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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a basic question but it still gives me problems.

Perhaps someone can give me some tips to improve my performance.

When I descend down a shot line in a current I struggle big time. If I dump all my air, I go straight down and can't follow the line. If I am slightly negative and fin like hell I still don't seem to make any headway. I end up pulling myself down the line (not recommended I know). When I get down to the wreck I am exhausted.

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Ta

Lyv
 

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beware of limitations
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Sounds more like a bouyancy problem to me.

Ooops - just read what you said - not what I thought you said.
What fins are you using?
How streamlined in the water are you?
What's your trim like?

If you want power in the fin stroke having muscles like Arnie isn't all the answer.
For short bursts of power you need to be more like a sprinter than a marathon runner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

I use force fins and my buoyancy when I am not descending in a current is fine. I have no trouble with free descending nor on the dive itself. I use twin 7's 300 bar with no weights. My trim on the dive is ok too, even do the horizontal ascending ok.

Perhaps its the force fins?

Lyv
 

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beware of limitations
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Hi,


Perhaps its the force fins?

Lyv
I've never used them, so can't comment. I use Turtles and although I have to give them a bit of grunt occasionally I can usually make headway. Mind you I am built like a brick "outhouse" - 5 years of semi-pro rugby and 10 years going to seed in "veteran" teams will do that to a chap. I do burn some gas when shifting though.

Maybe some weighted squats down the gym and/or some calf squat extensions (depending on your finning style) could be in order.

Maybe you should use skippers that drop you nearer slack water? :wink:
 

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Nigel Hewitt
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Perhaps its the force fins?
I've tried them.
They seemed OK trundling round something but you never seemed to get any power or speed. I really tried to flutter them like it said in the leaflet. There must be a trick I'm not getting.

Anybody want some XL nearly new Force Fins?
I went back to my old 'normal' ones.

Yes. I know. I'm spoiled by the Cressi Gara free dive fins.

To the original poster...
The trick is to dive on slack.
When the tide starts to run you are in the wreck and when you blob off you don't care what it's doing as you go with it.
 

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Irish Cave Diver in the making
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I end up pulling myself down the line (not recommended I know). When I get down to the wreck I am exhausted.

Any tips would be gratefully received.
I end up doing that here a fair bit, sometime the currents in Strangford lough or around the mouth of the Lough in the Irish sea are just horrendous, and 'slack' can be a complete joke. So, we end up pulling ourselves down the line too.

I find if you are in that situation, then your time on the surface was probably a bit rough too, maybe you had to fin hard to get to the shot, and the sea may be a bit choppy also. So, you are quite possibly out of breath even before descending, let alone the exertion of pulling down the shot against the current.

Tip: If you can, catch you breath a bit before descending whilst you hold onto the shot line at the surface. If this is not doable due to the sea conditions, drop down 5-6m and hold you position on the shot and catch your breath. You are better to get your breath back on the surface, or shallow water, before further exerting yourself with the pull down the line in increasing ambient pressure.

When you are on the shot getting your breath, sort your trim out the best you can so that you give as little resistance to the current when you are going down. I find I end up like a 'flag waving in the wind' when I am 'in the flow' of the current.

To improve your performance, which is what you asked :) You want to do activities that both send up your breathing rate and put a strain on your muscles. Things like fast swimming in a pool, or hard cycling will do this. Don't go so fast or hard that you can only do it for a few minutes before you feel like you are going to have a heart attack. Find a balance between pushing yourself, but not overly straining yourself. The more of these sort of activities you do, the more you will condition your body to cope with cardio and muscular strength combined. I am assuming of course that you are in reasonable shape to start with and don't smoke - otherwise those may be other areas you need to think about improving first :)

Oh yes, and remember diving is demanding on your body, so fuel it correctly - complex carbohydrate foods are good fuel. But don't eat closer than 2 hours before diving.
.
 

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If you work too hard on descent you will build up CO2 which will incarese any narcosis, lead to accelerated breathing and may give you the mother of all headaches after the dive. All sorts of other stresses too - so best avoided.

Find a skipper who uses the correct length of shot line so you don't have massively long shots to swim along as much as down.

Tilt yourself so that you are head down and swim along the angle of the shot rather than constantly towards it as you drop.

Take your time. Match effort to breathing rate not the other way round.

