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Is there any reason for me NOT to buy a monofin?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Blue Member
Aug 30, 2002
Hi guys,

As each day passes I find myself asking the question "why the hell aren't I using a monofin?"

OK, if you're spearing you don't want your legs bound together, but it seems that for every other 'discipline' monos are faster, cheaper (OK, more efficient), better.

I couldn't believe the difference in times that MaxDream just posted between his teamates with monos and bifins. I'm in awe of people who do dynamics in excess of 3 minutes, but who'd want to if you can go faster?

But then I see someone like Seb Murat gliding effortlessly along with his hands by his side and I realize that it must take a huge amount of skill to reap the potential benefits of a mono. Is it worth the effort (and the numb feet?)

Is there anyone who would really disuade me from spending my hard earned cash on a monofin rather than, say, a pair of Eric's Fluid Goggles?

And then there's the choice of fin. Are the popular Waterways so much better than ones I can buy in Italy at a fraction of the cost?


Hey Al,
I recently purchased a mono - here's my take. If you're dedicated to training, go for it.. if you're not, it will frustrate you and become a toy that sits in the corner. Imagine trying to move a sheet of plywood through the water strapped onto the end of your legs. It's a killer. I've been working with mine for 3 weeks and it still hurts.. I'm lasting about 20 - 25 minutes with very easy/slow undulations before the pain (mostly foot) gets to me, when I put on Gara 2000s after a round of the mono it feels like I have nothing on my feet so I know it's been good for my bi-finning. The pain has gotten better but I still have a long way to go before I can build up any kind of time in the fin. All my finning has been in the pool with the mono and not vertical, so I don't yet know what differences I'll run into in the lakes as they are still iced over. The efficiency is definetly there but making it last for a day of freediving is a long ways away. So I'm to the point after 3 weeks that I could make several dives but then give me the bi-fins. No pain, no gain they say....
If you buy one, make sure that you can wear it with socks. That will alleviate much of the cramping. I peeled out the rubber pads inside the pockets of my Waterway LD2 and now I wear it with 3 mil socks and its really comfortable with no cramping. My advice, save some money and buy a decent Italian mono and then see if Eric has any more goggles with slight defects that he was selling at discount prices. Why settle for one or the other when you might be able to get both?

Thats why you buy the Sebak. No pain. Plenty gain. Omer Millennium foot pockets.

To buy the fin at all depends on what you want it for.
If you are competing then get it. Especially for constant weight. For dynamic though i stick to soft rubber bi fins. The critical part of dynamic for me is turning. I do this well with bi fins.

Pros and Cons

After swimming with my monofin for long distances in freezing water (i.e. with numb feet), I have developed tendonitis in both feet, and as a result a I can't put on any fins or do physical exercise for 3-4 months. The cold is the major variable here. Never swim in a mono with cold feet.

I must reiterate that Laminar and I, after using 27 different monofins, really think that the sebak fin with the omer footpockets is the 'least good' fin we have ever used, as far as performance goes. Yes, it is the most comfortable, and that is the one and only major advantage. Personally I find a stock pair of bifins have better performance than the sebak-omer fin. I have heard great things of the sebak fins with ordinary 'mono' footpockets.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Eric- sorry to hear about the tendonitis. Have you or Laminar ever tried (though I would imagine you guys have tried everything) a size larger pocket so you could fit a 5 mil sock, or would you lose too much control of the fin?
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The thicker the sock, the colder your foot gets, because the tighter the fit, the less blood flows into your foot. What you will find with monofins is that the footpocket applies such a great pressure that if you swim for long enough, even in moderately cold water, your feet will go numb from simple lack of blood flow.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Do you think you might go back to bi fins, maybe with fibreglass blades, for rec diving?
I tried using bifins and they still made my tendonitis worse... Right now I'm diving with no-fins. My arms have gotten a lot stronger. Of course, my recreational range & bottom time has been cut in half. But, it is pretty fun to run along the bottom, jump off ledges and so on, which you can only do without fins...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Do me a favor, those of you with a waterway mono... take these two measurements of your foot pocket (with the fin upside down) as per this pic and let me know what you come up with and what size of fin it is that you have. Don't measure between the two points but rather to the 2 points from the toe of the foot pocket.


  • measurefin.jpg
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I have waterway monos, but they don't have waterway footpockets, so I guess my measurements would be irrevelant...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I have a mat-mas carbon ksp 9 with waterway footpockets.....out of curiousity, what are you trying to measure?
I'm trying to measure the difference in sizes.. ie. 290s = ?, 310s = ?, 270s = ? since there is no size markings on the foot pockets it's difficult to tell exactly what size they are.
I have the xxl.....(i think they were the 330's) but i adjusted the straps on them.......sorry:hmm
How do you know you have the xxl, 330? why did you adjust the straps and how did you do that?
Hey Fred! I'll be thinking of you chopping a bigger hole than that for bi-fins, through the ice when I'm down SE next week! (ya poor cold bastard ;) )


That was the number (330) on them when i ordered them a few years ago,

to adjust the footstraps just carefully, very carefully and slowly pull them apart and adjust them to make them fit your feet more comfortably......reseal them with rubber sealant or wetsuit repair goo.........sand down the inside of the two straps and get all the old crap off (important)......put the goo on and press them together with your fingers and wait for a minute....separate them again...it should be really tacky now...and then put them back together again and press firmly......wrap a piece of tape around the end to keep it from separating and wait at least 12 hours....put it in the sun if you can.....

also....waterway has that black insert near the arch of your foot....you can sand that down a little and it alleviates alot of cramping.....go slow a only do a little at a time.....good luck
"That was the number (330) on them when i ordered them a few years ago, "

How was it on them? There's nothing on mine. You were sure you got what you ordered? if they were the right size then why did you need to modify them?
I have reglued my straps a few times now fine tuning the fit. Usually one foot is a little larger than the other and from what I was led to believe this is common practice with finswimmers.
my footpockets were marked "330" in black ink on the bottoms, I had at the time ordered 3 pair and they were all marked in the same way.

I had to adjust the right footpocket because it was to tight..also the "insert" part or the mat-mas blade required me to modify the pockets a little and that in turn made my left foot to small...sooooooo......I adjusted that one too

, Jim's answer is the most common reason, most people do not have the same size feet........... and any fine tuning or modifications that can increase foot comfort in the mono and not decrease performance I highly recommend.....In my opinion waterway, mat-mas are the best fins out there, the omer footpockets on the sebak are comfortable but the angles not right to the blade and there is a noticable loss of power...at least for me

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