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monofin footpocket sizing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
I just got my new monofin and I love the power that it has. Unfortunately, my feet are killing me.:waterwork
I bought the size that the chart said, but they seem very cramped in there and I don't even have a bootie on with them yet- just trying it out in the pool first.
I know that they are supposed to be snug, but is this a proper fit? I remember watching Eric Fattah struggle into his fin last summer right before he flew down to 220+ feet and convinced me that I needed to have one of these things, so I want to be sure that I am not just being a big wimp about it all. :confused:
So, how tight do the rest of you wear your fins??? Does it matter if the strap goes ontop of your heel or should it ride low? I shifted it around a few times to try and relive the cramping that I was getting.
I have freinds of mine who are way into rock climbing and they buy there shoes on the small side, actually minature, to get better performance out of them. Is that the same with monofins?
Of course you get better performance with a tighter shoe, but if your feet starts to cramp, you might be stuck at the bottom of a dive :/

I use silicone spray in my footpockets before I take it on. It makes it easier than anything else! Some people put plastic bags on their feet before they put on the monofin. They say it helps a lot. Be shure that your foot is as far in the pocket as possible, or you will get cramp..
Questions, questions

Which brand of footpocket?
Which size footpocket?
What size foot?
What kind of sock?
What blade/stiffness?

Further, the arches of your feet will always cramp when you start using a mono, because they are weak and wimpy muscles not often used.

The blade stiffness also affects the foot cramping issue.

Did you use dish soap to put the fin on? A must.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I used silicone spray, water based for diving, and that was bare foot without any booties at all. I will need some type of a sock for the water temps around here.
The feet were cramping without swimming. I just had to have the mono on for a while and it would cramp my feet.
I have since exchanged it for the next size up. I should be getting the new one in a week and can see how that fits.
The fin itself was a number 2 LD model. THe blade wasn't too stiff and it was a blast to use in the pool. I can hardly wait to try it in a lake and get some depth with it.
Compared to dolphin kicking in bi-fins I reduced my kick count per lap in half on my fist try with it.

I got a Waterway model 1 medium distance a couple of months ago, and went to the pool with it religiously twice a week. At first things were painful because I wasn't used to how tight the footpocket had to be, I was new to monofinning, etc.. But I stuck with it because I had help in fitting the footpockets and knew that time was needed for my feet to adapt to the new finning mechanism.

Eventually my feet did get used to the tight pockets, but they were still uncomfortable and I could only monofin for no more than 30 minutes per session before pain set in. The pain was isolated to the 'arch support' bumps in the pocket pinching some nerves inside the arch of my feet. The bumps were of arbitrary shape and height, so I took a Dremmel tool with a sanding tip and grinded the white bump into a more accomodating taper to fit my specific foot shape to give a natural shoe feel when I stand, wearing the monofin, on a flat surface. This doubled the time I could wear the fin without pain, but my feet were still slow to adapt because I don't get in the water often enough.

So recently I took a small exacto knife and carefully removed the bumps altogether and made up two plastic inserts that fit inside the footpockets and reach out to my heels (Delrin, 1/8" thick). Now my feet 'stand' flat on the plastic pieces, which lever against the fiberglass fin edges. The stress of the fiberglass fin flexing is evenly distributed by the plastic to my feet, and I can dolphin kick as long as I want without pain.

I think the future of freediving monofin is in having full footpockets, which my plastic pieces partially simulate. Waterway, take note. ;)

Peter S.

We tried using 'inserts' into monofin footpockets here in Vancouver in February of 2001. At first they seem great; the fin is comfortable, great feeling of control over the fin etc., but actually they suck, because the angle of the fin with respect to your body gets screwed up. When you relax your feet, your heels prevent the fin from being parallel to your body. And on the back stroke the fin generates no power because of the angle. If you use inserts, there would have to be an ENORMOUS angle between the footpocket and the blade for them to work efficiently.

Not to mention that they would break during the ascent as the cold water would freeze the plexiglass...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Jon and Longfins it’s a pity that you have some trouble!
I've sent another fin to Jon, I hope he'll have it this days.
Maybe he needs bigger size.. But about Longfins it looks like as your foot-pain is not a result of toughness but non-specific tension on your foot-arc. Your heal is free and it affords it make bigger swing compatible the fullpocket. Fingerkick also makes your arc-tension worse (fingerkiks effect less in fullpocket case). It's a payment for the performance. Don't worry it's not the nerves pain, it's just tension and pressing on your foot-tendons.
Longfins! Now I've got it! You've recreated 'Greek sandals', handy man ;-). I couldn't understand why Creek guys ordered and specially developed 'sandals'. They're for non-competition purposes, more for fun.
30 min. It's really not bad for the first if you swam fast! The normative for Russian National Finracing team (the most powerful) is 50 km a week (10 a day, 1-1,5 hours a day) after many-many years of hard work. Give a time to yourself.
If the speed is not fast you can swim for hours then.
Well, if the folk want, the full pockets will come. But it will be totally marketing trick no concerns about real performance ;-).

We're totally agree with Eric, he's really cool practitioner.
Hi Jon and co.

I have just come back from useing my first mono. Thanks Peter. you where a such a great help in desiding what to get.

Re. Sore feet.

My specs are:

275mm feet, high volume, high arch, wideish. UK 9.5, US 10.5.
size 290mm, 1#, LD, Water way monofin.

In the first 15-20min of useing this fin my feet were in agony. Cold, new mussels with limited blood flow. So I did what I do with my VERY tight snow board hard boots, relax them and loosen the boots after a few runs and just gradually tighten them up from run to run. Or in this case take the fins off and swim arround a bit. 10min later I put them back on. And had no probs. Hooning arround all over the place for the next hour. I will now be tightening the straps up (reglueing them) and wearing .5mm 'tiatanium' socks. With my 3mm socks a may have to take them on and off a few more times before my feet settle down well.

I hope this helps. I also lubed them up with a bit of hand soap in the wash room of the pool before I went out. This made a huge difference.

Now can any one tell me how to get a powerfull up kick with out nose planting the bottom of the pool??

I just got my new Monofin on Friday.It was the next size up. I went to the pool and tried it out. It worked great with a pair of 3mm booties. My feet got sore after a while, from the new muscles I was using, but not the pain I experienced from foot pockets that were too small. HTis was a big improvement!
I got a chance to try it out on a couple of wrecks in Lake Michigan yesterday. It has a lot of power!:D
I was amazed at how fast I could come back to the surface. After about 30 minutes my feet started to cramp and I switched back into my bi-fins for a bit. Those foost pockets felt super comfortable after wearing the mono. 20 minutes later my feet were rested up enough that I could put the mono on again. The power was very noticable. I would almost call it intoxicating.:friday
I just want to thank Peter for all of his help. Now I just need to spend some more time working on those new muscle groups.

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