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swim fins
Old 12-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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swim fins

I am swimming laps and have though about trying swim fins for fun, extra speed and to improve my kick form. Anyone use them? What kind do you use? These little ones are intriguing:

Or would it be better to use less stiff ones, that are longer:



Or some shorter, less stiff fins:



I've never used flippers in a pool or anywhere else.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:29 AM   #2
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Does the pool you swim at have any swim fins for swimmers to use? If so that would be a good starting place. My pool has a bunch of equipment and though I don't lap swim, I do water exercise 5-6 days a week.

Looks like quite a lot of swim fin choices. I hope you get some good input from users of the products.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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I don't use fins but I use swim gloves and I really notice a difference when I wear them .
Amazon.com: Speedo Aqua Fit Training Swim Gloves: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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It has been a while since I used fins. The one thing I remember is they are hard to walk in, and people stumble getting to and from the pool. Therefore, either put them on and off in the pool, or use the shorter fins. I have never seen anything on how the effect a workout. We always used them to become more efficient and faster in the water.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by powerplay View Post
Does the pool you swim at have any swim fins for swimmers to use? If so that would be a good starting place.
Unfortunately it does. It really would be nice to give something a try first, but it probably isn't possible.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
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Martha,

I recommend Zoomers rather than the longer, more flexible fins used by scuba divers. I used fins for a while when I had an elbow injury to take stress off of it. I can tell you that it is a difficult adjustment going back to swimming without them. With the fins you ride higher in the water and can go much faster (until my calves cramped). When you go back to swimming without them, it feels like you are dragging a rowboat.

If you are sharing a lane, be careful. Your increased speed will have you coming up onto others in your lane much sooner than you expect. It can also be a little tricky getting flip turns adjusted to your higher speed.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Martha,

A couple of comments.

- My Background: I swim anywhere from once to four times a week. I'm a long way from being an Olympic quality swimmer but I do swim with a Master's group and do occasional triathlons so I'm a fairly strong swimmer compared to the average guy.

- Most of the "serious swimmers" that I know have Zoomers or something similar.

- I would not recommend the very long, very flexible type fins that divers use.

- The Zoomers that you show come in two types "Red" and "Blue." I think that the Blue is best for most people. The Red is for sprinters. (I may have my colors backwards so verify this.)

- They also have another type that is slightly longer and slightly more flexible called the "Z2." They are blue with white tips. That is what I currently have.

- In the past I had some Blue type Zoomers. I can't really say I liked one type more than the other. I'm fine with both of them. The Z2s are a little faster.

- I don't use fins when swimming very often but I use them almost 100% of the time when I'm just kicking. I dislike kicking without fins. Fins make it more fun because you can go a lot faster.

- I think that the above comment probably applies to most beginning swimmers for swimming as well as kicking. With fins you may be able to swim farther and faster, enjoy it more and get more exercise without getting as tired.

- I would alternate with and without fins just because I would want to become a better swimmer without them but that's just my preference. Some people use them all of the time.

- The Zoomers company advertises that you can get a better aerobic workout with Zoomers vs straight swimming and I suspect that is true for many swimmers.

- I have read that stiffer fins can put more stress on your knees but I have never had any problems with it despite some pretty bad knee injuries from other sports and I don't know of any one that has had problems. In fact I have used them to help rehabilitate from knee injuries. Some fins are made to be less stiff or have slits or holes that are supposed to help minimize stress. I suggest looking into this if you have knee problems otherwise I don't think it is an issue.

- If you swim consistently I recommend getting some. They only cost about $30 and I think that they are worth the investment.



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Old 12-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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Martha , sorry this is off topic but the best bathing suits for pools are Lands End chlorine resistant suits . They last forever .
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Martha
I recommend Zoomers rather than the longer, more flexible fins used by scuba divers. I used fins for a while when I had an elbow injury to take stress off of it. I can tell you that it is a difficult adjustment going back to swimming without them. With the fins you ride higher in the water and can go much faster (until my calves cramped). When you go back to swimming without them, it feels like you are dragging a rowboat.

If you are sharing a lane, be careful. Your increased speed will have you coming up onto others in your lane much sooner than you expect. It can also be a little tricky getting flip turns adjusted to your higher speed.
I've heard that at least the Zoomers are not too difficult for turning. Where I am swimming no one ever shares a lane.

Mb, your are right, the blue Zoomers are the nonsprinter version and are slightly more flexible so likely more appropriate for me.

I'll likely go for the Zoomers.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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Martha , sorry this is off topic but the best bathing suits for pools are Lands End chlorine resistant suits . They last forever .
Yes, I love their suits, especially as they have short torso suits.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:09 PM   #11
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Well, I bought the Zoomers:


I tried them out today and they are fun. I feel like Mark Spitz with my nice big floppy feet. It is amazing how much faster you do go and how much harder you can work your legs.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #12
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- I don't use fins when swimming very often but I use them almost 100% of the time when I'm just kicking. I dislike kicking without fins. Fins make it more fun because you can go a lot faster.
mb - great post. I'm a swimmer and agree with you. I will highlight what you implied by this point - using fins with a kickboard or pure kicking exercises is more fun and will probably help most people with their kicking form more than anything else. Regular swimming with fins could hurt form if kicking is a weak point.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:30 PM   #13
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Martha , sorry this is off topic but the best bathing suits for pools are Lands End chlorine resistant birthday suits . They last forever .
Fixed!
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:51 PM   #14
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I swim with a friend, and she uses Zoomers all the time. Although I am slow, she is slower, and with the Zoomers she is as fast as me. I tried them, and they make me feel like I know what I'm doing - I zoom! But then the calf and foot cramps start. So I'm guessing that means that my calves are working harder when wearing them, which shouldn't be a bad thing, eh?
I'm also told they are good for skinny or very muscular people just learning to swim, who would otherwise sink. I have no problem sinking. If I wanted another career, I could be a buoy.
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