The Foot Tells All

Are you having a terrestrial experience in water or are you free?

“The human foot is our most distinctive adaptation. Twenty-six bones, moving against each other over complex – sometimes multibone – joint surfaces held in a three-dimensional latticework of ligaments and tendons, cushioned below by fibrous and fatty pads and thick skin. Together, these features ultimately keep us upright and drive our walking and running by applying dynamic supportive, braking, and propulsive forces across the skin-ground interface.” (“Stepping Out” by Robin Huw Corompton and Todd C. Pataky, School of Biomedical Scienses, University of Liverpool, Science Magazine, page 1174, 27 February 2009, Vol 323O). Continue Reading

Hand Shaping Fins

flying force fin

To make a perfect swim fin you need to shape them by hand.  This way you can feel the shape as your hand and mind shape performance.  Then once the shape is developed, we can make a mold, cast the fin and go water test.  The original Force Fin took over 20 different shapes and 16 years to create.  Other fin designer’s use a computer and then go to market with a basic shape used for the past 60 years.  This method does not allow you to make many changes to the shape.  The process is similar to shaping a surf board. Continue Reading

Kinematic Comparison of Swimming with Two Different Designs of Dive Fins

The purpose of this study was to determine the difference, if any, in the mechanics of legs only swimming while utilizing the two different designs of dive fins.

INTRODUCTION

In scuba diving there are two kinds of dives, the dives you remember and the dives you remember enjoying. The dives you remember are the dives in which you fell behind your dive group all day, your legs were tired and cramped, and a half day dive trip felt like it lasted two weeks. Where as the dives you remember enjoying are the dives in which you remember seeing the vibrant colors of a Princess Parrot fish, the clarity and almost bath like temperature of the water, and the fact that you were down all day, yet it seemed to last only minutes. There is one essential piece of dive equipment that will mean the difference between the dive you remember and the dive you remember enjoying, that’s the dive fin! Continue Reading

The Art of Design: An Exhibition of American Design by Harry J. Wirth

Bob Evans, Underwater Photographer, Bev Morgan

photo of Bob Evans by Bev Morgan

Bob Evans is a pioneer scuba diving equipment inventor as well as an accomplished diver and underwater photographer. He was born in Paris in 1950, the son of a sculptor-painter (his father) and a culinary writer (his mother). He now lives in Santa Barbara, California. He attributes his creativity and resourcefulness to his parents, from whom he was most influenced at an early age.

When he was nine he was given a gift that would change his life. A simple surf mat with a clear window allowed Evans to look down into the clear waters of the Mediterranean and see all of the fish and creatures below. He became obsessed with the ocean and its marvels and more than anything else, he wanted to explore beneath the waves. Continue Reading

US Navy Study Efficiency of Best Fins

Navy SEAL fins, military fins, force fins

SEAL Team members are pictured wearing Pro Model Force Fins. Their wing tips are secured in an upward position for entry.

Summary of US Navy Sponsored Research on Fins

Following are actual results of US Navy sponsored studies on efficiency of divers wearing Force Fins as compared to two popular name brand fins which had been shown in speed tests to be the most efficient of 15 fins. The tests were conducted in a doughnut shaped flume (current) tank to control for speed and simulate open water conditions. Efficiency was determined by the actual oxygen consumption of fin kickers. To date, we know of no other fin test conducted by any facility that has the resources and objective control exhibited in this 4-year US Navy sponsored study.. Continue Reading

The Innovative Designs of Bob Evans, Erik Buell and Burt Rutan

kick,leg,kicking

The Art of Design by Harry J. Wirth

Bob Evans was and still is an accomplished scuba diver. He initially became interested in the beauty of sea-life and thus became an underwater photographer. He is quite an accomplished man with the camera as his photographs have been published widely in books and magazines.

Having worked underwater extensively and after logging thousands of dives and expeditions, he became intimately involved with the many difficulties of swimming and maneuvering while attempting to photograph his submariner subjects. Evans literally grew tired of the constant pushing and pulling of water with the conventional fins as he watched the effortless gliding of the fish around him. He had observed and continues to this day his observation of water as a three-dimensional living substance. He realized the fin cannot be designed with the typical two-dimensional mentality. Continue Reading

Force Fin Challenge

Force Fin, How to Kick Fins, How to Kick Force Fins, Fin rebound

Force Fins Work for You

The Force Fin Challenge is a test you can do for yourself and on your own. It will tell you how well your fins are working for you, or if you are working for them.

