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Swimming with tumble turns & aqua aerobics fins

Loving her shinfinTM fins, usually daily, for nine years and more, Gillian uses them for pool swimming with tumble turns and a tougher aqua aerobics workout too. It only took her a short while to become comfortable swimming, doing tumble turns and adjusting her fins without much strength in her hands. She “motors down the pool” with great swimming style doing freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke arms with butterfly legs. The fins guide her into a streamlined kicking technique from her hips. This review shows Gillian’s progression with her fins over her first few days and then at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 2 years, 5 years and 9 years. shinfinTM fins are strong and long-lasting!

Gillian’s review from Blakeview, Australia

“I found them terrific for backstroke. Wow! I swim from the hips anyway, so had no problems adjusting to this type of swimming. Foot flippers always made my shins, ankles and knees ache. My program consists of 50m freestyle, 50m reverse fly kick, 50m fly with breaststroke arms, 50m backstroke, repeated until I run out of time. Generally between 1000m and 1600m. I feel as though I am “motoring” down the pool. I can now do tumble turns at both ends of the pool. Using them to keep me mobile. Love the fins. I’ve shown them to a lot of people at the pool, usually the older generation, like me. I’m happy that my fins have outlasted five pairs of foot flippers. Two years of discomfort before foot flippers snap across the middle!”

Gillians review: Pool swimming fins, tumble turns & aqua aerobics

Gillian (after first day with fins)

“My shinfinTM fins arrived yesterday and I tried them out today. I had a few problems as I do not have a lot of strength in my hands, and had some difficulty adjusting the fins to fit my legs.”

“I found them terrific for backstroke. Wow! I swim from the hips anyway, so had no problems adjusting to this type of swimming. Foot flippers always made my shins, ankles and knees ache.”

“When doing freestyle, I lost power when I turned my head to breathe. The left fin seemed to slide sideways around the leg, but re-adjusted itself. I’m obviously doing something wrong. I use a four-beat kick. Tumble-turns were rather a joke. I’ll need to work out a new system for turning. I found myself continually analysing my technique.”

“In spite of the problems with adjustment, turns etc., I still swam 1,000m. Not too bad for a senior citizen using shinfinTM fins for the first time.”


It sounds like you went very well for your fist time with the fins. Well done.

With shinfinTM fins you need to swim into flip or tumble turns a little bit harder, and keep your knees straight until the fins lift out of the water. This can be a training benefit. For normal (non-flip) turns, bring your knees up and forward as you come to the wall. For flip or tumble turns, and normal turns, they don’t interfere with your push-off from the wall (unlike foot fins which do interfere).

The fins shouldn’t slide sideways around your leg, so I am wondering if you are fitting them quite right. I think some of these fitting tips might help you.

Gillian (after third day with fins)

“Today was the third day with shinfinTM fins. I’m getting better at putting on the fins and I got them off quite easily today. I wanted to show them to the pool physio, and had no problems getting them off. I don’t have an awful lot of strength in my hands, and pulling the straps is quite hard for me, but I am getting there.”

“The tumble turns are easier, too. I automatically did what you have just suggested, and turned quite easily, but am not game to try it in the shallow end yet. I can’t be bothered stopping at the end of the pool.”

“I’ve increased my distance to 1200m with the fins, and do not feel tired when I have finished, but do notice that I have worked everywhere including my arms, later on in the day. I am pleased with this result. I was doing 500m with flippers because they hurt, and did not suit my style of swimming.”

“I’m now using a two-beat kick for freestyle, opposing arm/leg type kick, which seems to suit the shinfinTM fins very well, stopping the fin-roll on my left leg, and keeping me where I am supposed to be in the water. I think I have the fins better adjusted on my legs anyway, now. I feel as though I am “motoring” down the pool. Not bad for a 66+ year old!”

“I’ll let you know how I progress as time goes by. I’m looking forward to greater mobility and strength.”


You are doing very well and it is very interesting to hear your feedback as you get accustomed to the fins. The straps and adjustment do get easier as you get used to them. Yes, I’d love to hear how your progress continues whenever you get a moment to email me.

Gillian (after 6 weeks)

“I’m finding the shinfinTM fins great. I don’t know if having my heels break the surface when doing freestyle is a problem. According to the pool attendants, the fins don’t come out of the water, just my heels, because I swim high in the water. (Too much flotation? Too much body fat?) The pool attendants say my technique looks good, relaxed, neat and clean.”

“Even though I swim with straight legs, my knees are getting stronger, probably because I am not doing breaststroke. I use breaststroke arm-stroke with fly kick.”

“I can do tumble turns again, now, without any problems. I’m not game to do a turn at the shallow end in case I hit the bottom of the pool, but that doesn’t matter. I tried swimming underwater along the bottom, just for fun, but gradually floated to the top. That’s not unusual. I can’t swim underwater normally because I float up, torso and legs first. I just don’t stay down unless I am using foot flippers. Years ago it took me ages to master touching the bottom in a duck-dive, and I still marvel at the people who can stand on the bottom at the deep end of the pool. I tend to do a vertical float without even treading water, with fins or no fins.”

Cuneiform bone spur

“The only problem I am having has nothing to do with the shinfinTM fins. I cracked the cuneiform bone in my foot many years ago, and there is a spur where the crack was. This is on the instep of my foot and any footwear presses on the spur. I need to make a neoprene ring, or something I can strap on to my foot so that the fins don’t thump the spur. The fin only touches the spur in one direction. I used to thin down an area of the foot flippers to ease the irritation, but still had problems. I reckon a donut of neoprene would solve my problem, when I remember to do something about it.”

