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Above Knee Amputation Fins (AKA)

shinfin fins are used as above knee amputation fins by many people around the world. They give great feedback. Above knee amputees really enjoy them and benefit from them, with direct fin control and power from the hips. Good hip movement helps and shinfin fins help you to develop this too.

Buy fins to fit your thigh stump(s)

  • Fins bend to fit your thigh stump size & shape.
  • Same size fits children to adults.
  • Fit with or without a wetsuit.
  • Extra kick power.
  • Extra water safety.
  • Improve your joint mobility.
  • Stabilise and streamline your body.
  • Balance your stroke.
  • Adjust position to optimise your swimming.
  • Versatile above knee amputation fins.

Yes, you can fit shinfin fins on your thighs. The fin centre flexes open to match your stump size and shape. The rubber straps grip well around your stump, to stop the fin slipping off. The fin fit is very versatile, so you will find these to be very comfortable fins. You can also adjust the fin position to optimise your kick.

Fin size for above knee amputation

There is only one size of fin and they will fit you fine. They fit small thigh stumps and fit large thigh stumps fine. It is only the length of the straps that you need to decide. You select the strap length in the drop-down list when you order your fins. Follow the instructions below, to measure around your legs in the correct places.

Fitting fins on your thigh stump(s)

If your thigh stump is about 15 cm (6 inches) or longer, this should be fine for fitting the fin.

If your thigh stump is shorter than about 15 cm (6 inches) and/or is very tapered, the fin may tend to slide down your stump when you swim. This can be fixed in a number of ways, depending on your needs and preferences.

For example, a neoprene stump-sleeve, or neoprene swimming shorts, can increase the grip of the straps around your leg. That is perhaps the first thing to try. Or you can attach the top of the fin to some sort of waist belt, which might be part of your swimming shorts. You can even use a separate long fin strap to make a waist belt going all the way around your waist and back through the fin buckles, with the strap ends attached together, for example using something like a common “bag clip” (google for images). If necessary, you can also trim the leading edge of the fin with scissors.

Please contact me with any questions about fitting your fins to your thigh stumps – I am happy to help.
Bill Wiegand demonstrating that shinfin fins are also great for above knee amputees (AKA) – here doing freestyle and a flip turn.

Single above knee amputation fins

Single above knee amputees should wear a pair of shinfin fins .

Wear the first shinfin leg fin on your thigh stump. You will probably find it best to fit it on the front of your thigh stump. Or you can wear it on the back of your thigh stump, but that is much less common. Which is best for you, depends on your hip flexibility and joint movements.

Wear the second shinfin leg fin on your shin. Position the fin tips at your toes, or perhaps a bit higher. You could wear it even higher, up on your thigh, but that is less common. By the way, it is not advisable to wear a foot flipper instead. That will disturb your stroke balance and power because a foot flipper requires a different biomechanical kick action. It requires more knee-bend with power from your calf muscles, instead of a straighter leg kick with power from the large muscles in your thigh, buttock and torso. A foot flipper would also strain your foot, ankle and calf muscles.

I strongly recommend wearing a pair of shinfin fins, as above. Whilst you could just wear only one fin, on your shin or on your thigh stump, having a fin on each leg gives you best stroke balance and power. That is what nearly all of our amputee customers do, if they can. Fit the first fin on your thigh stump. Fit the second fin on your shin.

Bilateral above knee amputation fins

Bilateral above knee amputees should wear a pair of shinfin fins, one fin on each thigh stump. You will probably find it best to fit them on the front of your thigh stumps. You could wear them on the back of your thigh stumps, but that is much less common. Which is best for you, depends on your hip flexibility and joint movements.

Strap lengths

Measure around your legs where you want the fins to strap on, to see whether longer strap(s) may be needed. For a fin on your shin, measure around just above your ankle. For a fin on your thigh stump, measure around your stump about half way up.

If your measurements are 40 cm (16 inches) or less, then the standard length straps that come with the fins will fit you. Any longer requires a long strap. Select your strap lengths when you order your fins: standard, long or mixed (one standard strap and one long strap). You can also order spare pairs of straps with the same length choices. You can cut straps shorter with scissors later, if needed.
Bill Wiegand demonstrating that shinfin fins are also great for above knee amputees (AKA) – here doing freestyle, backstroke and fly.

Stroke power & balance

shinfin fins give you extra kick power and speed through the water. The fins can be worn in different positions on each leg. So your objective is to balance the down kick of one leg with the upkick of the other.

The fins will also help you to get more power from your arm strokes. This is because your left leg kicking down, diagonally balances the force of your right arm pull, and vice versa. You can also experiment with the height and angle of the fins around your legs, to optimise your stroke.

They encourage you to use the large muscles in your thighs, buttocks and torso. So they help you to build muscle tone in these areas. This is likely to benefit your movement out of the water too, as you will know.

Streamlined swimming

shinfin fins also encourage and stabilise a streamlined body position. The fin positions and angles on your legs, lifts your legs and body more horizontal to reduce drag, even for slow kicking and gliding.

The fins will help to lift your thighs to a horizontal streamlined swimming position, on your front or on your back. This works even if you don’t kick and just swim a little with your arms. Then, if you start kicking, the fins will guide you towards a streamlined swimming kick. They achieve this because they have a natural flex that matches a good kicking style for freestyle, backstroke and fly.

You can use them for many water activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving.

Above knee amputation fins reviews

For customer testimonials from people with above knee amputations getting great benefits from these fins, please see Above Knee Amputation Fins (AKA) Reviews.

Helpful advice from an amputee

Many thanks to Bill Wiegand, an amputee sharing his experiences with shinfin fins in these two very interesting articles: stuff you need to know before or after leg amputation and swimming with shinfin fins after amputation.

Wonderful for below knee amputations too

To learn about how these fins also work very well for people with below knee amputations, please see Below-Knee Amputation Fins (BKA) and Below-Knee Amputation Fins (BKA) Reviews.