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What is the proper flutter kick technique?

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New Member
Oct 17, 2003
Can someone answer something for me? When using longfins, what is the optimal flutter kick amplitude? A buddy said I was overpowering my fins by using excessively wide kicks. He advised rapid, low-amplitude kicks, no greater than the draft created by my body flowing through the water (~12-16 inches). However, someone else mentioned that kicking in the turbulent wake created by your body is inefficient, and you should kick wide enough to clear this wake. What is the correct technique? Sorry for the newbie question.
I have found that a rapid short kick seems to work well for speed, on the way out from the beach, and a long powerful kick works better when I'm towing a load that creates a lot of drag, on the way back in with a stringer of fish hanging under my float.:) Just cruising along I use something in between. Try different kick styles while you're in the water and see what works better for you.

If you're over powering your fins you might want stiffer blades. I'm currently using Riffe Silent Hunters (O.ME.R Milleniums) and am seriously considering switching to the new O.ME.R BAT 40's.:)

I don't know of any set length for longblades. My Riffes are thirty-four and a half inches from the tip of the blade to the back of the heel cup.
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Overpowering, to me anyway, is when the fins are made to flex so much early in the kick that you're not getting much return for your effort later in the kick. Don't just run out a get the stiffest fins you can find though. There is such a thing as too stiff which can lead to other problems such as cramped legs. Also stiffer isn't really better if you spent a lot of time on the surface.
Hi Hooch,

There probably isn't a single 'best' kick. It varies considerably with the stiffness of your fin relative to your leg strength and with speed. My pattern is much like Spearslinger. I use a stiff fin and, for speed, a relatively narrow bicycle kick that puts a lot of flex in the blade is best, but it doesn't seem to be the most efficient, maybe because you only get power out of the down stroke. I suspect that a fin matched to your strength so that it flexes a lot but not too much, coupled with a wide slow kick is the best for efficiency and medium speed. Again, it depends on the fin stiffness relative to your strength.

I would love to see some careful experimentation on this subject.
Interesting thread for us newbies.

How is fin stiffness measured? Is there some kind of rating? Can it be read off the fin?
Thanks for the input fellows. Based on your info, I think I need slightly stiffer fins. I'm currently using the Riffe Silent Hunters like Spearslinger1. I'll have to see if I can get Pez Fuerte blades.
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