General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Calling all fish! Fin recommendations? Rss Feed  
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2013-10-11 10:54 AM

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Subject: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?

I'm in the market for fins and want to know what swimmers are using today.

In the time I've been swimming, I've never really used fins, but I've heard/read that using them would do great things for my kick.



2013-10-11 11:08 AM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I use Zoomers. I don't know what help they are for my kick, but they do keep me more hydrodynamic with less leg effort.
2013-10-11 11:28 AM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?

I don't have a recommendation, but I'm going to piggy back on here and ask why "real" swimmers use long fins and triathletes use zoomers?

Matt, FTR, I have both, and they certainly feel very different.  I mostly use my long fins for kick sets--we'll see if I'm "right" ;

2013-10-11 12:21 PM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
IMHO, fins is the last swimming aid you should get unless your coach tells you get them.

Fins helps strengthening your leg muscles and so you may get a stronger kick. But kick is inefficient for propulsion, and the longer distance the less you can afford to spend energy kicking. For beginners who do not have much flex in the ankles fins can help gradually build some flex which means that you will be more streamlined in the water even when you swim without fins, no more plowing the water. But you can build flex also by stretching exercises, given time and patience.

While fins may help your body position when you use them, they don't really correct you, so that's of little help when you can't use them. Correct body position requires core strength and learning how to engage the core, the kick comes in second.

The main reason that I use fins is that kick sets usually takes a significant amount of time with very little benefit, with fins I can compress the kick sets with a greater benefit. For a comparison, I would do a 12x50m kick leaving 1:30 without fins, or leaving 1:15 (1:10 on a good day) w. fins, in both cases getting about 15 sec rest,that takes about 12-15min for the 600m kick set. But my entire workout is usually up to 5000m.

If you decide to buy some fins, use fins sparingly, as with all other swimming aids.

Originally posted by switch

I don't have a recommendation, but I'm going to piggy back on here and ask why "real" swimmers use long fins and triathletes use zoomers?



I don't know what you mean by "long" fins. AFAIK there are diving fins and swimming fins.

Diving fins are long, very long, they are meant for low cadence kick that would stir op dirt on the bottom of the ocean. This is great since you'd like to see colourful fish and other interesting stuff that might bite your leg off.

Swimming fins are short and zoomers are swimming fins. They allow a high cadence kick which is natural when you swim without the fins, but just as you have different size paddles, swimming fins comes in different sizes and shapes. Experienced swimmers have the strength and experience and may opt for larger fins.

The problem with (too) large fins is that they reduce the cadence of the kick, and if you are combining with the stroke, your stroke rate goes down as well. That's not really desirable since the stroke is your main propulsion, you don't want to get accustomed to low stroke rate. You should use fins that allows you to keep up the cadence natural for your swimming. If you do kick sets with a kick board, this is of course less of a concern.

I use Speedo Biofuse Training fins, which I think is slightly larger than zoomers but I wouldn't call them long. Maybe I'm not a real swimmer after all then... :P

BR
2013-10-11 12:25 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
Originally posted by erik.norgaardIMHO, fins is the last swimming aid you should get unless your coach tells you get them. Fins helps strengthening your leg muscles and so you may get a stronger kick. But kick is inefficient for propulsion, and the longer distance the less you can afford to spend energy kicking. For beginners who do not have much flex in the ankles fins can help gradually build some flex which means that you will be more streamlined in the water even when you swim without fins, no more plowing the water. But you can build flex also by stretching exercises, given time and patience. While fins may help your body position when you use them, they don't really correct you, so that's of little help when you can't use them. Correct body position requires core strength and learning how to engage the core, the kick comes in second. The main reason that I use fins is that kick sets usually takes a significant amount of time with very little benefit, with fins I can compress the kick sets with a greater benefit. For a comparison, I would do a 12x50m kick leaving 1:30 without fins, or leaving 1:15 (1:10 on a good day) w. fins, in both cases getting about 15 sec rest,that takes about 12-15min for the 600m kick set. But my entire workout is usually up to 5000m. If you decide to buy some fins, use fins sparingly, as with all other swimming aids.
Originally posted by switchI don't have a recommendation, but I'm going to piggy back on here and ask why "real" swimmers use long fins and triathletes use zoomers?
I don't know what you mean by "long" fins. AFAIK there are diving fins and swimming fins. Diving fins are long, very long, they are meant for low cadence kick that would stir op dirt on the bottom of the ocean. This is great since you'd like to see colourful fish and other interesting stuff that might bite your leg off. Swimming fins are short and zoomers are swimming fins. They allow a high cadence kick which is natural when you swim without the fins, but just as you have different size paddles, swimming fins comes in different sizes and shapes. Experienced swimmers have the strength and experience and may opt for larger fins. The problem with (too) large fins is that they reduce the cadence of the kick, and if you are combining with the stroke, your stroke rate goes down as well. That's not really desirable since the stroke is your main propulsion, you don't want to get accustomed to low stroke rate. You should use fins that allows you to keep up the cadence natural for your swimming. If you do kick sets with a kick board, this is of course less of a concern. I use Speedo Biofuse Training fins, which I think is slightly larger than zoomers but I wouldn't call them long. Maybe I'm not a real swimmer after all then... :PBR
oh, sorry, not diving fins, just the regular swimming fins. Mine are TYR and are significantly longer than zoomers, but not diving fin long
2013-10-11 12:33 PM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
Use the fins god gave you! Most people using fins tend to bend their knees more because you are able to get more propulsion doing that, however that is not what you want to do when swimming. If you want to do something for your kick, get a kickboard and start kicking. When you get under 2minutes for a 100 yd kick (no fins), you have a good kick. Then you can start on the rest of the stroke.


