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Monofins and the glide phase

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2004
I am convinced that monofins are definately more effective for my body type, diving style etc but have noticed they are much harder to glide with when you reach that negative bouyancy point (25m for me). I tend to twist and turn and roll sideways whereas with bifins I could more easily control this. What suggestions do people have for controlling this part of the dive as my previously relaxed descent has become difficult to control and is no longer relaxed?


Great question Andy.

When I glide with my mono on the descent, I spiral like the Red Baron:confused:

I assumed it was my dodgy technique and thought I would work through it eventually but some guidance from the more experienced mono users may go a long way to solving the problem.

Common problem,
I also would end up falling sideways when gliding with a monofin. With a neckweight I can glide real easy and stay balanced without any effort. Unfortunately if you were competing in a AIDA competition you can't use one :duh
I think Eric F. suggested using a nylon weighbelt, having it loose and letting it slip up under your arms when you are inverted, but you have to be careful it doesn't slip off !

Ok with a standard weightbelt around your hip there are a couple of things you can do - keep kicking lightly during the glide phase to keep your balance. Another one I have heard but not tried is hold the guide rope with your legs, ie having the rope between your knees, guess it might add a little drag though.

There is another thing that would work well and would be AIDA compliant, not sure if you would want to do this though:- Wear a thicker wetsuit on your legs so it floats more ie 7mm on your legs, 3mm top. Or you could add extra flotation onto your legs, bits of foam etc. Yeh I know that sounds stupid, but so is the AIDA rule about not being allowed to use neckweights. It's not a safety issue, I have yet to hear of of a safety diver removing somebody's weightbelt in a rescue situation. Usually the amount of weight used is pretty small anyway.

Hey Wal,

Thanks for the tips, and I hope you are having been doing some turns in the white stuff up north for me. When you get back to Oz perhaps you can try that rope between the knees thing.....sounds kind of awkward :)

Maybe I'll try and make a neck weight tonight.......a good excuse to hide out the back in the workshop for a while. I like the idea of the bouyancy being added to the legs as well, could feel a bit funny on the ascent though.

I think this is something that does come with practise. Lots of dynamic practise should help, you can use the glide in the same way and get the same twisting problems. My monofin coach had me swim lengths in all different positions - on one side, then the other, on my back, on my front so you learn to control your steering what ever way you twist and this got rid of most of the corkscrew I used to have on a dive.

Another plan is to let your hand run along the rope, or indeed the rope between the legs - but I find that can get tricky if I have a lanyard on my waist.

I still corkscrew if I ever close my eyes though!

Hi all

After facing the same problems (spining or difficulties to keep a straight line on the sinking phase on deep dives) with monofin during constant weight dives for years, I think the solution is to use a mono with an angle in the blade, like the stereo fins have.
The angle in the blade aligns the blade with the legs, providing a better steering and an hydrodynamical position.
It also helps freedivers used to stereo fins to make the switch.
Have a look at www.specialfins.com, they have developed a range of monos based on that design.
Using such a mono with some good technical tips will help you to relax more during the glide phase and save a lot of energy and then taking the full advantage of the monofin.


Did Herbert switch to a Specialfins mono as well? Are you using the carbon model, and if so, how does it compare to the blue model- the one I have?

One last question for you, what kind of bi-fins do you, and Tanya, wear? Maybe you could give a short write-up about what they are made out of and what kind of blade angles, and stiffenss, they come in.


Last edited:
Hi Jon

Herbert is doing tests with these fins too. Maybe ask him what he thinks.

The carbon monofin is quite similar as the blue fiber one. Carbon and fiber have different reaction in the water.

I'd say that fiber is more "quick response" and carbon transmits the power more gradualy (for the same stifness of balde) I know that some of you will say it's the oposite, but I had almost all the carbon stereos on the market since 1990 and every time I arrived at that conclusion when compares to fiberglass blades.
Advantage of carbon over the fiberglass, the carbon will take longer before loosing it's response in a long term use.

