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C4 Falcon 80 vs monofin

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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THere Are NO limits!!!
Jun 12, 2002
I'm involved in apnea for about 4 years now and my PBs are :100m in dynamic,5:01 in static and -41m in constant weight(didn't have a chance to spend more time at sea training).I have a pair of GARA 2000 LD and i've decided to buy new fins.The problem that bothers me is :
In constant weight in the inicial part of the dive (start of the descent when I have to fight buoyancy) I use bifining technique and when I descend some 15-20 meters I use monofin kicking to the end of the descent.While ascending I use bifining technique.In dynamic apnea I use monofin strokes and it's far more relaxing than bifin stroke(only in dynamic).Also I've tried some monofins and it's too uncomfortable and strange,while monofin kicking with bifins is ok.
I'm about 1,80m ,85kg and I have normal legs in terms of strenght.
So,the main question is what to buy :C4 or a monofin ?In both cases I would buy a softer
blade because I prefer slower wide strokes.I think for that kind of technique
soft blades are better,am I right?
I have both and like my 80's much better than my monofin.

I have a Wterway and a Specialfins monofin, but still can't get as deep with either of them as I can with any of my bi-fins. The Specialfins is MUCH more comfortable than the Wateryway mono.

I just got the 80's at the end of the summer- so haven't had a chance to really put them to the test just yet. Form the dives that I have done with them I can easily say that they are my favorite fins of all- even better than my 30's.

I was told that it takes at least a season, or two, of just working on the monofin to make it work. Since I spend my time doing so many different things- like wreck diving, spearfishing, photography, ect.- I haven't ever been able to give it the dedication it needs. Just being able to slip on he bifins and go, as compared to learning something new, is just way tooeasy.

I still bring it along and play with it from time to time, but I don't have a dedicated training partner who just wants to go for depth, so it ends up just sitting on the boat most of the time.

Just my $0.02

Funny that you should mention it Jon...
Monofinning requires alot of training!!

The reason that you are feeling that bi-fins are working better for you, than the mono is simply that you are used to the bi-finmotion.

When you start training with the mono, you will "learn" the muscles how to work the mono and thereby reduce the energy spent on swimming.
A muscle doing the same thing over and over again WILL use less energy.
The whole idea about monofinning is that you are extremely streamlined and that you are using more muscles and therefor have more muscles to take the acid produced. When only using a few muscles while bi-finning, you will only have a few muscles to take the acid -and burn your muscles faster!!

Using the mono will get you faster passed the positive buyency, since the use of a mono will give you more speed and efficiency...

Was it Jon that said, that the Specialfin was more comfi than the WW?
A tight fin is an uncomfortable fin, but it looses much less energy to friction in the footpocket...

Go mono and go WW...

Best regards...
Peter P
Strangely, when I got my first mono in 1999, it only took me 3 days of diving to equal my bifins pb (which was 38m at the time). For me, it didn't take much time at all to feel comfortable with it, and to feel the advantage.
There may be something to trying to teach an old dog new tricks. I've been diving for over 25 years and am very comfortable swimming in my bi-fins- forwards, backwards, frog kicks, sculling, dolphin, helicopter turns, ect.

I got my monofin and was able to dive with it rught out of the box, about 25 meters as a pb with it, but not nearly as deep as I can with my bi-fins. There are a few sticking points that I have found.

First, is comfort.

I really wanted my Waterway to be my first, and last, fin that I ever bought. It is so much cheaper than other fins out on the market that it would have been great to buy it and be done. The only problem, for me and others that I have talked to, is that it is painful to wear! I can only keep the thing on my feet for 20 minutes tops! How can you really enjoy the sport if it's physically painful to wear the gear? I know that Eric has posted about getting tendonitis from his monofins. This is why I switched to the Specialfins mono. It is comfortable enough to wear for at least 4 hours at a time- my pb spent with it on so far. The angled blade is also very helpful for those of us with tight ankles.

