Question - Surface Swimming with Freedive Fins | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Question Surface Swimming with Freedive Fins

Sammabey1

New Member
Mar 27, 2021
1
0
1
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Hi, I am new to freediving and try to go as much as possible. I have a pair of Cressi Gare freedive fins and I really like them however when I have gone freediving I tend to swim on the surface rather long distances before diving. Firstly I cant seem to get the right techinique for this as I feel very slow and like im having to put alot of energy in and secondly by the end of my session the front of my ankles ( I dont know the actual term for this part of the body) are in agony, they feel so stretched by the force of the fins and I assume this is connected to a bad technique or maybe it just takes time to get used to? When I actually dive they feel fine its just swimming on the surface that seems to be the problem. Any advice as to what I could be doing wrong would be appreciated. Also my fins may be slightly too big however I have thick neoprene socks that fill them out nicely.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
588
178
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Do you surface swim on your back or face down with a snorkel? I find on my back is easier. The soreness on the tops of your feet might be due to your feet not yet being accustomed to to being stretched out flat. Your feet (and legs) need to adjust to using long fins. You can keep in tune by doing surface laps in a pool. I swim laps twice a week, and as part of my workout I do about 10 minutes of vigorous leg laps with my medium stiffness long fins. I used to get soreness on the tops of my feet and also foot cramps, but I don't anymore.
 
Mar 22, 2009
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Hi, I am new to freediving and try to go as much as possible. I have a pair of Cressi Gare freedive fins and I really like them however when I have gone freediving I tend to swim on the surface rather long distances before diving. Firstly I cant seem to get the right techinique for this as I feel very slow and like im having to put alot of energy in and secondly by the end of my session the front of my ankles ( I dont know the actual term for this part of the body) are in agony, they feel so stretched by the force of the fins and I assume this is connected to a bad technique or maybe it just takes time to get used to? When I actually dive they feel fine its just swimming on the surface that seems to be the problem. Any advice as to what I could be doing wrong would be appreciated. Also my fins may be slightly too big however I have thick neoprene socks that fill them out nicely.
It is not unusual for people to experience soreness after long distance swims with large fins. If you do it frequently, the muscles and tendons will adapt.

Another thing to consider is that if you are going to engage in long surface swims, you will probably be better served with a softer blade. It is my understanding that the popular Cressi freedive fins have polymer blades and they are relatively stiff.

A fiberglass or carbon blade will be more efficient and unless you are over 200 lbs and strong, we generally recommend a soft blade.

Other than practicing swimming, there is an exercise you can do to target that area. It is the opposite of calf raises which are done on steps and using a hand rail. For this exercise, you stand with only your heels on the step and have 2/3 of the foot hanging over the step. Then you push your toes down as far as possible and then raise them up as far as possible. You are basically taping your foot while standing on your heels.

It will feel awkward at first and you probably want to keep your knees slightly bent. You can do this exercise quickly and you might have to do 100 repetitions before you feel any fatigue, but with a little patience, you will begin to feel the burn. If you are still sore from swimming and try this, you should almost immediately feel how this exercise is targeting your "sore area".
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Apr 4, 2011
255
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You need softer fins. Period. Better if they're carbon, as you can get more efficiency with less effort.
There are some models with a bigger angle >25° that are better for surface swimming. Try to get footpockets that fit you well. Swimming with footpockets that are not right sized is a nightmare.
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jul 14, 2005
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I believe the part of the foot you are referring is the instep.

The softer Cressi Gara fins have "LD" at the end of the name (e.g. Cressi Gara 2000/3000 LD) to indicate "long distance" i.e. better for surface swimming. We normally suggest softer bladed fins to spearos diving from shore as they tend to do more surface swimming than boat-based spearos.

In general, I believe carbon blades tend to be particularly soft yet still good for deep diving. Rather expensive though.

For the record, I've used Beuchat Competitions for many years. They are both long and wide. I found I had to adapt to them: slow down my kick a lot and reduce the depth of kick. So perhaps you just need to slow down a bit and relax? ;)
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jul 14, 2005
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One more thing, are you a long time, serious runner? I believe some long time runners loose flexibility in the ankle as an adaptation to all the running they do. Some of the more radical, modern fin designs (sporasub?) might offer a more accommodating angle between footpocket and blade.

You can also work on ankle flexibility. Judo warm-up exercises, for example, often include assisted ankle rotations which can be quite effective over time.
 
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