Purpose for a type of fins?
I was not sure where to actually post this thread, so I just put it here.
Anyway, in my thread titled "Buoyancy" in the Freestyle forum, I mentioned that when learning to swim self-taught, I found using fins to be a "crutch" for my need to swim fast enough to stay buoyant enough; instead of actually learning proper technique to address my buoyancy problems. I used Zoomer fins back when I first tried to learn to swim. Yet this morning, I came across a type of fins made by Sporti called "Floating Swim Fins" because of an email sent to me by SwimOutlet (as I am subscribed to their offers) and wonder if anybody knows about these fins as to why they are referred to as "floating".
Due to my buoyancy issues that I currently still have (but working on with the help of some other TI folks), are these going to assist me in conjunction with tips/lessons I am receiving, or just become another possible crutch that I should avoid?
The “floating swim fins” by Sporti and the similar designed FINIS floating fins
are very common at my swimming pool because the local high school swim team uses them. A couple of years ago, I watched the high school swim team’s training practice and they did most of their drills with these types of floating swim fins.
I’ve got (or had) two “floating swim fins”:
The Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sph...rch=SAYT-alpha
and the TYR Burner EBP Floating Fin http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/tyr-burn...ing-fin-22453/
The Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins are really buoyant. Some swimmers think that they’re too buoyant. I liked mine, but the heel strap broke after two years.
I replaced the Alpha Fins with the TYR Burner. Of the two, I much prefer the TYR Burner for everyday swimming. They’re not as buoyant as the Alpa Fins. If you toss the Alpha Fins in the water, they’ll float on top of the water like a cork. The TYR Burner will float slightly below the water.
The “floating” is the buoyancy of the swim fins. If you get tired, you can drag your feet without kicking and your legs will pretty much stay at or near the water surface. They’re like a pull buoy, but with the option to kick.
My swim routine is to start off swimming several slow laps using my swim fins. This gets me warmed up. Since the floating swim fins keep my legs up, it helps reinforce in my mind the position my body needs to be in when I later swim without the fins.
After I warm up, I do swim drills. Like the high school swim team, I find it very helpful to do the drills with swim fins.
I’m mostly a self-taught swimmer, but I did take some lessons. I asked the swim instructor at my pool if I should stop using the swim fins. She told me that if using the swim fins made me more confident, I should continue using them. If using the swim fins meant I would swim more often, I should definitely continue using them. If using the swim fins meant I would do more drills and do them correctly, she insisted I continue using them.
As a self-taught swimmer, in the beginning, I used my floating swim fins at least 80% of the time. As time progressed and I’ve became more confident, my usage of the swim fins has decreased to about 30% and that’s mostly at the beginning of my swim sessions (warm-ups and drills).
That’s my experience with “floating swim fins.” They can become a “crutch” if you let them, but I don’t think my swimming skills would have progressed as far as they have without them. Instead, I would have most likely have gotten so frustrated that I would have abandoned my attempt to learn how to swim.
I always recommend the longer fins (swimoutlet or finis), not shorty's for both new and advanced level swimmers. This will help you feel the kick flow from the hips through the long fin, as well as help reduce/remove excess knee bend or early kick from the knees (difficult to bend the knee with long fins). But as sojomojo noted, don't become dependent on the fins - only to feel the flow from hip to fin-tip, then remove and try to achieve same feeling without the fin.
Thank you both for your insight. You were very informative sojomojo as to how the fins work. Based on that fact, I think they may be a purchase to be made down the road once I can get my buoyancy addressed.
I have found the Alpha fins useful to help me both with kick timing and to give me the feel of what a better kick can do for me.
I only use them for about 100 yards dragging my feet and 100 yards kicking. I took some video here.
Thanks for that information, Streak
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