Thursday, April 7, 2011
Out in the water, I felt like I had nothing on my feet and they definitely lacked the lazy raw power of the UDTs for cruising out to the take off spot. I also found myself reaching down to try to push them further on to my feet as the ankle straps just didn't feel like they had enough tautness to keep them on. It didn't seem to be a problem though and I got used to the sensation after awhile. I also had to change my kicking action, as they are much shorter, so it was back to a kick generated from the knee rather than the hip. I was also missing the length of the UDTs which allow one to more easily kick at the same time as well as arm paddle. As I was on the Tracker, DaFins were just not quite long enough to get properly into the water with out sliding further back on the mat which made it more difficult to arm paddle.
My take off procedure with the UDTs is to generate plenty of forward momentum and use some big porpoising kicks to get on to the wave. This procedure did not work for DaFins as they just did not have enough power to gain as much momentum so it was sit a little deeper and flutter kick like mad to get on the wave. This worked pretty well as they are quite wide fins but did result in considerable energy expenditure and it was probably a shorter session ultimately because of that. Once I was on a wave I seemed to be using the mat to maintain position on the face more than usual as I am in the not so useful habit of using the UDTs to assist. The DaFins were out of the water more and I was going faster so that was an added bonus. I really must start to get my fins out of the water if they are not needed 'cos I love that speed! When I did need to dip a fin, the fact that the verticals on the DaFins do not extend to the tip, meant they did not seem to provide the same degree of assist as the UDTs. Will I be using DaFins when I take out a mat in future? No, they just don't cut it for mat surfing in the way that the UDTs do. However, they are definitely better than my POD 2s so next time I take out a hand board DaFins will be on my feet along with some fin straps securing them to my ankles!