Second, learning proper style.

This should be easy, but it really isn't. Part of the reason is that no one seams to really agree on what good style is. I tried to get my local Master's Swimming coach to give me some pointers, but he tried the fin on once and almost smacked into the bottom of the pool and refused to get any further involved with it. :blackeye

Next, I tried taking photos of my technique, or lack there of, and email it to finswimming coaches overseas. They had a whole different way for me to try and kick. I also sent video clips to Eric, who was kind enough to review and comment on it, and he told me an entirely different way to kick. I've read through the articles on here, and have reread every finswimming article I can find from the Solomon's and the Russian's that I see in Freediver Magazine, but still can't get my monofin to out perform my bi-fins.

It is true that the monofin is faster, but I also find that it sucks up a lot more energy than bi-fins. After doing repeat 50 meter dynamics I find myself much more comfortable, and less out of breath, when doing them with bi-fins rather than with my monofin- even though I get more rest time inbetween laps with my monofin.

I am sure if I could afford to spend two weeks at the Skate training camp in Russia I would be able to improve, but that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Just my $0.02

OK..........now I'm near to making up my mind about what to buy ..........
I think it will be C4 ,but now there are numerous models and it's difficult to
make the right decision.AS I said I prefer slower(not too slow),wider kicking .
I know that Falcon 25 are quite soft and Falcon 80 are longer by 10cm and also soft.Why do you guys think?
Most of the deepest monofin divers can be seen doing what would normally be considered 'sloppy' monofin technique on the ascent... However it isn't sloppy, it is what works.

The best example is to watch Martin Stepanek ascend from one of his dives. He was a finswimmer for years, and yet the technique he chooses to ascend with is totally different from finswimming technique.

For that reason, as well as my own personal experience, I am often disappointed that freedivers (or even freediving trainers) introduce finswimming-specific techniques, trainers and methods. Finswimming is FINSWIMMING. It is a totally different sport. Gravity in finswimming moves in a different direction---plus, there is no buoyancy shift----and speed, not efficiency, is the main concern.

Guillaume Nery can also be seen using a similar ascent technique as Martin and the other deep divers. The technique is distinctly different from a finswimming style, and it looks very 'sloppy' and 'bad' from a finswimming perspective.

I was once outraged by a comment posted on the FreediverUK guestbook. After Guillaume's 87m constant weight world record, someone (a casual diver) in France watched the video, and posted a comment similar to this:
"I saw Guillaume's 87m video, his technique is very bad! Imagine how deep he could go if he had good technique!"

What the gentleman didn't realize is the very fact that it was a world record was pretty good evidence that it wasn't 'bad' technique, especially since the other deep records were done with similar technique.
from your guys' experience, what monofin would you consider to be the most comfortable (for constant)? I want to get a monofin, but i am worried that it will simply be too much for my feet, as my specialfin stereopro mediums start to hurt my feet pretty bad after a while, to the point where i must take them off for ten minutes and then continue diving.
so the most comfortable monofin that you can think of that is suitable for 30 meters or more. I heard specialfins monos are pretty comfy, but im hoping there might be one that is better
How much efficiency do I actually lose if I use monofin kicking with stereo fins?
Finswimming tech/ freediving


What is interesting here is that 2 of the best dynamic divers in the world, the danish boys, have, in my eyes, a very very nice technique, similar to what I have seen the best finswimmers demonstrate.

Whould be interesting to hear their opinion!

There are probably many ways to achieve "low O2 output/ m" :)
I've always found this a fascinating subject. It was clear that traditional finswimming hydrodynamic style was not necessarily the best for freediving. I didn't start using a monofin until about 2001, but took to it quickly and found that it was easier to reach depth with it. However, I found that bifins were better for dynamics. Eventually I realised that this was more a result of relaxation and swim speed, rather than technique and fin design.

Alun and I have had many discussions over what constitutes the best monofin technique for deep freediving and I still don't think we have quite worked it out to perfection. I think the biggest factor in which technique works best is is the speed of the diver, as hydrodynamics change with speed.

