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joshua
May 17th, 2012, 09:18 PM
I have a pretty good kick in freestyle but would like to improve on it. I devote about 30% of every session to kick work with fins. I would like to hear fin recommendations - specifically: long, medium or short? what brand? fins that float or not?
I feel the fins greatly improve my ankle flexibility and kicking technique.

mlabresh
May 17th, 2012, 09:36 PM
I'm on my first pair of fins and have only used them a handful of times.. no recommendations, but I'm interested in what others have to say!

:popcorn:

Calvin S
May 17th, 2012, 10:33 PM
My opinion: for KICKING sets with fins, I think long fins or a monofin (talk to Fortress about that one) are best. And even more specific, for LONGER kick sets, long fins over the monofin (I tend to only use it when I am doing 25s or 50s but no longer than that). Short fins, or "zoomers" as my club team used to call them, are better for swimming sets which call for fins. Nowadays, I don't even take my own advice and use strictly long fins, but that is because I threw out my zoomers in college because I hated them so much and haven't bothered buying a new pair. Zoomers versus long fins will change which muscles in the legs are getting worked harder. In the end though, do whatever is more comfortable. I know people who hate long fins as much as I hate short fins, considering them "unwieldy."

Fins25
May 17th, 2012, 11:31 PM
I like to use medium sized fins that have some but not too much flexibility. This allows me to build the strength in my legs. Long fins change my kicking technique into a more scuba diving type action.

I also ensure that I do lots of kick without fins so my legs don't become reliant on them.

joshua
May 18th, 2012, 12:21 AM
As to monofins: I haven't used them for years but when I did, I didn't feel improvement except in my underwater fly. Actually, I felt that the only thing that monofins were doing for me was making me a better monofin swimmer, which was not my goal.

I agree that different size fins work different muscles and I also agree that long fins change body alignment. I feel that shorter fins keep my body more aligned with my non-fin body position.

Calvin S
May 18th, 2012, 08:45 AM
I feel that shorter fins keep my body more aligned with my non-fin body position.

Which is why I think they are better for "fin" swimming!

ALM
May 18th, 2012, 10:03 AM
We tested fins for an issue of SWIMMER magazine. Watch the video review here:

SWIMMER Magazine Fin Testing - YouTube

mlabresh
May 18th, 2012, 10:05 AM
The ones I have are shorter - the Speedo training fins, I believe. I like them and haven't noticed any difference in my body alignment when I use them. I could see how longer ones would though.

Does anyone have any experience with breaststroke fins? I'd really like to get some to try out, but my size is on back order (everywhere!) until fall. My feet tend to be a bit lazy when I kick out and I wondered if the added resistance would help fix my positioning.

The Fortress
May 18th, 2012, 10:55 AM
My opinion: for KICKING sets with fins, I think long fins or a monofin (talk to Fortress about that one) are best. And even more specific, for LONGER kick sets, long fins over the monofin (I tend to only use it when I am doing 25s or 50s but no longer than that). Short fins, or "zoomers" as my club team used to call them, are better for swimming sets which call for fins. Nowadays, I don't even take my own advice and use strictly long fins, but that is because I threw out my zoomers in college because I hated them so much and haven't bothered buying a new pair. Zoomers versus long fins will change which muscles in the legs are getting worked harder. In the end though, do whatever is more comfortable. I know people who hate long fins as much as I hate short fins, considering them "unwieldy."

I mostly agree with Calvin. And like Calvin, I use only long blade fairly stiff fins. I think shorter fins would be better for freestyle, but I don't really train free. I spend a lot of time underwater dolphin kicking in fly and back so prefer the long fins for swimming those strokes and for breast. Long fins are definitely the way to go for kick sets. And monofins are fantastic! I don't use them to swim fly and hence am not a "monofin swimmer" as Joshua commented. I use the Finis Shooter MF exclusively for dolphin kicking. And, trust me, you don't just become a "monofin kicker." They build swim specific leg and core strength and help perfect streamlines. I would definitely not be as good a kicker without my use of fins and the MF.

jbs
May 18th, 2012, 10:59 AM
Does anyone have any experience with breaststroke fins? I'd really like to get some to try out, but my size is on back order (everywhere!) until fall. My feet tend to be a bit lazy when I kick out and I wondered if the added resistance would help fix my positioning.

I've used the breaststroke fins and like them. They do seem to help you feel where your feet should be in the kick.

However, I'd caution you to warm up your legs a lot before you use them -- particularly with some breaststroke kick. Also, start out easy at first until you get used to them.

scyfreestyler
May 18th, 2012, 12:21 PM
I picked up some Finis Gold Zoomers a few months ago to try and strengthen my kick. 95% of the work I've done with them is kick sets, with very little actual swimming with them. As my intent was to improve my kick for sprinting, that's what most of my kick sets were...high intensity efforts. Lots of AFAP 25's and 50's. After several weeks there was some improvement in my 25 and 50 kick times, though I probably overdid it a bit as I wound up with some knee pain and had to back off for awhile.

I did wind up swimming a PB in the 100 Free without resting or shaving, though I'm not sure how much of that can be contributed to the fin work.


Good luck!

ALM
May 18th, 2012, 12:37 PM
I picked up some Finis Gold Zoomers a few months ago to try and strengthen my kick.

Matteo, have you ever used the blue or red Zoomers? I used to have the blue ones. I think they have stopped making them and have gone to the gold. I just wondered how the gold ones compare to the old blue or red ones.

scyfreestyler
May 18th, 2012, 12:45 PM
Matteo, have you ever used the blue or red Zoomers? I used to have the blue ones. I think they have stopped making them and have gone to the gold. I just wondered how the gold ones compare to the old blue or red ones.

This is actually my first time using fins so I don't have anything to compare them to.

2fish&1whale
May 18th, 2012, 09:34 PM
Love my TYR Crossblade fins-they are neither short like zoomers or long like scuba fins.They work great for my back stroke and free kick sets.I have always liked working with fins because my kick is worth :censor: and they allow me to focus much more on my stroke technique.

joshua
May 19th, 2012, 12:03 AM
Jayhawk - thanks for the link.

Presently I am using the AlphaFin and I find them very comfortable, perhaps because they float. I am considering getting the Finis Gold.

I use the fins to increase ankle flexibility, strengthen kicking muscles and in overspeed sets for fitness. Would the Finis Gold be a good choice for these purposes?