2013-10-11 12:42 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I am not a fish by any means but I use Z2 Zoomers just for kick sets. Mainly because my kick is so bad that I get lapped in the slow lane at masters without fins.
2013-10-11 12:55 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?

Originally posted by erik.norgaard IMHO, fins is the last swimming aid you should get unless your coach tells you get them. Fins helps strengthening your leg muscles and so you may get a stronger kick. But kick is inefficient for propulsion, and the longer distance the less you can afford to spend energy kicking. For beginners who do not have much flex in the ankles fins can help gradually build some flex which means that you will be more streamlined in the water even when you swim without fins, no more plowing the water. But you can build flex also by stretching exercises, given time and patience. While fins may help your body position when you use them, they don't really correct you, so that's of little help when you can't use them. Correct body position requires core strength and learning how to engage the core, the kick comes in second. The main reason that I use fins is that kick sets usually takes a significant amount of time with very little benefit, with fins I can compress the kick sets with a greater benefit. For a comparison, I would do a 12x50m kick leaving 1:30 without fins, or leaving 1:15 (1:10 on a good day) w. fins, in both cases getting about 15 sec rest,that takes about 12-15min for the 600m kick set. But my entire workout is usually up to 5000m. If you decide to buy some fins, use fins sparingly, as with all other swimming aids.  

Thanks Erik!  You were definitely one of the guys I was hoping would respond.  I am using some workouts that specifically call for fins, and I have read a lot of articles that recommend training with them some.  Here's an example after a quick google:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/108456-benefits-swimming-fins/

Besides, if nothing else it will help keep my sets more interesting.  I'm currently a 24 minute 1500m swimmer in tri's and swim about 3k-4k three times a week, so I wouldn't say I'm a beginner, but I still have a ways to go.

2013-10-11 1:46 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I mostly use fins during kick sets at masters swim so I don't slow the workout down. I can hardly move when using the kickboard unless I have fins. I will use them occassionally while swimming freestyle if I'm in the super fish lane and I'm trying not to get lapped when sets are 200 yards or longer.

For the last few years I've used the Alpha Fin by Aquasphere. I think butterfliers like it as it's really nice when doing dolphin kicks but it works well on most kick drills.
2013-10-11 4:47 PM
in reply to: reecealan


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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I use the longer TYR ones as well, work well, made it through the whole year. Starting to get a tear on one of them. Building on what others said, I use them mainly for kick sets. But I'll also sometimes use them for the last 1/3 of a session, especially if I'm doing other strokes. Fly is so much more enjoyable with fins. As others have said, its important to not develop an addiction to them.

2013-10-14 10:12 AM
in reply to: 0


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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I'm looking at getting some fins for a number of reasons. First is that they are recommended for a lot of swim drills. Second is for straight kicking sets. Watching the Kona race I definitely noticed the pros were kicking quite vigorously throughout the whole swim, not just dragging the legs behind them. Third, any kick I have currently just plain sucks with a crossover which I want to correct.

With that said I'm looking at the Finis Floating Fins.

Edited by USAFR 2013-10-14 10:13 AM


2013-10-14 12:52 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
I can't stand fins. I have used them maybe a handful of time in my 38 years of swimming. I say if you kick more and have hard kick sets, then your kick will get better. I would be curious as to the opinions of some BTs better swimmers. Simpsonbo or tjfry use them???
2013-10-14 6:19 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?
Churchill bodyboard fins... all the flyers in my squad had them. Stiff for power, short to allow for quick leg turnover.
2013-10-14 7:42 PM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Subject: RE: Calling all fish! Fin recommendations?

I don't know crap about swimming.....but I spend a lot of time watching some very fast swimmers training.  In every practice they break out the fins for at least one set.  None have zoomers, btw.....all long fins.

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