Kate loves using her shinfinTM fins for swim training, even more because they avoid the Achilles pain and calf cramps caused by conventional fins. She enjoys them for full stroke freestyle and backstroke and also for kick exercise drills, with and without a kickboard. They give her many swim training benefits, with comfort too.
Kate’s review from Perth, Australia
“I love using them. Overall, I’m really happy with the fins and I get asked about them every time I swim! I use the fins for full stroke freestyle and backstroke. And for drills, with and without a kickboard. I have a chronic Achilles problem and was getting very frustrated with my swim training as conventional fins were out of the question. Just one kick and my calf would cramp up.”
Kate’s review: Swim training fins that avoid Achilles pain & calf cramps
“The fins are just fab, thanks. I have a chronic Achilles problem and was getting very frustrated with my swim training as conventional fins were out of the question. Just one kick and my calf would cramp up, so no drills for me.”
“I love using them. My only frustration I suppose is the speed with which I get them on, especially when I’m squad training and we are swapping quickly between using and not using fins. I have followed the instructions you sent, and have got quicker as my fingers get to know where things are, but I sometimes find it tricky to maintain the right “tension” when I’m doing up the second thread of the “buckle”. Any top tips gratefully received!”
“Overall, I’m really happy with the fins and I get asked about them every time I swim!”
Many thanks for your reply Kate. I’m glad to hear you love your fins. And thank you for helping to spread the word. What kind of training do you do with them: full stroke, kick board etc.? Where do you swim?
I’m sorry the straps aren’t as intuitive as I’d like, but it gets easier with practice. Following the tips we sent with the fins and by email, each fin usually takes about 30 seconds to put on, 10 seconds to take off, and 10 seconds to tighten or loosen whilst wearing the fins. Here are some more strapping tips.
“Thanks for the extra tips.”
“To answer your questions, I use the fins for full stroke freestyle and backstroke. And for drills, with and without a kickboard. I swim at Bold Park, an outdoor pool in Perth.”
“When it gets a bit warmer, I’m looking forward to trying them out in the ocean. I’m hoping for a good summer of open water swims.”
“By all means use what I’ve written.”
Thank you for your kind permission Kate. Personal recommendation is very important to help a new product like this along, so I really appreciate it.
Kickboards & kicking exercises
Thanks for letting me know about your swimming. I’d be particularly interested to hear how you think the fins compare for full-stroke swimming compared to swimming with a kickboard. I think they work best for full stroke swimming. That is what I really designed them for.
For kicking exercises, you might like to keep your arms going but with longer strokes and not pulling so hard. Then your kick technique is most likely to remain the same, so you are strengthening for the right action. Also, you should feel your arm stroke lengthening and becoming smoother, and your breathing nice and regular, some other benefits of training with shinfinTM fins. You can use them for kick-only exercises, with or without a kickboard. But your body position and hence kicking technique is more likely to change, especially with a kickboard.
Streamlined freestyle, backstroke & fly
They are designed to work best with a good streamlined kick like swimmers use for freestyle, backstroke or fly (not breaststroke). We get a lot of great feedback from swimmers saying that swimming with shinfinTM fins (especially full stroke swimming) improves their horizontal body position, breathing, speed and overall swimming technique (arms too).
The shinfinTM kick does more than just add leg power. It balances your arm pull and supports good breathing technique. For example, in freestyle, there is often a larger kick down with the left leg when the right arm pulls (and with the right leg when the left arm pulls). A diagonal force balance across your body.
Benefits transfer to “no-fins” swimming
Most importantly, the benefits of swimming with shinfinTM fins transfer across to your “no-fins” swimming too, especially if you swim a bit more just after you take off your shinfinTM fins. This is because the shinfinTM kick is very similar to a proper streamlined “no-fins” kick. You feel the shinfinTM power in your thighs, buttocks, stomach and torso. The same muscles as for good “no-fins” swimming.
A foot flipper kick is very different, with more knee-bend and power in your calf muscles and ankles. So foot flippers can’t provide the same benefits, as their biomechanics is all wrong for a proper streamlined “no-fins” kick.
I have a suggestion for you. Immediately after you have swum with the shinfinTM fins for a while, take them off and swim a bit more. You should find that your body remembers the shinfinTM kick pattern, so your “no-fins” swimming improves too. If you keep doing this each time you go swimming then you should notice continual improvements in your swimming technique. I would be very interested to hear how you get on with this.
You will love using shinfinTM fins for swim training, even more because they are comfortable and avoid the Achilles pain and calf cramps caused by conventional fins. Furthermore, their swim training benefits transfer over to your “no-fins” barefoot swimming. So you can enjoy wearing them them for full stroke freestyle, backstroke and fly, both in a pool and for open water swimming. You can also use them for kick exercise drills, with and without a kickboard.