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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Kicking it

Unfortunately, while I was on Tortola I was fighting a mild ear infection of some kind and the one day we went diving I couldn't equalize the pressure in that ear, so I had to abort the dive at 15 feet. I gave it a shot and couldn't wiggle the congestion loose by moving up and down in the water, so I had to call it quits with a full tank.

I suppose that met my goal of coming up with air in my tanks though. Since I got certified 10 years ago I've been something of an air hog, which has long been a mystery to me. I've tried things ranging from being more careful with my breathing to kicking less without much luck - I still end up with a dry tank before anyone else.

Over the past year or so I've done some research and testing to try and figure this out. At least part of the problem is that I get cold easily, so I bought a wetsuit (finally) over the summer, one that actually fits. I also realized that the cramping, soreness, and pain in my feet and legs while diving was one thing that had been eating up my air - my fins were not the correct size, and they were far too stiff. While I have powerful legs, the kicking motion you're taught for diving is somewhat counter to what you should be doing from a physiological standpoint. The muscles you're using and the motion you are told to kick with aren't very efficient. Getting the [Force Fins] was something of a gamble for me, people either love or hate them.

I'm glad to say that after swimming and snorkeling with them, I love they. They worked out great, and I'm very happy with them. Unlike my old, stiff Plana Avanti fins, kicking with the Force Fins is far more natural and didn't produce any strain at all. I diving while snorkelling, I could go much farther and found it easier to fight a current or surge with the Force Fins.

The [Impulse Dry] snorkel I took with me sucked. The valve system it uses at the top of the snorkel only works if your head is positioned perfectly - otherwise it closes the snorkel when you inhale, cutting off your breath. Majorly bad, especially in surf.

12/31/2003 03:15:00 PM ] [  0 comments  ]
A good quick laugh