Story of the Fin – How it Evolved

Inventors Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and Leonado DaVinci first came up with the concept of the fin way back in 1717.

But the earliest design is credited to a boy aged 11 years who went on to invent electricity – Benjamin Franklin. His first design was with oval paddles that were made of wood. Because of his achievement, Franklin was included into the International Swimming Hall of Fame almost 250 years later.

The Early 1900s

The next major milestone was in 1914 when Louis Marie de Corlieu, a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, introduced a prototype, which is close to the modern-day design to naval officers from France. Louis went full time into developing the fin after his retirement 10 years later, and eventually he applied for patent in April 1933. Mass productions started only in 1939.

In the meantime, American Owen Churchill was also working on fin designs, inspired by Tahitian natives. Young Tahitians would attach metal straps to weaved mats, dip them in tar, cool and harden them, and place them on their feet before going to the water. Churchill created his design from vulcanized rubber. The cured rubber made them less sticky and harder than natural rubber. The rubber was more durable too.

His design was patented in 1940. However, Churchill could sell only 1000 pairs as snorkeling wasn’t that popular back then.

Mid 1900s

Cressi-Sub, a manufacturer from Italy together with inventor Luigi Ferraro came up with what was the first full foot design in 1948. Made with one-piece molded rubber, you could wear it like a shoe. Cressi-Sub is making snorkeling gear to this day.

The 1980’s

The strap style emerged only after the appearance of the full foot design. There were more snorkeling gear makers who started researching to improve propulsion. The rigid non-flexible blades were heavier, and you had to put in a lot of energy, which caused foot muscle and ankle stress. Flexible blades started to arrive in early 1980s. Manufacturers also began to release lighter weight plastics. Other adaptations started to emerge as well. Side rails and vents were added.

The 1990’s

Dive and snorkel fins saw another innovation in the early 1990s with new blade designs. Till now, the blades had one-piece designs, working much like paddles. Nature’s Wing came up with split blades, where you had to put in a lot less effort in your kicks, and that too without losing propulsion. The buckle system and strap also changed for the better.

Do Not Ignore These 5 Important Checks When Choosing a Side Sleeper Pillow

If you sleep on your side, then you will certainly need a side sleeping pillow. All pillows are not the same. The one for your back or stomach won’t go well with your side position. In fact, it may even be unhealthy for you.

You are sure to find plenty of the best pillows for side sleepers options both online and offline. However do be careful about the side sleeper you select, because like everything else, there are both good pillows and average ones. Don’t be hasty. You want to be sure what you are buying. Here are 5 important checks before deciding.

Is Your Pillow Soft or Sturdy?

Conventional wisdom says that the most comfortable pillows are the softest ones, the ones you can cuddle and relax in bed. But the fact is that, side sleepers need something that is a bit sturdier. In other words, your side sleeper must be firmer, because if it is very soft, then your head will sag into it, and your shoulder won’t get the right support then. On the side, the pillow should be able to hold your head firmly – your head should not sag in the pillow. But of course this doesn’t mean you have to use a stiff pillow. Just ensure that it is soft, but not too much.

What is the Height and Size of Your Pillow?

Don’t use a pillow that is too tall, because if the loft is too much, then it will create a gap between your shoulder and ear and give you neck pain. Make sure that your head is never in an acute angle when you sleep, as this can strain the muscles in your neck. A big sized pillow is always good, so size is usually not a problem, unless it is really small. Also, make sure that the fabric of your pillow’s cover is not so slippery that your head slips in the middle of the night.

Is Your Pillow Adjustable?

In many of the pillows these days, you can adjust the filling inside to make it precisely like you want. In other words, you can either add or take out some of the filling to suit your personal preferences. That’s a great option because this makes you feel the most comfortable. This way, you can easily fill the gap between your shoulder and head.

Is There A Place For Your Arm?

Some side sleeping pillows have a place where you can keep your arm. This is another great addition. Many side sleepers tend to keep their arms below their heads. The problem is, this can cause reduced blood supply to your arm, and even arm paralysis. You can avoid this with an arm rest.

Is There a Money-Back Guarantee?

Sure, you want to buy the side sleeper to use it, and you want it to last for a decent time as well. But what if you don’t like it for some reason? Can you return it and get a refund? It is always wise to check for these things before buying. Research well to select the right side sleeping pillow, but make sure that this option is available.

More reading =>

5 Easy Tricks to Help You Choose the Best Scuba Gear

Personal scuba diving equipment like wetsuit, mask or fins should be selected primarily on the basis of convenience and compliance with dive conditions, and water temperature. For this, equipment seasonality and extra pricing for “thingies” are very typical. Do not let yourself be caught on marketing hooks! You must always take into account tips from scuba diving experts, particularly if you are new to scuba diving. You can always ask your instructor. The person has years of experience and can definitely help you choose wisely.

Often, new divers feel a little daunted at the prospect of purchasing equipment especially when it comes to waterproof cameras. There are after all a lot of styles and brands you can choose from. So how can you know which choice is best for you? There are some important decisions you will have to make, as your life may depend on it, when you are down there in the water.

As soft gear items (including a good dive mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit) are usually the first pieces of equipment that new divers invest in, we have decided to put together a basic guide to choosing those items. It is important to remember that fit, comfort and functionality are always more important than aesthetics, and that sometimes, it’s worth spending a little more money for a higher quality product. After all, when you are underwater, your equipment is your lifeline.

The other important thing is recognizability. Divers in black suits and black vests all look the same underwater. So how can you easily identify your dive buddy? You must never neglect this when buying. Get one or two bright and unique things. But do not forget also about the change of colors underwater. It’s better to choose something white, yellow or lime-green.

Remember the following when choosing your scuba gear.

  1. Start at Your Local PADI Dive Shop – This is where you will find the most trusted advice. Well-trained staff will know the local environment and can also advise on what you will need for travel. However, there are some very decent online stores too where you will get the finest items. Look for reviews before buying. Shop strategically. Look for pre-holiday winter sales, or in the spring when the next year’s gear is arriving in shops.
  1. Look at What Your Instructor Is Using – He or she has spent years perfecting that kit and can offer specific advice for your personal needs based on a professional assessment of your skills.
  1. Buy Gear Appropriate to Your Skill Level – That slick tec back plate looks ultra-cool, but it’s not a great choice for a new diver. While it might be a good idea to follow your instructor, but always remember, you might not be ready for it yet. It’s best to keep your kit simple and suitable for your abilities. You should upgrade as your skills and capabilities increase.
  1. Stick to Established Brands – You don’t want to take a chance when you are diving. So it is probably best to stick to well known brands with credibility. These products have been rigorously tested before they ever reach the market, so you can trust them. They also offer warrantees, and you are more likely to find a technician specifically trained to service these brands.
  1. Be Cautious of Used Equipment – If you are thinking of pre-owned life-support instruments or other gear, always have it inspected first. These things will save you a lot of money, but you need to be sure of them first. And be sure to service any used purchase before that first dive.