Force Fins work for you and harness the force of the water to maximize thrust with each kick. That means more speed with less energy expended by you. To prove our point, we offer this test and challenge:

Take the heel strForce Fin, kick finsaps off any other fins and kick; Do this test in a pool only as your terrestris, flat fins will fall off. That’s the drag of the fins working against you. Drag is the resistance you feel when kicking against these other fins. Continue Reading

The Truth About Dive Fins

manatee, force fin

Are you confused by all the theories, claims and opinions about dive fins? If not, maybe you should be. Since kicking is your primary physical activity when diving, and because the efficiency of your fins and your comfort in the water affects your bottom time more than almost anything else, dive fins are one of your most important pieces of equipment. But over the years, a lot of myths and misinformation have built up about them.

We’ve been designing and making improvements to fins for over 35 years, with millions of satisfied customers, and many major product design awards under our belts, we can honestly say that we are the experts in fin design. Continue Reading

Flutter, The Most Efficient Kick For The Most Efficient Fins

THE RIGHT WAY TO KICK

Since the kick is all that divers have to propel themselves, it’s important to do it correctly. Many people believe that divers should use a flutter kick that is deep or wide and slow and pushes water backward. But scientists studying animal locomotion along with swimming theoreticians discovered more than three decades ago that this simplistic “drag-dominated” propulsion theory (the movement of a canoe paddle is an example) does not tell the whole story of how boats, people and most animals move through the water. Continue Reading

Fin Propulsion and Force Fin’s Efficient Kick

Populsive Divers Kick, Efficient Kick

Divers propel themselves by moving their legs (and the increased surface area of their fins) back and forth against the water with a flutter kick motion. This kicking results in a complex combination of propulsive forces that move the diver forward as well as resistance or drag forces that hinder that movement.

With other fins, virtually all of the propulsion comes from the downward phase of the kick (imagine you’re horizontal in the water with your stomach toward the bottom) and almost none on the up-kick. You can test this yourself in the water by trying to kick up, with or without fins. You’ll go nowhere. But simply extend the lower leg down and watch yourself move ahead. Continue Reading

Powerful Fins, Are They the Best Fins?

ARE “POWERFUL” FINS REALLY BETTER?

powerful fins, navy diverOne of the biggest areas of confusion regarding fins is the notion of “power.” Many divers believe that the more they can feel their fins, the more they’re getting out of them. And to capitalize on this belief, many fin manufacturers have responded by making longer and stiffer (more “powerful”) fins that fool divers into thinking that they are generating more propulsion with less effort.

However, the laws of physics don’t agree. Continue Reading

No Pain, No Suffering, Fins Without Cramps

tan delta force fin

Pain & Suffering a Thing of the Past

One of the most common complaints that people have about diving is that their feet and legs hurt when they try to kick with today’s long or stiff fins. Their arches or calves cramp, their toes are smashed into the end of the foot pocket, their legs tire… Sound familiar?

The primary cause of all this pain is that most fins are designed to concentrate much of the force from kicking on the smaller muscles of the lower leg and feet. And those muscles simply can’t take the stress of powering a large fin blade through the water. The result? Fatigue and cramping. Continue Reading

The Truth About Swim Fins

Force Fin Swim Sponsor

WHY SWIM WITH FINS?

Increase fitness and cardiovascular conditioning
Increase ankle flexibility
Develop leg and swim kick strength
Improve body position and technique so you can swim fast

WHY SWIM WITH FORCE FINS?

Foot-Pocket Design that leverages power from your strongest kicking muscles in the upper thigh
Snappy Blade Design promotes high turnover, with power and recovery for aerobic workout
How Force Fins are made, hand crafted in the USA using highest quality polyurethane

WHY FORCE FIN SWIM FINS? Continue Reading

Body Position and Swim Technique

swim position, swim technique

Improve Body Position and Swimming Technique

Fins add extra propulsion to the stroke, which increases a swimmer’s speed through the water. Good swimmers tend to plane on top of the water while poor swimmers tend to drag their legs and swim in a more vertical position slowing them down.

One of the goals of swimming faster with fins is to swim faster when the fins are taken off! By transferring the feeling of swimming faster and higher with fins to swimming without them, a swimmer makes use of a phenomenon know as neuromuscular patterning. The muscles and the nerves can actually remember the feeling of swimming faster and will try to duplicate the pattern the next time out. The more times the pattern is repeated (swimming faster and higher in the water with fins), the easier it is to duplicate it. The end result: the swimmer’s technique and neuromuscular coordination improves. Continue Reading