View Full Version : Should fin technique be required in OW/AOW?

02-05-2008, 03:13 AM
When we first learnt how to swim, we were all taught how to efficiently use our arms and legs to keep ourselves afloat and to get from point A to point B. As we improved, we learnt how to apply specific techniques in different situations. Now why isn't this taught in diving? Shouldn't finning techniques be taught right up there with donning/doffing gear in water?

02-05-2008, 03:51 PM
Proper finning technique is taught in the NAUI Scuba Diver curriculum.

02-05-2008, 04:29 PM
Thanks Seasnake :)

Is it also part of PADI? Does every instructor teach finning techniques? I mean actually teach them, rather than telling the students the theory?

I guess this is part of a bigger rant about "experienced" divers who are so clueless about their surroundings in the water or are so selfish they don't care about silting everyone out. Just giving them the benefit of a doubt that "maybe" they were never shown how to do a frogkick involving correct positioning of fins and are too embarassed to ask....

I know that everything comes with practice, but I want to add that buoyancy is not just about keeping off the bottom, it is also about not bumping/scraping the top of your overhead environment as that also causes silt outs.

02-06-2008, 12:31 PM
and here you bring up a painful subject....
ALL dive agencies teach fining ni varios forms and styles, they go thrugh the basic ones.... its the lazy instructor that doesnt give a rats @@$ about it.

some do some do not.
gets you mad sometimes.

Mountain Dog
02-06-2008, 03:22 PM
Diverdaniel has it exactly right. That's why it's so important to check out the instruction at a given place before you sign up.

My experience was great. Ladydog and I got our ow training in Aruba during the off season. As a result of that timing, we had four instructors beating on just the two of us for a full week. We got some serious training from those guys. We spent about half a day in the pool working on finning, and then put those techniques to work on two ocean dives that afternoon. All told, we spent around 20 hours in the pool and did 8 dives by the time the week was over. And if we weren't underwater, we were in the classroom. It was anything but a relaxing vacation, but we got great training for which I am grateful every time I step off a perfectly good boat.

We did the same thing for aow and nitrox - picked a traditionally slow vacation time, and went to Key Largo. Again, we were the only two students our instructor had for the week.

Small class size makes a big difference. The other thing we did was make our instructors aware that we were serious about getting the best education they had to offer. We challenged them to teach us well beyond a basic curriculum. When you let them know you are eager to learn and not just get the card, most instructors will step up to the plate. If they don't, go elsewhere.

Mountain Dog

02-06-2008, 06:50 PM
I guess the next question would be, do you think the quality of dive instruction suffers because of pure economics?

Pool rental is $$
& therefore any remedial classes/smaller class sizes/ individual time with the instructors would cost the DS $/ limits the time spent of each subject area?

As for the "experienced" guys, what I don't understand is a certain reluctance to actually say & show what an appropriate frog kick + it's applicable variations are for the a particular site or training class. Just yelling at someone and saying "fin properly" or "do a bloody Frog Kick in the wreck" doesn't help. Is it too embarrassing for someone to ask, or teach technique at this stage? Then when should it be taught?

& for some who are preoccupied with lowering their SAC rate and extending their dive time, wouldn't proper finning techniques help immensely in that direction? Similar to swimming, when you want to improve your time, you go to Technique Clinic to make sure you got it right, and can be the most efficient in the water, then it's practice practice.

02-06-2008, 09:35 PM
I'm not sure whether finning technique should be included in training or not - considering all the other stuff that the student has to learn in the OW, that's more that enough to be getting on with - maybe it shoudl be something that could/should/would be included in the Peak performance buoyancy speciality.

From my own experience, each time i've gone diving, i've watched what other divers are doing - their leg kicking methods etc and posting on here and other boards as well, and basically using trial and error to find out which technique is better for me.

With diving, along with any other activity that we do, each individual is different to the next and no one method is going to be the better/best type for everyone...it's down to each person's choice.

Just my tuppence worth.

02-07-2008, 12:15 AM
Well why don't you just go in before them? Then you won't have to worry about their finnig technique.

02-07-2008, 02:25 AM
I agree that OW has enough material to cover, but what about AOW? Shouldn't this be one of the core modules like Deep & Nav? Unfortunately not everyone is as observant as Lottie or as intuitive. There is a swimming requirement for OW to make sure that all OW divers are at a minimum standard in the water. I've had people tell me that they were "very good" swimmers & they were! Very good "doggie-style swimmers" :eek:

As for putting it in another optional class, is there anyone who would really sign up for, pay for and actually admit that they needed "remedial" classes? Wouldn't it be better to make it an official part of the curriculum so that is has to be done?!

Well why don't you just go in before them? Then you won't have to worry about their finnig technique.

It's not so much about going in first, as it is about getting back out. Just going in is the easy part :cool: no skills necessary there! But going in in such a way that you can easily get back out - that would be the wreck/cave course. It's about safety not about who's got the prettier fin kick.

02-07-2008, 02:38 AM
well ya but I thought your rant was about improper finning techniques which reduced viz/ stirred up the silt/bottom comp. so going in first would help with that.

02-07-2008, 02:42 AM
Just wanted to add that there are a few situations an OW or AOW diver could find themselves in, where bad technique could possibly lead to an accident:

A tropical vacation swim-thru (like those coral ones in Belize at 50ft). One of the group silting out the other divers behind them could lead to disorientation, snagging of gear ... possibly panic & all in a partial overhead environment.

A hollowed-out wreck swim-thru (essentially a novice dive) - same scenario.

:( :( :(

well ya but I thought your rant was about improper finning techniques which reduced viz/ stirred up the silt/bottom comp. so going in first would help with that.

At this point, I'm not even sure what I'm ranting about! :P Except that it has to do with people who should know how to fin but don't or don't care to! & all the subsequent problems it causes for anyone else. & then all that crankiness about when they should've learnt it and wondering if there's a nice way to hammer it into their heads at this late point in time....

Geez, I am cranky!

I think I will go attack the crunchy snacks now.

02-07-2008, 06:38 PM
There has to be some amount of time spent on finning technique because without it new divers could experience injury, fatigue quicker and just be frustrated. And then mentioning the "why" factor, like impacting the environment and visibility, is stuff you should know from the beginning. You could probably dive without the knowledge, but it's going to be that much easier and more enjoyable of an experience for them if that time is taken right from the start. Just like how to put the fins on and take them off! I'm sure most people could accomplish it in some fashion on their own, but a few minutes of the instructor explaining how and why will just add so much more to the ease and enjoyment of their diving.

02-07-2008, 08:23 PM
This must be why:

From another thread,

This brings us to Man-Law #31: If we don't talk about it, it will go way and become fine.

& I agree with you. If only we all had good instructors.