed higher in the water column. This means that you won’t have those pesky issues of stirring up sand or silt from the bottom anymore.
The frog kick also opens the doorway to more control with your position in the water. By manipulating the frog kick, you can turn by using the helicopter finning technique (see this in our YouTube video!), as well as move backwards by reversing the frog kick.
Scuba finning techniques get easier with the appropriate fins
It’s really important to know what kind of fins work for your comfort. Some people have super floaty feet so heavy fins work like magic for them. On the other hand, you may find that your feet sink all the time so having positively buoyant fins really helps to make that horizontal body position more comfortable.
Try out different fins and see how they change your buoyancy and trim. Remember, brand and color are not the most important factor here!
Don’t get discouraged!
Learning different types of finning techniques doesn’t always come naturally or easily. Go diving, work on it, but don’t obsess. Enjoy your time in the water and the rest will come with practice!
We are a PADI dive center in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia offering daily dive trips to the Komodo National Park. The PADI courses available include Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, EFR, Divemaster and Sidemount. Join us for an unforgettable experience diving in one of the top dive destinations in the world!