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monofin techniques

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
Oh boy, here we go.:confused:

I am going to go out on a limb here and let everybody have a go at me.;)

I am trying to get this monofin thing down a bit better and thought that I would ask for some help. I bought my fin at the end of last summer and have ended up spending more time in the pool with it than in the lake with it- because they're frozen.:waterwork

I have tried to get the local Master's Swimming coach give me some tips, but he was lost. He thought that he might have some ideas and they he tried my fin and said that I was on my own.:head

I can't upload any video, but I can take a few stills off of some video that my buddy shot of me last night. Maybe some of you could piece together what I am doing wrong- or right!:D

I usally don't have to go too far to ask what I am doing wrong, but I thought that I might actually learn something out of this exchange.

Thanks for all of your constructive criticism,;)

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A view from the front coming up a slope.
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Something to compare to


I'm not a finswimmer/monofinning expert so I won't try to tell you something that may be not correct.

Here is a very good link for finswimming coaches that I look at to to get technique tips!


I hope it will give you something. There is a lot of pictures and movies to compare your own pictures to!
Jon- contact Valter Olander, the swedish national finswimming coach and ask him to take a look at your pics. He is very helpful and could certainly give you an expert opinion. Let us know what he says. He gave me some tips re: technique. His email is fenvalter@hotmail.com
I've been slowly analyzing my mono finning.. it's coming along. I'm far from experienced but I have been giving my technique a lot of thought and workout. I think, with your legs bent that much, you will almost come to a stop before your downstroke because of the resistance of your legs against the flow. I find that I'm more fluid (foward motion remains close to constant) the less I bend my legs, it does require a slight bit more backward arch in the back, but keeping my legs straighter allows for less drag. The monofinning is getting better day by day.
Jim, Coz was good.. never did get on a boat but did make some contacts where the pontential to get on a boat will be there next time. We did some excellent shore diving, off the Lorena and also down at Corona beach. We were super glad I had packed a dive flag.. wholly boat traffic. the mainland where we stayed was super rough... couldn't hardly get into the water, but Coz was like all times... great.
Thanks for the help!

Jim, I emailed him and am waiting for a reply.

Peter, I took a look at the page adn am wondering which shots are good technique and which are bad- I don't read Czech.:(

It was still a nice site to look at and see how other look as they swim.

I have been trying other things that I have read on this forum- doing the "worm" against a wall, using the wall of the swimming pool and trying to get as close a possible, swimmin on my back just under the surface.

I am open to trying any other drills that your willing to throw at me. :D

Does anyone else do the total "lock-knee" thing that Emma talked about in her Russian monofin article? THat has been a tough one for me to try and replicate.


Thanks for Mr. Olander's email. He replied with all kinds of drills and compared my technique to that of the children they have starting out in their fin swimming program.:head

He told me to:
1- Work on straighten my arms.
2- Only use my stomach and back for movement.
3- Try to keep my legs as stiff as possible.
4- Start out with soft rubber fins and wait on the mono for a while.

I'll have to try and get to the pool today and give it a go.

Volter is definitely a great guy. A few weeks ago I decided to work on flexibility in the shoulders to assume proper posture. I found the best exercise was to hang from a chin up bar with my ams overhead and slowly stretch the whole upper torso. The question still is what is the energy cost of keeping the hands above the head when wearing a thick suit?
I really like Sebastien's style of undulation and he certainly presents a strong scientific case for using it. I am sick of swimming horizontally in the pool and can't wait to finally swim vertically again this weekend.
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Getting vertical

I'm really looking forward to Sunday.

I keep having this nightmare that I'm driving the car underwater at Dutch Springs w/ a monofin, and I have 2 choices -- 100% gas or 100% brake.

Wait until we dive-bomb our bubble-blowing brethren at 100'+, wearing nothing but wetsuits, monos and a big smile -- they're going to think that they're totally narked!
sounds like good advice from Olander.. one thing I found today.. I've been doing dynamics and thought for preparation, in light of fact the ice may be coming off in the next month or so, that I would swim with one hand on my nose... guess what, threw everything off - it took a lot of clumsy trips across the pool to get balanced. So, one more bit of advice as you work in the pool.. don't forget to put a hand on the nose once in awhile and try to kick like that. I suspect it will be much easier going verticle though than horizontal. I sure hope so.