Alas, summer is coming to a close (if you live in the northern hemisphere; otherwise it’s just around the corner!) Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to partake in some aquatic adventures this year, even if it was just a wade or two in the lake!
Sometimes, simpler activities can bring you a unique kind of insight that you might take for granted on more complicated ventures. Even the most accomplished athletes include basic drills in their training routines.
In that vein, this month I’ve taken some time to question a few fundamentals.
I’m talking about snorkeling basics that I take for granted, but that beginners often have questions about.
A key fundamental of snorkeling is the kick. And it may surprise you to learn that my feelings about it have become…. somewhat radical, one might say! In this month’s feature article, I discuss this most basic of skills. Specifically, I make a case for abandoning the flutter kick as the unquestioned default style for snorkelers. SCUBA divers learn a variety of kicks to suit different environments, and I believe snorkelers should do the same! Check out the article below to find out why, and I hope after reading it you’ll agree!
This month, I also settle the common beginner question of whether one needs fins to snorkel (yes, you do!) and take a closer look at spring straps for SCUBA fins (which I only just recently learned about). Lastly, I’ve put together a thorough guide for fitting fins correctly. Like other footwear, getting a good fit is essential for both function and comfort. But unlike other footwear, there are nuances to fins that most beginners aren’t aware of.
So whether you’re a total newbie or more experienced, chances are you’ll learn something new about kicking and fins with this month’s collection!
Enjoy the tides!
How to Kick When Snorkeling
It is time to say goodbye to the old flutter…
Picture this… Noisy splashes all over the water’s surface. Bubbles and silt clouding your vision. Coral that’s bleaching because too many folks have stood on, kicked, and grabbed at it. Not a pretty image, is it? And yet, this is what the vast majority of snorkeling tours look like. None of this would be a problem, though, if folks learned how to kick when snorkeling.
If you’re snorkeling, here’s how you should kick: Like a frog. Yes, I know it’s unconventional. But I believe that this kick from the SCUBA diver’s arsenal should be taught to snorkelers too. Why? Because it uses less energy, creates less turbulence, and keeps your fins away from the coral and sand below you.
The flutter kick is the go-to choice for almost every casual snorkeler because it’s all they know. Simply move your legs up and down in short, rapid strokes, right? We learn this kick in our first swimming lessons as kids. The frog kick, on the other hand, is much more like the whip kick used in breaststroke, but with a few key differences…
Yes, You Need Fins for Snorkeling: Five Reasons Why
Do you really need fins for snorkeling? This is a disturbingly common question I see on Reddit and Quora. In this article I settle the matter once and for all!
Five Reasons to Upgrade Your Fins With Spring Straps
Spring straps are a relatively new design that has taken the SCUBA world by storm. What makes them so great, and should you get yourself a pair?
How Your Snorkeling Fins Should Fit
A guide for full-foot and open-heel fins! With a bit of know-how, you won’t have to worry about frantically chasing after lost fins on your next adventure!
No-Leak Dive Mask: How to Get a Perfect Seal
If you’re at your wit’s end from struggling with a leaky mask, then this guide is for you!
When shopping for a new mask, you’ll learn how to comprehensively test the fit of your mask in-shop and in-pool.
If you’re battling with an old mask, my thorough troubleshooting instructions should help you solve the problem!
Cool stuff I’ve been reading…
…and watching! A bit of science and a bit of art:
Legendary Stories – Famous divers describe their most unforgettable SCUBA experiences.
Strength in Numbers – Social collective behavior helps salmon find their way to spawning grounds.
Short Film – Ice freediver Kiki Bosch in a surreal depiction of human connection to the earth.
Ocean Photography – Winners of the Think Pink photo competition for breast cancer research!
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