Lubomir Stefanoff | freediving and UW photography

Old school Russian monofin

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Training

Today I tried my new monofin – a genuine Russian monofin for finswimming, made some 10 years ago or even more… It’s a gift from Stefan Todorov (renowned underwater video operator and former champion in underwater orienteering). I turned 25 a few days ago and that was a great surprise :)
Russian monofin - back Russian monofin - frontThe monofin was crafted from first class fiberglass material. The rubber footpockets are a bit damaged but that could be easily fixed.
This morning I tested it in the pool. The footpockes are fairly tight (maximizing efficiency) but still feel great, as if the monofin is an extension of the feet! Only I have to wear some fabric (special socks for finswimming?) to prevent blisters. The blade is a bit stiff – it’s designed for fin swimming, not dynamic apnea (supposed to be ‘long’ distance), but we’ll modify it soon.
I had not planned a training session for today, just wanted to try out the new equipment. I did an easy 50 m and felt great…the glide is longer compared to my Waterway Nemo Wing monofin. I rested for just over a minute and did another 50m…and soon I ended my 20th lap (50m) with 1:20 rest intervals inbetween, feeling really good and confident. I did not count the number of kicks…that’s on my to-do list for next week. I can clearly see the difference between open-heel footpockets (no socks necessary) and closed ones (similar to Omer Millenium). Can’t wait to try a 100+ meters dynamic with it!
Monofins pile Well, did I mention that I’ve got TWO Russian fins, not just one…The other one has a little crack right on the edge and I’ll delegate the repair works and experimentation to Volodya (spearfisherman/retired military pilot with innovative and ‘crazy’ ideas about [mono]fins design).

Enough about monofins… Tomorrow we’re heading to Porto Koufo for the Skandalopetra event…I’d better do some equalization exercises now. Stay tuned for some pics and the story behind them.


5 Comments for this entry

  • Sanne

    That sounds like a good training indeed. Curious to see what a 100+ DYN will do for you, be sure to update about it ;)

    Good luck with the depth's and equalizing. Looking forward to the next update.

    • Lubomir Stefanoff

      10x Sanne.
      I believe I can do 120 DYN…I’ll find out next week.
      Indeed, interval training with short rests + combined swimming 25m underwater/25 m surface (500 m total) produces good results. Intensity is the key word :) (good to have somebody to spot you though)

      Good luck with your training, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you in the RMC competition!

  • Sanne

    Have you ever tried the intensity training we like to call Crawl Without Breathe. I'm writing an article about this exercise, but basically it comes down to doing a surface crawl without lifting your head out for air ;) .

    We started out with 6 or 8 strokes without, but nowadays I usually do 50 meters, rest and continue with another 50 meters and so on…

    I'll let you know when I have finished this article, because I just love that exercise.

    thanks for the best wishes, I'll be sure to update you from location.

    • Lubomir Stefanoff

      Yes, last year I found an article by Natalia Molchanova (I think it was on freedive central) – and the idea was basically this. Really good exercise…I’ve tried it, I feel ‘proud’ when I finish a nasty pyramid :)
      Looking forward to hear your insights and experiences (results achieved) with it.

  • lFR7sWURwdvIH0aX0eNy

    Hm, yes, a lot of records have been set with these fins… Textolite, as we call the material they are made of, may not be as good as pure carbon, but is really very good. It allows users to achieve a near parabolic bending during strokes. As I watched Lubo swim with his new fin I noticed that a greater part of it is bending – nearer to the feet. He still has not adopted his body to the new flexibility but it seems he spends less energy compared to the previous fin. I will try to further improve the other one.

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