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Monofins Vs Bi - fins.

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Skindiver

100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
267
40
118
Life after Monofins ?

Most of the SA team have bought Monofins since attending the Hawaii Pacific Cup.
These are Sebak Mono's and we are expectantly awaiting their release from customs at the airport right now and hope to take delivery on Monday.

Now. Whilst I like Bi - fins, and I like the look of a diver in the water with Bi - fins, what i'm expecting out of the 'Mono' is excessive economical power.
(Power is not something im lacking right now though as i always wear the stiffest bi - fins and have strong legs to drive them.) Accordingly i have asked for a ( bigger & stiffer ) mono that can take advantage of a strong kick and strong enduring legs.

The thought of only half the kicks up from depth without stress is a very exciting one and the fact that most constant weight records are held with Mono's have enticed me to try.

Question:

Does a Mono spoil you for Bi - fins? ie Will you / can you, ever go back to bi -fins and does it feel wierd to wear them after a mono?
What percentage more power/ speed do you rate a mono to have over Bi's ?
If you dolphin kick your bi - fins like me, would you rate the kick rate per meter to be the same as with a mono? fewer? more?
How many of you have been dissapointed by a mono?

Skin.
 
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DSV

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
232
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Hi Skin,


Since I have converted to "mono" I have gone from a struggling 51m to an easy 64m. I'm now only concerned with equalizing and have all the confidence in the world I'll be able to go deeper when I get it worked out.

I still use my "bi-fins" to spearfish with and enjoy using them just as much.

The "mono" for me has about 40 to 50% more power with a similar use of force as my "bi-fins", so I don't use that much power.

I used to kick "dolphin kick" with my "bi-fins" and the kick rate was more with the "bi-fins" per meter. ie. used more energy with the "bi-fins".

I love my "mono" and wouldn't go back to "bi-fins" for deep diving.

DSV

P.S. Let me know how you like the Sebak fin, I'm interested in purchasing one.
 

cheese

a dairy product
Nov 1, 2002
34
2
0
which mono?

I'm buying my first mono in the near future. I'm probably going for a basic sebak mono, but it would be nice to hear some opinions from the more experienced monofin users.
What other options are there and what do you think of them?
What about prices? Do any of the manufacturers have websites?
(apart from http://www.sebakfins.com/ )
 

reidfish

TheSnapperWhisperer
Jun 12, 2002
38
9
0
true love is nice, but a mono is better...

Hey Skin,
Get a swim trainer of some kind to teach you how to use your mono well. Most swim trainers should be able to help the basics like hydrodynamics and kick size, maxing out the glide etc, better than trying to work it out yourself. At first it will feely pretty sucky, and you'll do lots of kicking and go [very very] fast but use lots [and lots and lots] of energy.
I am up to about 4 to 5 metre per kick cycle with mine now :D in the pool. If only I had a good breathold I'd be really good! :duh
I think it takes me about 6 kicks to get down to 25m in a CW dive, but I'm only just venturing out to sea with my mono.

Power should come from your ab's not your legs :naughty , so your strong legs better be attached to strong ab's if you want to go fast.

My buddy uses his bifins with better technique than me but doing a mono-kick, and his speed and kick cycles are similar or slightly better. I reckon a mono is better, but your kicking style seems to be more important than the fin - he is much better than me :ko

Finally, going back to bi-fins for spearfishing feels horrible (like my plastic picasso's are like flapping a couple of wet towels atached to my feet), but you get used to it again quite quickly - and fantasize about using your mono again.
Good luck
 

Skindiver

100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
267
40
118
Arrived.

I picked up the mono's today. They are but very very well made.

There is from soft to medium to hard in the batch and they all seem to be as they say.
The soft feels very soft.
The hard ( mine ) is very hard. My fin is about an inch longer than the others too.
and the medium is ..well... medium.

Tomorrow night we try them out in the pool. I will tell after. Mine is not really for the pool tho so i hope this gives me an extra 15m in depth right off :)

Skin.
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
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I am still pretty much of a newbie with my mono. What I have found out so far is that I like my bifins for spearing and some wreckdiving. They also work out much better when diving with a scooter.
When I use my mono I also have my bi-fins in the boat. I will start with the mono and switch back to the bio-fins after about 30 minutes- that's all the time that I can handle befroe my feet cramp up. Then I switch to my bi-fins for another 30 minutes before switching back, again, to the mono.
I imagine that I will get more used to the mono, eventually. I do know that my bifins feel like old, comfy slippers after wearing the mono for awhile.
The mono has a heck of a lot more power than my bifins.
I have heard that a good pair of C-4's will let dolphin kick better than a lower end monfin. Has anyone else had this experience?:confused:

Jon
 

Longfins

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2001
254
43
118
got mine too!

