View Full Version : Embarrassed that I can only dolphin kick for my Divemaster test

05-27-2015, 02:43 PM
Okay here's something interesting about me: I only know how to swim two ways. On my back and dolphin kick. In August I will have to swim to qualify to do the Divemaster course, and I am super embarrassed that I can't do "normal" swimming. I don't even know the name of the one where one arm reaches up and forward and then you use the other arm. I took swimming lessons as a kid but now I suck. I am uncomfortable swimming on the waters surface rather than below, and I don't know what to do. I can't find any swimming lessons for adults, either. What should I do? I feel like a fool, not knowing how to swim normally'

Imogen Finnly
05-27-2015, 03:04 PM
Dont feel that way, i am the exact same as you. I can sort of swim the normal way, but for me dolphin kick is more comfortable and natural. Watch videos and people who you know regularly swim, ask them for a demo. Good luck

formerly jayy

05-27-2015, 03:22 PM
Freestyle and breaststroke are the keywords you're looking for--breaststroke to me has always been thinking of swimming like a frog. I don't really have any advice for you directly but I wish you luck. :)

Mermaid Gaelle
05-27-2015, 03:55 PM
The '' the one where one arm reaches up and forward and then you use the other arm. '' is called The Crawl. It is quite technical, but I'm you sure you could fin some neat tutorial on youtube :)

05-27-2015, 04:08 PM
What level diver are you right now? You're open water or advanced open water, correct? And you're moving to Honduras to pursue the DM and instructor courses eventually, if memory serves? You should have plenty of time to practice the crawl stroke and work up to it enough to pass the swimming portion of the DM exams. I did the divemaster course a few years ago and I am a terrible terrible "human style" swimmer, but give me fins and I'm good. I managed to pass the swimming/stamina test even though the no-fin swim part took me forever. Here is the breakdown of the stamina tests and the point scoring (found on this website (http://www.divebuddy.com/blog/297/dive-master-stamina-test-breakdown/)).

400 yard swim
no aids such as fins, snorkel or mask using any stroke or combo of strokes)

6 minutes or less = 5 pts
6 - 8 minutes = 4 pts
8 - 10 minutes = 3 pts
10 - 12 minutes = 2 pts
12 minutes = 1 pt

15 minute water tread
(using no aids, hands must be out of water for last 2 minutes)

Perform satisfactorily = 5 pts
Stayed afloat but hands not out of water for 2 mins = 3 pts
Used side or bottom but no more than twice = 1 pt

800 yard timed snorkel swim
(using mask, fin, and snorkel but no BC/floatation aid, face in water without using arms to swim, nonstop)

13 minutes or less = 5 pts
13 - 15 minutes = 4 pts
15 - 17 minutes = 3 pts
17 - 19 minutes = 2 pts
Over 19 minutes = 1 pt

100 yard rescue diver tow
(wearing full scuba, push or tow diver 100 yards nonstop)

2 minutes or less = 5 pts
2 - 3 minutes = 4 pts
3 - 4 minutes = 3 pts
4 - 5 minutes = 2 pts
Over 5 minutes = 1 pt

You must score 12 out of possible 20 points to pass these tests.

So for the swimming test, all you really have to be able to do is to swim the required distance without touching the sides or bottom. You can still pass it even if it takes you more than 12 minutes (it definitely took me more than 12), you'll just get only one point for it, but as long as you do well enough on the other stamina tests (which are pretty easy), then you should be able to score a total of 12 points or more for the whole thing. Make sense?

05-27-2015, 04:12 PM
Oh yeah, and when I was doing the tread-water test, where you have to have your hands out of the water for the last 2 minutes, the other DM candidate thought it would be great fun to not tell me when the 2 minutes were up :P Hence he got to watch me flopping around in the water with my hands up for like five minutes going "I'm SURE this feels like it's been more than two minutes!!" :P I definitely got 5 points for that one... :rolleyes:

05-27-2015, 07:02 PM
Yes, I am going to get my Rescue Diver in two weeks then in August I am doing DM, instructor, and getting my first mate certification/license. I know I can make the 400m swim even if it takes awhile, I just wish I could do it in a normal way instead of alternating between backstroke and dolphin kick lol! The others will be a breeze, especially treading water. I float like a freaking bouy!!! In just a swimsuit in a pool I can barely sink haha! It's my big butt I think. Good to know that even if the 400 takes me awhile I can still pass. I am also a queen in fins. I just never learned how to swim without fins. Now that I've been a mermaid for so long I can dolphin kick well with no fins and I could always swim on my back or in a life vest (I grew up on a lake) but I can't "crawl" or any other stroke worth a darn. I really hope I can find an adult class somewhere as I would like to learn!

Mermaid Kelda
05-28-2015, 03:40 AM
This might not be very helpful, but I never learned to swim traditionally either and I find that the scissor kick, or side stroke, is easiest for me when I'm not in fins.
It's a stroke that keeps your head above water, doesn't use much energy, and is easy to learn since it's somewhat of an instinctual movement in the water. Life guards often use it when rescuing people, as you can do it even with one arm holding another person above water. It looks like this: https://youtu.be/WN0eGhrfEs0?t=1m13s and there are heaps of tutorials out there (the full video I linked is pretty good!).