I.E. the fastest divers should dive with their hands infront of them with a more traditional finswimming technique, whereas normal/slower divers should dive with their hands by their sides with a more 'kicking' technique.

I was talking about DIVING, not about dynamic. It is possible that the best technique for dynamic is more similar to finswimming. I am saying that the best technique for DIVING is (probably) very different than for finswimming.
Agree with Eric on that last one. I have spent about 1 year training with a finswimming club and have reasonably good technique. For dynamics I use the classic finswimming style with arms in a tight streamline and do around 31-33 seconds a lap. For depth diving my technique is definitely different. Coming off the bottom you are fighting negative bouyancy the fin bends heaps and you have to use your legs a lot more. You can't compare a depth dive to dynamic, the resistance you swim against varies thru the whole dive. With gravity and swimming vertical vs horizontal there is also a difference.

What is interesting here is that 2 of the best dynamic divers in the world, the danish boys, have, in my eyes, a very very nice technique, similar to what I have seen the best finswimmers demonstrate.

Note that both Herbert and Martin have very good finswimming technique. Ask anyone that's seen Herbert do a dynamic. Yet their styles on a deep dive are definitely different. I wouldn't say it's all to do with efficiency. Herbert can't equalise hands free, so can't use 2 hands overhead on the descent. Martin told me that for his deeper dives he uses more 'legs only' technique for the very early part of the ascent to help reduce lung squeeze injuries. The torso movement of the finswimming style doesn't help you at 100m+ when your lungs are under great pressure and the lung diapraghm is way up into your chest. :D

When you are talking really deep dives, finning technique and breathold is only
a small part of it.....

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I do not disagree with you here. Diving and dynamic is VERY different in fact and maybe CW demands a different technique....

For me it's more effective to have the arms by my side because I'm so stiff in my lats... But maybe I should choose that anyway.

Very interesting to talk about anyway...
So who can direct me to some good video footage of what I should try and look like while diving CB, not dynamics, with my monofin- so as not to look like a "Plank"? ;)

Hi Jon,

If you're willing to plunk down some money, 2003 Cyprus (from freediver.co.uk site) and 2004 Worlds@Vancouver (aidaworlds2004.com) DVDs both have more monofin footage of competitors than you can shake a stick at.

The 2003 Cyprus have less competitor footage, but more complete (from entry to exit). I personally like Carlos Coste's, Guillume Nery's, and David Carrera's monofin techniques. I learned to do no-arms-sweep entry after seeing C. Coste did it and knew it was possible.

The 2004 Vancouver DVD shows more partial footage of more competitors. I like Mandy-Rae's and Sam Still's entry techniques.

You can kind of tell who's 'smoother' than whom when you can watch and compare them head-to-head.

Hope this helps,

Peter S.
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I would suggest monofins with softer blades, max medium blades. When I started training, I made myself monos with hard blades and know I feel that I need softer ones. In February I will go to competiotions in Berlin. For dynamic apnea I will choose freediving carbon stereofins and for 16x50 I will use hyper, as it is the best choise for that.
Good luck in finding the best fins for yourself.

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I've got the Cyprus DVD and also another one from Freedive UK that shows a couple of different comps on it- complete with early footage of Fattah. I don't have the Vancouver dvd.

From looking through them there seem to be a few different styles. Some people are VERY stiff in their upper bodies, but really have the but/hip/leg thing working for them. Ohters are more full body. Martin is winning while wearing bi-fins in my dvd.

I understand about the soft blade vs. hard. When I started I wanted super stiff fins, since they reminded me of scuba fins and gave a quick, but hard, sprint up from depth. Now, I find myself looking for super soft fins for long days in the water- or relaxed finning up from depth.

What's the verdict on some of the other footpockets out there- like matmas, skate, Brier's, ect? I have only used the Waterway's and the Omer, attached to a mono.