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Thread: New Atomic SS strap tech fin

  1. #11
    SMN Publisher The Publisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I remember a long conversation I had with an old timer who does the U.S. scuba show circuit as a manufacturer. He said the guy who owns the split fin patent took a pair of regular fins and using a scissor, cut a split down the middle of a pair of fins, and went around scuba shows talking with manufacturers trying to get them to license the cut. They all laughed at him as they should have. Now most companies license the cut.

    Fins are displacement devices. The more you displace at a given period of time, the faster you might go, but the harder it might be, all tradeoffs. You can increase the displacement by making a fin stiffer to a point, by making the surface area larger to a point, or a combination of both.

    You can decrease the displacement by making the surface area smaller, the fin more flexible or a combination of both. You can also cut a split in the surface of the blade. This does not accomplish anything different than either of the above two, it's just simple physics.

    But the guy who owns the patent is laughing ALL the way to the bank!
    SMN Publisher

  2. #12
    Registered Users fooddude's Avatar
    New York
    United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Sorry for the book that follows, but I have a lot to say and millions of ideas flowing through my head.

    Changing the stiffness of the fin, ANY fin, does not change displacement, only perceived displacement, in this case, force. The only thing it does is change how much displacement is created at certain points in the kick cycle. Size of the fin will be the only thing that changes displacement: big displaces more than small.

    Take two fins, the exact mold, make one soft (not wet-noodle soft), and one firm. In order to move through the water, the fin is creating displacement, though firmer fins create more force. Used optimally, with proper form, split fins are more effective. While needing to be comfortable in water to scuba dive, most divers are not good swimmers, technically speaking. Kick form is horrible. I see it with some of the best divers I dive with, instructors included.

    As an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, trained to teach proper form in all swimming strokes, the crap I see would disgust the ARC.

    Traditional fins feel better to most because they communicate with the diver and indicate propulsion. Turtle style fins, stiff as they are, being shorter than most, including splits, have a place tight quarters on wrecks and caves, etc. but even soft split fins which are longer, displace more water, and if form is correct, will propel the diver just as well, if not better when you take into consideration the ease of strain, increased efficiency and decreased air consumption.

    If you want to argue that split fin engineering and design is only better in a lab experiment with 1% of the population because no one knows how to kick properly (even those who boast they do would amaze you), I will agree with you.

    But, if you want to become a better diver, learn proper swimming techniques and kick strokes for various settings and conditions (when to bend knee, when to short-kick, when to high-kick, when to off-set kick, stutter-kick, etc.) your opinion of split fins will change.

    I have no study to prove it, but if you were to look at the divers who claim to like split fins and those who don't, I would bet my money that those who like them are better swimmers, technically speaking.

    Like mentioned in my previous post, I kick less hard, use less air and have no cramping and exhaustion. My legs are plenty strong as a competitive marathoner (sub 3 hour) and triathlete. I move faster and easier than my buddies using traditional fins in the same north atlantic currents.

    It's OK to be old-school, but new technologies and equipment aren't always a bad thing, just new and the need to learn how to use them; not just in scuba diving. I would say that divers buy new gear, latest and best quite often, as it's an addiction. Only they don't change their fins... ever wonder why? They want all the new equipment to make them better divers, do more, last longer, etc., but won't change fins. Because they would need to actually learn a new skill called kicking.


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