Evaluation of fins used in underwater swimming.

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Evaluation of fins used in underwater swimming.

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Title: Evaluation of fins used in underwater swimming.
Author: Pendergast, DR; Mollendorf, J; Logue, C; Samimy, S
Abstract: Underwater swimmers use fins which augment thrust to overcome drag and propel the diver. The VdotO2 of swimming as a function of speed, velocity as a function of kick frequency, maximal speed (v), maximal oxygen consumption (VdotO2) and the maximal thrust were determined for eight fins in 10 male divers swimming at 1.25 m depth in a 60 m annular pool. A theoretical analysis of fin cycles was also performed. VdotO2 increased as a second order polynomial as a function of velocity; VdotO2 = 0.045 + 1.65B V + 1.66 (2) V2 (r2 = 0.997), VdotO2 = 0.25 + 1.03 V + 1.83 V2 (r2 = 0.997) and VdotO2 = -0.15 + 2.26 V + 1.49 V2 (r2 = 0.997), for least, average and most economical fins respectively. Kick frequency increased linearly with velocity and had a unique movement path (signature), giving theoretical values that agreed with the measured thrust, drag and efficiency. In conclusion, virtually all thrust comes from the downward power stroke, with rigid fins kicked deep (high drag), while flexible fins are kicked less deep but with higher frequency (low efficiency). Kick depth and frequency explain the performance of the eight tested fins, and should be optimized to enhance diver performance.
Description: Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3936
Date: 2003

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