Swimming with fins is a lot like dancing -- it only works if you match the right moves to the beat. Knowing the proper time to scissor kick, scull, frog kick or flutter is essential to moving efficiently underwater. Here's how to find your groove,
Scissor Kick: This is the standard up-down, long sweeping arc of the legs kick that we all used our first time in the water. It works in any dive condition but is best used when speed and power are at a premium. Scissor kick when you're fighting a big current, trying to catch up to a Whale Shark or just have extra air to burn. To get the most from each stroke, make sure you're as close to horizontal as possible.
Sculling: There's a real art to staying in one place, especially in the shallows where wave action and currents seem to turn your dive site into a washing machine. To scull, lay horizontally over the bottom, bend your knees and move each fin independently to counteract water movements. These will be limited kicks, using mostly the calves and ankles. Sculling is about keeping your balance.
Frog Kick: Move your legs like you're doing the breast stroke, only curl your toes and turn the bottoms of your feet in toward each other at the end of each kick. Flatten your fins out as your legs retract and then repeat. Get into a rhythm and the frog kick will propel you with ease. It's also great near the bottom when you don't want to stir up sand or silt.
Flutter Kick: Maneuvering in tight spaces or snaking along in a swimthrough often calls for the gentle work of the flutter kick. Laying horizontal in the water, bend your knees, put your fins side by side and make tiny kicks up and down. This motion primarily uses the calves and ankles and provides a gentle thrust that allows you to stop and steer with greater precision.