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Freediving with an amputated leg

Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
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Finland
#1
My left leg is amputated above a knee so I'm able to use only the right leg for finning. Is it possible to do snorkelling and start recreational freedive training (DYN) with only one leg, or would you say it’s only going to be a waste of time? What type of fin would be the best option considering the fact that I’m able to use only one leg?
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
406
94
133
63
Annapolis, MD, USA
#2
I have no experience with leg amputation - but maybe you can do a sort of dolphin kick - kind of like diving with a mono-fin. I'm thinking you probably need a custom fin that compensates for the asymmetry - maybe a lobe to one side that balances the unbalanced force from your kick .
 
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Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
26
Finland
#4
I have no experience with leg amputation - but maybe you can do a sort of dolphin kick - kind of like diving with a mono-fin. I'm thinking you probably need a custom fin that compensates for the asymmetry - maybe a lobe to one side that balances the unbalanced force from your kick .
I was wondering that too, I don’t know how difficult it would be to keep a straight line while making dolphin kick. But the idea of having some kind of custom fin sounds interesting.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
406
94
133
63
Annapolis, MD, USA
#5
I was wondering that too, I don’t know how difficult it would be to keep a straight line while making dolphin kick. But the idea of having some kind of custom fin sounds interesting.
If you are the type who likes to experiment and build things maybe you could get a single fiberglass bi-fin and then reshape it - add some more fiberglas here - cut some away there, etc. Maybe just "rotating" the blade one way or the other in relation to the foot pocket would help.
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
3,051
853
218
79
San Clemente, CA
#6
I have a friend who is a very successful freedive spearfisherman with one leg. He has taken fish including big bluefin tuna. He just uses one regular fin with no modifications.

He makes a living as a salvage diver on scuba.
 
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Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
26
Finland
#7
If you are the type who likes to experiment and build things maybe you could get a single fiberglass bi-fin and then reshape it - add some more fiberglas here - cut some away there, etc. Maybe just "rotating" the blade one way or the other in relation to the foot pocket would help.
That would be one option if any regular fin doesn’t feel right. And it’s nice to have the other bi-fin as a spare fin for comparing two different modifications.
 
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Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
26
Finland
#8
I have a friend who is a very successful freedive spearfisherman with one leg. He has taken fish including big bluefin tuna. He just uses one regular fin with no modifications.

He makes a living as a salvage diver on scuba.
Cool, it’s nice to hear that diving is still possible despite of the fact that other foot is amputated. And it would be great if a single regular fin would do the trick. I guess soft fin blade would be the best option for a beginner?
 

subunit

Active Member
Sep 24, 2016
74
26
33
upcurrent
#9
..take a look at del wren . a former champion-spearfisherman, who also lost one leg at young age.
this may not help you much to choose the right fin, but you may find it an inspirational piece of history.
..intresting article with some subcategories on the bottom to klick..
http://skindivinghistory.com/pioneers_fathers/pioneers/del_wren/index.html
..and this great video from the past, with del wren commenting on it himself....
 
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Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
26
Finland
#10
..take a look at del wren . a former champion-spearfisherman, who also lost one leg at young age.
this may not help you much to choose the right fin, but you may find it an inspirational piece of history.
..intresting article with some subcategories on the bottom to klick..
http://skindivinghistory.com/pioneers_fathers/pioneers/del_wren/index.html
..and this great video from the past, with del wren commenting on it himself....
Thanks for sharing this article, very interesting and great piece of diving history.
 

Jellythings

Supporter
Supporter
Oct 5, 2017
44
5
28
Central FL
#11
YES!!!! One leg is 1/2 the power of two, but you can one-leg-single-fin all day long for pleasure. Just never compare yourself to bipeds and you'll find happiness. Above the knee is tough, but a prosthetics place like Hangar or ??? could figure something out if you need as quite a bit of power can come from the hip. I can be happy all day long just using a weighted or anchored line and going up and down that using my hands and no feet. You have options!
 

theonetruerat

Champion Dumpster Diver
Nov 8, 2007
33
4
48
Arkansas
#12
As a prosthetist I have designed and built several swim legs. Each one I've built has been different depending on the needs of the diver.

It's rare for activity specific legs to get paid for. V.A. and workers comp will sometimes cover one. Generally these are side projects done for fun. Is your prosthetist and independent or does he work for a major chain? Practitioners who work for bigger operations often have less latitude to do side projects.
 
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Mareanic

New Member
May 7, 2018
6
0
1
26
Finland
#13
As a prosthetist I have designed and built several swim legs. Each one I've built has been different depending on the needs of the diver.

It's rare for activity specific legs to get paid for. V.A. and workers comp will sometimes cover one. Generally these are side projects done for fun. Is your prosthetist and independent or does he work for a major chain? Practitioners who work for bigger operations often have less latitude to do side projects.
I think my prosthetic leg is made and customised by a major chain. Having a special custom made leg for diving would be interesting but challenging, so I might try to dive without one first. But that will be one option if it's possible to made one and get it work properly.
 

theonetruerat

Champion Dumpster Diver
Nov 8, 2007
33
4
48
Arkansas
#14
Well, If you have any questions feel free to ask I'll do my best to answer.

One gentleman I used to dive with preferred to just wear one fin (his residual limb was quite short). Every time I found a really nice single fin on the bottom of the lake I'd send it to him.
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
329
40
68
Burnaby BC Canada
#15
Friend of mine told me a story about spearfishing competitions in Victoria BC, and one competitor, apparently from states, had one leg and was quite a successful one. This must have ben long time ago, maybe 80's or even before that.
 
Jun 30, 2018
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ghardaia, Algeria
#16
it's possible to do a dolphin kick with a straight legs if you use an perfectly angled monofin with footpockest
a good dolphin kick use hips and core muscles and not knee flexion
so, even if you're using a prostethic leg, you can use a monofin with 23~30° inclined footpickets an ondule using your back and hips while not moving your knees at all.