So the choice will depend on what you prefer in term of feeling.

About the fins we use Tanya and I, it's Guidone fins. They are made of fiberglass with a few layers of carbon on the side. These fins are wonderfull on the feet, and very responsive. The only problem is that there's no angle in it as Regis Guidone doesn't beleive it's usefull! And for those who know him, you'll understand that there's no way he changes his mind!!!! His fins are pieces of art, but very difficult to get as he produce a few pairs for his friends and he is almost impossible to contact....

I have to say that I have more trouble to keep a straight descent line wit the Guidones, and I have to "compensate" the lack of angle in the balde with my back, and that's not ideal for a relaxed descent.
He also makes monos. Guillaume Nery did his 87m world record with one. (but all the pictures showed him during training with his Breier........)

Hope it could help you.

Thanks Fred,

I tried to give you some karma, but something is wrong with the system- anyone else having this trouble?

If I understand you correctly, it sounds like something similar that I have noticed when comparing the Specialfins Pro’s (fiber) to my C4’s (carbon). The Pro’s have a distinct snap at the end, where as my C4’s have a more gradual power curve. It’s something that I can feel through the footpockets and almost see in the way the blade flexes. It would probably be worth while to shoot a little video of the blades flexing to compare.

Both fins work just fine, but there is a subtle difference in how they feel. You are, obviously, a better judge on how they perform differently on 60 meter dives.

I read some of your comments on another list about possibly using Buechat pockets in the future on the monofin. Are they really that much lighter?

Thanks again for the great info,


The "sebak/ Special fins", made with Omer pockets retain on the front surface ( which, even with a bend in the blade, still bears on the water in gliding descent ) the outer rubber side ribs of the origional pockets. These act as stabilising skegs. Often one hears reports of a mono fin slipping out sideways in the kick but i have never had this happen, not even on day one with this monofin.

My experience of carbon is similar to Fred's. The stuff just seems ( stiffness for stiffness) softer or more gradual with the power than a fiberglass blade or even a stiff plastic blade. Carbon is not my choice nor do i believe it should be the choice of a hard kicker. Out of the water carbon seems snappy but loaded in water i find it struggles to return to neutral compared to fibreglass, or does so more gradually at least.

My sebak which i love, is as hard as hell but when i kick it i fly. No carbon fin has done that for me. For me freediving is gliding down and flying ( relatively) back. So i like this.

Typically you will spiral if you start gliding when you are out of alignment. Choose you last kick carefully and if you spin, an instinctive kick will usually sort it out. Dont let the kick bother you out of your zone. Train for it.


The Beuchat footpocket are much lighter than Omer or even Sporasub. (for info, Sporasub and Omer are based on the same base mold from the early 90' when the companies were working together, so the size are the same, but stiffness and weight will differ from generation to genarations)
Problem with the Beuchat, a lot of them are breaking on the top of the foot pocket.....After replacing them 3 times during waranty period, I "Ducked Taped" them....looks shity but works fine and can even help you to transforl them in "custom made" footpacket.....


The new generation of Specialfins have no more side rib of the footpocket. They cut them off. This allows the blade to flex more naturaly and gives a better response.

That's a fact, if you have rubber rib or rails on a fin (stereo or mono), the blade will be slowed down and work differently. Seems that the fiber (carbon or glass) takes some of the rubber's propreties. (Same as cement and iron rod that allow to make diving board in concrete, the cement takes the iron flex propreties. In that case, it's good, but in the fin's case, the rubber tends to lowering the advantage of composite materials)

On my Guidone or C4's, I only have 3cm of rubber rail at the end of the fin. It's enough to stabilize the fin and it doesn't change the flex propreties of the blade.

But this is only my experience.

Beuchat retread

Jim Glynn had the most ingenious solution to the Beuchat pocket issue. He took the pockets to a cobbler (no this is not the start of an off color joke ;)) and had the guy sew a small patch over the tear.

Here's a drawing. Maybe Jim can post a picture.


  • finpatch.gif
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