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Below knee amputee lap swimming fins


The very first time he used them, Dave, a below knee amputee, felt his lap swimming greatly improved by shinfinTM fins. They help him get up onto the water, lifting his thighs horizontal and his body streamlined. So he no longer drags his backside along. This is because shinfinTM fins encourage smooth horizontal swimming, with more flutter kick power from his hips.

Dave’s review from Snoqualmie, USA

“I am a below knee amputee. I wanted to get back into swimming and was finding that doing a normal flutter kick my progress was not good. In fact, I either stayed in the same place or actually went backwards. Used the shinfinTM fins and what a great improvement! Back to getting power out of the kicks. I was able to get up on the water and enjoy doing laps again rather than literally dragging my backside along. Thank you very much for creating and supplying them.”

Dave’s review: Lap swimming fins for below knee amputee

“I’ve only had a chance to try them once so far, since I travel a lot for my work. To start off, I am a below knee amputee. Before the operation, I did a lot of swimming. Part time job I was a PADI Dive Master and Rescue Diver. No, the amputation wasn’t due to a vicious piece of kelp :). It was due to a bonehead driver not looking forward before performing a U-turn on a two lane highway. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“I wanted to get back into swimming and was finding that doing a normal flutter kick my progress was not good. In fact, I either stayed in the same place or actually went backwards (probably due to too much normal fin experience).”

“Used the shinfinTM fins and what a great improvement! Back to getting power out of the kicks. I was able to get up on the water and enjoy doing laps again rather than literally dragging my backside along. Being the first time in the pool, I had one minor issue. While I had made the fin tight enough on my BKA, it was too loose to stay up just under my knee on my “good” leg. Simple adjustments for next time.”

“Thank you very much for creating and supplying them.”

Reply

I’m very happy to hear you found your fins a great improvement for your lap swimming. We have many lower limb amputees using shinfinTM fins around the world and we get great feedback. It depends on the person of course but many amputees can pretty much get back to swimming as normal with shinfinTM fins, finding them very beneficial. Good hip movement helps and shinfinTM fins help to develop this too. With below knee amputees like yourself the knee joint helps to control the angle of the fin a bit more. Above knee amputees still usually find the fins very beneficial too.

The shinfinTM fins will help to lift your legs to a horizontal streamlined swimming position, on your front or on your back, even if you don’t kick. If you then kick a little bit, the fins will guide you towards the correct swimming kick. shinfinTM fins do this because they have a natural flex that matches a good kicking style for freestyle, backstroke or fly. They encourage you to use the large muscles in your thighs, buttocks and torso and so help to build muscle tone in these areas. (Foot flippers are quite different as they require much more knee bend, and strain your feet, ankles and calf muscles.)

Fitting

As you have found, the fins give extra kick power, encourage and stabilise a streamlined body position, and lift legs horizontal to reduce drag (even for slow kicking and gliding). The fins can be worn in different positions on each leg. The idea is to balance the down kick of one leg with the upkick of the other. The fins will also help get more power from the arm strokes because the left leg kicking down diagonally balances the force of the right arm pull, and vice versa. You can experiment with the height and angle of the fins around your legs to optimise your stroke.

I suggest you fit the other fin lower down on your shin, with the fin tips at your toes or perhaps a bit higher. That way the strap crossover is around the narrowest part of your leg, just above your ankle. Otherwise the straps can slide back to this narrowest point and hence loosen, which is perhaps what you found. The fin tips should reach about the end of your toes, with your toes pointed. You can line the fins up on any toe, the aim being to get the fins lying across your kick direction. It is worth experimenting with the angle and height of both fins to optimise your kick power. When fitted correctly, the fins and straps should not slide around your leg.

I hope this helps. Please let me know how you progress.

Dave

“Thanks for the information. Feel free to publish any part of my email on your website.”

Reply

Thank you for your kind permission Dave. Personal recommendation is very important to help a new product like this along, so I really appreciate it. And the shinfinTM word is spreading well thanks to people like you. All the best.

Conclusion

Most people, including below knee amputees and other amputees, find shinfinTM fins greatly improve their lap swimming. They help you get up onto the water by lifting your thighs horizontal and your body streamlined. So you no longer drag your legs and backside along. This is because shinfinTM fins encourage better flutter kick power from your hips and overall smoother, more horizontal swimming.

Further reviews show the fins being used by a bilateral below knee amputee lap swimming and another double below knee amputee swimming on her front and back. These other reviews illustrate fin use for rehabilitation after back surgery and for lap swimming in ocean pools too.