Originally Posted by rgiven
I too had pretty bad dependency! but I wouldn't have got where I am in my swimming without using them.
I had a pretty frustrating time trying to get through a two day workshop with a really weak kick. Following that I used fins a lot to get through the drills, but found this was holding back the development of good balance. I got over this by 1. cutting my fins down leaving only a few inches beyond my toes, giving me just enough propulsion to drill. 2. Doing a lot of superman glide, fish and skaing without fins, using the wall for push off and then stopping and standing up before pushing off again when I lost momentum
I agree with you completely rgiven! As a learning 50+ year old I needed some propulsion to overcome so many other frustrations associated with learning to "enjoy the journey"! Over the past summer I managed to complete a number of pool lengths without the fins ~ but they weren't pretty trips! I had plateaued and now have regressed a bit. Rather than trimming my fins ( Aquasphere Zip fins) I go to where I can just touch the bottom and swim the resulting 12 or 13 meters without the fins in the shallower area. I did this Friday for about 30 minutes continuously without the fins. When I put the fins back on there were a few moments when the fins felt strange and almost had to be re-learned (almost !!!). I don't completely trust myself in the deep water without the fins. With them I'm quite comfortable diving to the bottom (about 12 feet below) head first. Or staying in the deep area all day. Silly isn't it! I know my fin-less kick is worthless and not my friend! ( But with the 2BK we are not really looking for propulsion anyway.) However as the number of times the 13 M length was covered "better" control I did gain. Sometimes this was done with turning without stopping or touching the bottom ~ just to get the feel of swimming 25 M without fins. Maybe as a mental booster too. So ~~ what I'm suggesting is more of the cold turkey method. Swim where there are no concerns other than the kick. Swim with your arms and forget the feet. Just let them follow behind. I expect that in a time shorter than you think, you will be using fins just for fun; and the dreaded fin dependency will be a distant memory. This is starting to help me. If I were in a pool with a max depth of 6 feet I'm sure I would do better. (But touching the bottom 12 feet away is fun too!) Like everything else ... we have to learn this skill ~ no body is going to give it to us!
And like you say.. lots of gliding practice with SG to regain or develop some form of balance that the fins make us lazy in striving for. There's no replacement for hours of practice with a solid effort.