Why Flutter Like a Butterfly?

Most new divers are taught the flutter kick when they start diving, and it’s easy to see why — the flutter kick is just like the one used in freestyle swimming.

By guest blogger Sean Cooper

Why use the flutter kick?

Most new divers are taught the flutter kick when they start diving, and it’s easy to see why — the flutter kick is just like the one used in freestyle swimming, but without the arm movements (although some divers take a while to understand this). It’s the most common style in swimming, and it’s easy for us landlubbers to transpose the skill from swimming to diving. And that is all well and good.

But there are two inherent disadvantages to the flutter kick. First, when kicking this way, you don’t just propel water behind you, but above and below as well. This is a waste of your energy and air; it contributes nothing to forward motion, and the downward displacement of water can cause damage to flora and fauna as well as stir up silt and severely reduce visibility.The second major problem with the flutter kick is that it dramatically increases your profile in the water, making it harder than it should be for you to move through the water, as well as causing you to rock from side to side.

 … When You Can Kick Like a Frog?

The frog kick is a far better style of fin kick. The frog kick is, again, based on a similar technique in swimming, the breaststroke (but again without the arm movements). It is notcomplicated; it just requires a little time and practice.

The frog kick has several benefits. First, it’s a more efficient form of propulsion, as the diver propels the majority of the water behind him, not above or below. It’s also a more balanced form of kicking, as it does not rock the diver from side to side, which makes it more comfortable.When performed correctly, the frog kick places less stress on a diver’s legs and joints.Finally, as the water is not propelled down, you are less likely to stir up the bottom, which is great for all dives but essential for sites that have silty floors such as caverns and wrecks.

Which finning style do you prefer? Tell us why!