Hey Skin,

Mine arrived today as well. I got the 'peter' model, medium stiffness.

On a quick glance the blue blade is shorter than my Waterway model 1, medium. But the overall length is somewhat comparable. It is also slightly softer and heavier than the waterway. Laminar's (Peter Scott's) recent review made me want to try it since I wear omer footpockets already. I doubt the leading edge ('wings' they call it) will be of any advantage to me, a monofin newbie, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Right now I see comfort as being more important than performance.

Now to find some water to test it in...

Peter S.
 

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
206
168
Monofin Info

Hello,

Just a reminder that my introduction to monofin freediving technique and other training exercises is available on deeperblue at this location:

http://www.deeperblue.net/article.php/124

I still feel that the easiest way to learn how to use a monofin for freediving is to do repetitive ascents from an easy depth of 15-20m. I think it's even easier than pool work. Check out page two of my article for more details.

Happy mermaid chasing! (Unless you are one, of course)


Pete
 
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ashtheflash

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2002
43
6
98
Finis vs Sebak

Hello,
Excuse me for butting in,but I was only wondering,why didn't the US team get Finis monofins from the US(I own one)instead of the Sebak!!!
 

Skindiver

100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
267
40
118
Mono test night.

Most of us went off to the 50m pool last night to try the fins. Fortunately most of us are the same foot size so i could test the medium as well as my hard.

The medium certainly is easier to kick (sic). I know you are not actually supposed to kick ths thing but even when we watched eachother having a concerted effort at not kicking we all still bent our knees and kicked some. It has a nice spring to the blade and you feel the blade pop you frwards as it flexes straight again.

Non of us had any steering problems and for the first length only i felt the mono tug at my left foot suggesting it was lagging behing the right foot.

My hard blade has been specially made for me and out of the water the thing is a 9 out of 10 on the scale with 10 being plywood. After swapping it intermittantly with the medium the comfort of the softer medium was evident but so was an increasing annoying lack of ( relative ) power from the medium.

In the water once you put on some power the hard really reacts like a demon. I did 25m with a low amplitude high frequency kick in 9 seconds and a slow 50m in 18 kicks. Its surprising to see how much it flexes when watching someone else use it. You would not expect it when flexing it by hand out the water.

My only reference would be the sporasub cruise rubber hockey fins i use for dynamic where i dolphin kick 28 times for 50m. I would expect similar (18 -20 kicks) for longblades but i would not use either this hard mono nor longblades for dynamic as they are too demanding for my style.

This fin will really shunt me up from depth. I must just make sure the powersource is always well trained to deliver otherwise it will stall and one could flounder. This suits my style of diving presently where i dont waste time on the ascent.

I will take this thing to Mocambique where i will be spearing for 10 days over new year and try it at depth. Im sure its gonna be fun. I hope not to be put off bi - fins. My mental association with freediving is that of with longblades.

Skin.
 
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Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
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I found when I first started on a mono that when descending, I would spin. This was the weaker leg and lack of balance from not being familiar with the mono......it's easy to stay in a straight line as bi-ped using to fins, but took me some time to grow into the monofin.
If you watch any monodiver, even the racing sprinters, you will see some bend at the knee. This is inevitable and is desireable I believe. For descents, especially bouyant descents, it's impossible to get down at least the first 3-4 metres without a fair bit of flex at the knee. With depth and momentum, it's easier to keep a straighter profile. Same thing on ascent, even more so.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

O'Boy

New Member
Aug 27, 2002
101
4
0
43
Monofin

We all had steering problems when first using mono. My friend (hello Juro78) was second in the World Champs in finswimming as a Junior and he bends his knees too (slightly). I hope he will join this thread soon and share some advices with us. He did 125m dynamic last Saturday (our first Competition).

Skindiver - I can't imagine using hard blade for freediving. I've heard that Martin Stepanek is working on some new monofin even softer then WaterWay LD1.
 

