Goldfish and whales have them, silverfish and people don’t: Fins. If you want to outwit evolution at turbo speed, develop yourself from a country bumpkin to an efficiently swimming and diving water rat at a tearing pace, the hottest tip is foot surface extension and the ultimate solution fins. They facilitate water displacement backward for you, function according to the recoil principle and as propulsion aid with built-in power and energy saving potential, they actually deserve an ecological seal.
Feet fins guarantee you locomotion on and under the surface of water with speed and efficiency: Without them scuba divers could hardly move forward due to their increased water resistance. For a snorkeler they might seem non-essential at first sight. If he gets into a strong current though, he will also appreciate the powerful extremities optimiser at the end of the body.
For fishes or whales, the fins fit like a glove by birth, completely tailored to their habitat and their living circumstances. The fins should also feel like they are part of you and be as comfortable as your favourite shoes. Sounds easy, it is easy!
The “Very-Special-Tips” Number 1 to 4 for fins
Pressing edges, chafing seams and bothersome material transitions minimise the wearing comfort of the footwear of fin wearers just as of henpecked husbands or high heel queens, not to mention the free delivery of painful blisters, which can maliciously provide for reduced fin pleasure for many days.
Hard and long fin blades indeed enable racy flitting through water, however they harbour the risk of uncomfortable cramps and fast tiring for leg muscles still lacking some training.
A bent fin blade is an obligation, in order to avoid overstressing your ankles.
Last but not least: Your feet cool down in water, swell down, become slimmer. The consequence? The fins fit more loosely on the feet after a while. A strong leg stroke can be sufficient and they become independent. This is why the fin selection criterion is: Comfortably tight fitting, but not too wide at all or too loose during their land fitting.
And is that all? Solely the observance of these four tips lets one fin for sure already become your favourite fin? Almost!
Tips regarding different types and materials of fins
Number 5 and 6 are also extremely useful as preliminary information.
Of course fish fins are made of skin, bones or horn and the like. Artificial human fins can be found in versions of the most diverse material composition. They range from synthetic rubber to different soft plastics like thermoplastic and polypropylene to glass or carbon fibre reinforced composite materials. Soft or hard, heavy or light, standard or high-tech? The magic words are: Inform yourself, seek advice, try it out.
There are fins in numerous models. Your physical possibilities, your needs, the bodies of water you wish to move in and the intended use determine which fins will ensure you economical, comfortable propulsion and the desired manoeuvrability. The Indian Ocean, an alpine mountain lake or a river with strong currents? Scuba diving or snorkelling? Apnoea, cave or wreck diving? Drift diving outdoor or lane swimming indoor?
Two fins for two feet or solely one fin, where the left and the right foot jointly find place (Monofin)?
A harder or softer, shorter or longer fin blade?
This glossary offers you preliminary information in order to obtain a perspective. Under keywords such as ABC-Equipment, Freedivingor the ones mentioned above, you will surely find details, that will help you further.
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