Buy a scooter ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, what a response! Thanks guys.

Lots of useful tips there for me to try. Yes, it is rather that there is a struggle to reach the shot before hand prior to the descent also.

I do a fair bit of swimming at the fitness club I go to and do the gym bit three times a week, perhaps I could put more effort into it.

I usually do sea diving off a rib and am one of the first pair in. Perhaps I should go in last when there is more chance of slack having started. In fact, yes, I think this could be the best solution at the moment. I don't mind coming up a blob when it's running, in fact I quite like to see the seabed whizzing past below me (sometimes viz can be good eh).

I do find that if I do the dive on my own I am more relaxed as I'm not trying to keep up with anybody's race to the bottom of the shot. Perhaps I should pick a slowcoach of a buddy too.

Thanks for the tips - will defo try some out.

Lyv
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And yes, bring on the scooter................ sounds good fun, he he he.

Lyv
 

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Utrinque Paratus
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easy method grab the shot and go over the side still holding it :)

first on the wreck :)

Graham
 

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I usually do sea diving off a rib and am one of the first pair in. Perhaps I should go in last when there is more chance of slack having started.
Surely they should drop you upline of the shot.....you should only need marginal corrections to the course in order to get onto the shot line.

That won't help with the swim down though :D

Perhaps borrow some other fins and see if they make a difference......if you find yourself dahhhn sowwwf I have a pair of Mares Avanti Quattro super duper plus that you can borrow.....or I have US Divers Compro (similar to my Jetfins but without the weight).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He he he, think Graham's idea is best - holding the shot as it goes over.

Ta Scuttler for the offer, will take advantage if dawwnnnn sawfff.

Ta guys.

Lyv

Think I'll get 'em to drop in a shorter shotline too - see if that helps.
 

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14-9-09
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If the chance arises get someone to video your finning technique for analysis - the problem could be there. I know a couple of guys who have a 'Troy Tempest' puppet style kick that gives hardly any drive.

Having tried Force fins once they appear to be an aquired taste and gave no thrust for me at all but then I have never been able to get propulsion from 'flutter' kicking while doing crawl so the legs are just stabilisers. If you can't do a 'flutter' kick a la Ian Thorpe you may be better off with a 'regular' style fin. I know people tend to be drawn to equipment 'cos it's 'fashionable' and used by the 'gurus' but that doesn't mean that kit is any good for you. Try out the Scuba Pro split fins, they have a nice 'third gear' kind of feel and are real comfy on the feet.

A. Berk:teeth:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good idea, videoing the finning action. I have a video mode on my u/w camera. Will get someone to do it for me.

With the force fins I have lots of finning power when surface swimming on my back but they are pretty poor surface swimming face down.

Perhaps it is the fins after all. I have an old pair of cressie frogs somewhere although I remember that these were a bit on the light side.

Given that I take a large size in Force Fins (due to the width of my drysuit neoprene lined boots) even though my boot size is 5's.........what do you guys think about jetfins/turtles for size and performance?

Lyv
 

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Resident bibliophile
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Fins

Evaluation of fins used in underwater swimming.
Pendergast et. al. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2003 Spring;30(1):57-73.
RRR ID: 3936

The video idea is an EXCELLENT thought. In talking to Dave about this project, he also looked at Force Fins (and split fins as recommended above) with a "bicycle" type kick. The different kick did show an improved efficiency in those fins. As a bicycle kick is not a proper or even efficient method, it is not reported in the article above. The paper above was tested with a proper flutter kick. (Another interesting note was that you could improve VO2 efficiency with split fins by using duct tape on the split.)
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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No 1 Hint for not being knackered going down the shot:

Make sure you're not knackered before you get in. Lots of people are knackered by the time they've finished kitting up in a bouncing RIB. Kit up then sit there for a couple of minutes having a "zen" moment and doing a sanity check on your regs. Then when you get in, you won't be toasted.
 

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A VS Cash Cow
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do you do any kind of exercise away from diving?

its pretty intense physical exertion when you finning into the current and dropping down a shot.
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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do you do any kind of exercise away from diving?

its pretty intense physical exertion when you finning into the current and dropping down a shot.
Excercise? Ummmmmm yes of course.

If the skipper can't drop you in on slack then he should have a shot that you can yank on.
 
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