Jason Billows

New Member
Sep 17, 2002
151
19
0
51
Hi there,

I'm in no rush, but am considering buying a monofin in the future. I'm actually hoping to "test drive" some monofins at the Canadian National Championships in May if other divers are willing to lend their monos for a few dives.

Question 1: If I do have the opportunity to try some monos in May, I'd like to make sure I'm using them properly with good form and not fighting against poor technique. Is the technique used for dolphin kick the same with bi-fins as with a mono? If so I'll practice with my bi-fins until I have a chance to test some monos.

Question 2: Many people have commented that monos produce better results than a flutter kick with bi-fins. I realize that this is largely due to the fin size itself, but how much is due to the actual kick? Does a dolphin kick with bi-fins produce better results than a flutter kick? The dolphin kick seems to be so much more relaxed and natural of a motion, but how does it translate into results? Thoughts?

Thanks for your help.

Jason
Ottawa, Canada
 

O'Boy

New Member
Aug 27, 2002
101
4
0
43
Mono vs. bifins

Jason - don't expect miracles from switching to mono. I did 100 m dynamic with Aqualung Stratos bifins using dolphin kick. Now my pb is 108 m after 2 months of training with mono WaterWay LD1.

The mono produces a lot better results then scuba fins, though it is so difficult to learn the proper technique. It takes a lot of time and energy.

It is good for the strart to test some of the monos. I did it too. When I went for the first leg it was horrible. I was going all the ways but forward. The blade slips from one to the other side, you have to use your arms to get ballance again. It lasted over 3 weeks to learn how to move clearly forwards. Now after 2 months I'm trying to learn the finswimming technique. I think that every future monofiner should learn that technique and later accomodate it to the slower pace of freediving.
There are some pictures of that technique on Venezuelian finswimming sites.
 

Longfins

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2001
254
43
118
Sebak monofin

In a word - SWEET! :inlove

Last night I finally took mine to the pool. I didn't know how long I would last because before, with my Waterway, I still have to rest my feet now and then even with all the modifications I put into it. But I ended up finning pretty hard for over an hour and not notice any discomfort or pain in my feet whatsover. (This morning I woke up with lactic acid in every muscle in and below my ribcage and could barely sit up! :blackeye)

Laminar's review was spot on: This is the most comfortable monofin I've ever worn. So now I can finally concentrate on technique development instead of discomfort management.

Back on topic: I don't think monofins are magic pills either. It's just different (lower frequency, undulating instead of 'kicking', etc.) Maybe when my technique is better I will gain advantage over bifins. I just personally enjoy dolphin kick more than flutter kick, that's all.

Peter S.
 

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
4,080
473
188
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After rereading Peter's article on Monofinning 101, Ted and I went back to the pool this weekend and tried to perfect our dolphin kick. We also played around with my monfin- a Waterway LD #2.
I have been looking at the Sebak site and really like the idea of Omer foot pockets on a mono- the most uncomfortable part for me.
My question is this: Which fin to get, Karmo, Teppo, or Peter? I would be using it in cold freshwater for fun- not competition. I would like to be able to wear it for hours on end- like my Sporasub Pure's.
Any advice?:confused:

Jon
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
Sebak Monofin

I had a chance to try Laminar's Sebak monofin with the omer footpockets. It's great to see that a company is trying to make a freediving specific monofin, and I applaud them for that; and it is also true that this fin is amazingly comfortable. However, the bottom line is that ordinary bifins will propel you farther and more efficiently than this monofin.

In that sense, you can still use it if you choose to, but please don't use that monofin to 'judge' whether monos or bifins are better, because bifins will definitely win out over that fin. Yet, your uncomfortable waterway fin, if used properly, WILL propel you farther and more efficiently than bifins.

A standard (uncomfortable) finswimming mono from Sebak will probably also beat bifins.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
1,805
332
188
81
comfort vs uncomfort

Thanks for the comments Eric. Can you explain why a foot pocket can make so much difference?
Aloha
Bill
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
Foot pocket

The foot pocket on the sebak fin is not the only problem, the blade is too small and too stiff. But, the foot pocket is the main issue. Why does the footpocket make such a big difference? Try giving a world class sprinter waterproof rubber boots (nice ankle support), and ask him to race 100m. It would be a laugher! Or, give him cast iron insoles (inflexible), and it would be just as funny. His foot needs to flex in order to transfer his power.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
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