Dawn, a quad amputee, felt like a mermaid wearing her shinfinTM fins on her legs for snorkeling, and also on her arms for paddling her surfboard. Dawn has one leg amputated just below the knee and the other leg amputated just above the knee. Her arms are amputated just below her elbows. When she wears the shinfinTM fins on her arms, she wears them on the underside of her arms with the fin tips pointing away from her shoulders. The fins can fit in all these different positions on Dawn’s arms and legs because the fins are made from flexible polyurethane and the rubber straps are highly adjustable.
Cindy’s/Dawn’s review from Florida, USA
“Cindy: I am so excited to find your invention. I have a girlfriend, Dawn, who was a very active athlete before losing all 4 limbs to amputation. Her legs were amputed one just below the knee and one just above the knee. Her arms are amputated just below the elbow. I wanted to let you know that she liked your fins. She wore them on her arms and was able to paddle on a surfboard as well as turn the board around (which she couldn’t do without the fins). She also wore the fins on her legs, and they worked pretty good to give her some additional propulsion.”
“Dawn: Thanks for creating the fins. I felt like a mermaid :)!”
Cindy’s/Dawn’s review: Quad amputee surfboard paddling & snorkeling fins
“I am so excited to find your invention. I have a girlfriend, Dawn, who was a very active athlete before contracting malaria in Africa and as a result losing all 4 limbs to amputation. Dawn is coming to visit me on my sailboat in the Caribbean, and I want to surprise her the gift of your fins to help propel her while snorkeling.”
“Her legs were amputed one just below the knee and one just above the knee. Is there anything special that I need to think about while ordering these fins for her? From looking at the photos of your product, it seems to me that she could wear them both above the knee on her thighs/quadraceps. Any thoughts before I order would be appreciated. If this works, I will be forever grateful to you for returning some mobility and activity to my friend’s life. (And I will probably order another set for myself!) Thanks.”
Yes, the fins can be worn on her thighs. You just need longer straps for that. You can always cut the straps shorter with scissors later, if needed. If Dawn has about 6 inches or more of stump below her kneecap then she could wear that fin on her shin, with the other fin still on her other thigh.
Dawn could even try wearing the fins on the back of her thighs, especially if she has difficulty straightening her hip joints.
Where are her arm amputations?
Please let me know how she goes and I will do my best to suggest how she can get the most from her fins.
“Thanks so much for your quick response and helpful advice! In response to your question, Dawn’s arms are amputated just below the elbow. Do you think she could also use the shinfinTM fins on her arms? If that is the case, I will order a second pair and can request the longer straps in that order.”
“Also, the skin near the amputations is very thin and tender. Do you think she could wear some neoprene socks under the shinfinTM fins to protect her delicate skin or will it slide around too much?”
“Thanks again. I really appreciate your assistance with this. I’m really hoping this works for her. It will open up her world!”
I assume Dawn will be wearing a mask and snorkel so breathing won’t be an issue.
A bit of forward speed is needed from Dawn’s arms and/or legs. This will cause the water to flow over the fins on her legs and hence lift her legs and body horizontal in the water. This is needed to minimise drag and make swimming easier.
Yes, the fins will certainly strap onto her arms OK. You would need to experiment with the position to match the arm stroke that Dawn is comfortable with, but I think there is a good chance that they will help with propulsion and stability in the water.
And yes, neoprene is a good idea to protect tender skin and the fins will strap fine over that. Perhaps a full wetsuit might be best.
“Again, thanks so much for the quick response and assistance. Yes, I will go ahead and order a second pair. I am hoping that they arrive a little early so that we can try them out before she gets here. If we are comfortable using them, then we can probably better assist Dawn in using them. And if we like them, maybe we will want to order some for ourselves! Thanks again for your help. I will let you know how it goes!”
“I thought of another activity Dawn can probably do with her shinfinTM fins. If she wears them on her arms, she can maybe paddle a surfboard. She was an athlete prior to losing her arms and legs, and now her life has changed to a somewhat sedentary one, which I think bothers her the most. So I am excited to help her do as many fun active things as possible. I can’t wait until the shinfinTM fins arrive so I can try them myself!”
I look forward to hearing how you and Dawn go with them. Any questions just ask, I am here to help.
“I wanted to let you know that my friend Dawn liked your fins. She wore them on her arms and was able to paddle on a surfboard as well as turn the board around (which she couldn’t do without the fins).”
“You can see in this photo that Dawn wore the fins on her legs, and they worked pretty good to give her some additional propulsion. She wasn’t really able to use a flutter kick and did a sort of modified breaststroke kick, kind of frog-like. She was happy with the fins, and I sent a pair home with her. I’m keeping the other pair here for the next time she comes to visit! Thanks for everything.”
Thank you for your kind emails and photos. I’m glad to hear that Dawn liked her fins on her arms and her legs. And they helped her to get out enjoying the water.
“Sure, use my photos. Thanks for creating the fins. I felt like a mermaid :)!”
Thank you for your kind permission. Personal recommendation is very important to help a new product like this along, so I really appreciate it.
If you are a quad amputee, you can wear shinfinTM fins on your legs for swimming, snorkeling and other water activities, and also on your arms for paddling on a surfboard, bodyboard or kneeboard. The fins fit on your legs amputated below the knee or amputated above the knee, and your arms amputated above or below the elbow. You can wear shinfinTM fins on the underside or topside of your arms, with the fin tips pointing away from or towards your shoulders. The fins can fit in all these different positions on your arms and legs because the fins are made from flexible polyurethane and the rubber straps are highly adjustable.
These reviews show a bilateral below knee quad amputee using shinfinTM fins for swim exercise and a foot amputee with sensitive skin using them to learn to swim. These other reviews illustrate paddling with a bodyboard and paddling kneeboarding and surfing.