Finning techniques come in a few different forms, and opting for a certain technique is up to the diver. After all, each diver has their favourite style like they do their own mask. Finning techniques can be used in different environments, to conserve energy or save air, and even to escape a territorial titan triggerfish. We bring you six finning techniques that are good to know, and great to master.
1. Frog Kick
Many divers find the frog kick relaxing, seeing it as an ideal cruising kick that they can alternate to between the flutter kick. It’s great for general cruising when close to delicate coral, silty/sandy seabed or marine life (providing you look where you’re kicking), and also when you’re exploring large caves.
2. Bent-knee cave diver kick
The bent-knee cave diver kick works well in small areas such as wrecks and caves, and when close to silty/sandy seabed and marine life. We don’t recommend the bentknee cave diver kick when in strong currents or when you need to get away from something, quickly.
3. Flutter Kicks
The flutter kick works best with long and gentle strokes – any erratic kicking can prove ineffective and has more chance of disturbing nearby seabed and marine life. The flutter kick is easy to use, and can provide a good forward thrust. It’s best used on the surface during a descent or ascent, when you’re well clear of the seabed and when swimming into a current.
4. Scissors/split kick
A lot of thrust can be generated by a long, lazy kick. The thrust comes when both legs come together, just like scissors, and this can propel a diver forward whilst saving energy. Scissor/split kicks are great for powerful cruising as an initial kick to get you going forward and to rest groups of leg muscles. We don’t recommend using it when close to silty or sandy seabeds, in confined spaces inside a wreck or cave, or when apex speed is required.
5. Helicopter turn
The helicopter turn allows you to pivot or rotate whilst in the horizontal and trimmed diving position – beneficial for quickly changing direction. It enables you to turn and look behind you without changing water position. Slowly move your fins apart horizontally in an opposing back and forth motion, whilst rotating your ankles and fins.
6. Reverse or back kick
The reverse or back kick is a top skill to master. The ability to move away from a subject whilst still being able to face it is perfect for underwater photographers, instructors and for divers who are fixated on a subject. It’s almost a complete reverse of the frog kick, and requires your fins to scoop water to start you moving backwards.