“People have asked questions about the fins, including the pool physio. I hope you get some more custom.”


You seem to be progressing nicely. I think it is fine to have your heels and feet bubbling on the surface. A lot of the professional swimmers do that! Glad the tumble turns are going fine now.

I’m sorry to hear that they rubbed the top of your foot at the cuneiform bones. You could perhaps fit the fin a little bit higher on your leg to avoid that. However, you should only feel the fins gently pressing along the top of your foot (generally, you only notice it if you think about it). If the fin is pressing harder then it is probably related to the timing and extent of your toe-pointing. As you relax your ankles and point your toes more (the same as recommended for good swimming technique) then the fins should not hurt your feet. Are your feet and ankles flexible enough to point your toes reasonably well? Swimmers often do stretches to improve their toe pointing, so you might like to try this too. Please let me know how you go.

Can I ask a favour please? Would you mind if I put some extracts from your emails on the web site?


“It’s ok for you to use my writing.”

“The cuneiform bone only hurts because there is a fairly large spur on it. Shoes catch on it as well. It is right where it gets in the way, and is only on one foot. I get pins and needles in my foot with some shoes. Generally it doesn’t bother me too much when I am swimming, but a bit of padding will help. I thought of adapting an inner sole, cutting a hole to correspond with the lump, and putting a buckle in a place where it would not get in the way. I’ll try it. I point my toes very well. I did ballet as a kid. The fins aren’t pressing any harder than they should, it’s just the lump sticks up quite a long way. Apparently I mashed up my foot pretty nastily when I damaged it, and now pay the consequences for my past stupidity.”

“I succeeded in swimming underwater for about five metres this morning. I did it at the deep end so that I was able to kick down vertically before swimming along the bottom. It was fun. In the shallow end I wasn’t getting enough depth to kick down underwater, and floated up.”

“My program consists of 50m freestyle, 50m reverse fly kick, 50m fly with breaststroke arms, 50m backstroke, repeated until I run out of time. Generally between 1000m and 1600m, with time taken to yak to friends.”


Thank you for your kind permission Gillian. Personal recommendation is very important to help a new product like this along, so I really appreciate it.

Perhaps one of those neoprene sports joint supports for ankles/elbows might do the trick, or a neoprene sock as used with scuba diving foot flippers?

Gillian (after 10 weeks)

“I solved the problem of the damaged cuneiform bone by cutting two circles from an inner sole and stitching them, one on top of the other, to half a metre of 2.5cm wide swimwear elastic. The elastic crosses over the padding and loops behind my ankle, rather like the shinfinTM fastening. Perfect! It cost me less than $2.”

“I can now do tumble turns at both ends of the pool. I was afraid of colliding with the bottom of the pool at the shallow end, but after doing a flip midway along the pool, I realised that my turns were shallow.”


That is a good solution, I’m happy to hear you sorted it out.

Gillian (after 2 years)

“I love my shinfinTM fins. Using them to keep me mobile, as I am approaching 70, getting creaky, and swim in the slow lane. I like to swim my 1,000m+ without stopping for a rest, doing a flip turn if I catch up to the 75 year old in front of me. Instead of passing him and then colliding with the guy coming the other way.”

“I do a two-beat straight-leg kick with the fins on, but am now working on a four-beat kick, which keeps turning into a six-beat kick like I do without fins.”

“I have promoted your shinfinTM fins as often as I can, but I don’t know if anyone has followed up on this.”


I’m very happy to hear you are still loving your shinfinTM fins, and they are helping to keep you mobile. Many thanks for continuing to help to promote the fins, I really appreciate that.

Yes, it is fun playing around with your kick beat. It is harder than people think to change it. Old patterns are ingrained in us!

Gillian (after 5 years)

“I am over 70, and have quite a few physical difficulties, so appreciate the shinfinTM capacity to keep me moving. And to swim with a good style, unlike some not-quite-so-oldies who tend to swim like “steamer ducks” or “executioners.” I’m a bit slow, but that’s ok.”

“They have helped me stay mobile. We oldies disintegrate with constant use, and injuries have even more impact! The shinfinTM fins have helped my knees strengthen up after two rather nasty falls in the street in recent years, adding insult to all the damage I did to my joints as a very active young person. They haven’t necessarily improved my speed, just my strength and technique. As my strength improves, so does my speed. I use a six-beat kick for freestyle and backstroke, and a “dolphin” or fly kick with breaststroke arms. Sometimes I do a reverse fly-kick on my back. It’s like lots of sit-ups, and is good for tummy muscles! I can’t do it without the fins.”


That’s wonderful to hear how the fins have helped your mobility over these 5 years or so, and the type of swimming that you do. How often do you swim with them?


“I use the fins for all swimming. Except when my knees were so bad after the last fall that I could barely walk. I like the way I can swim with straight legs. The fins take the strain off my knees, shins and ankles, but exercise the thigh muscles. When I was getting the movement back after the last fall, (white cedar tree berries on the footpath, they’re treacherous!) swimming on my back wearing fins and doing the physio exercises helped a lot.”

“I aim to swim five times a week, with a minimum of two. It depends on appointments, etc. Mostly I achieve four or five.”


You’re absolutely right about the fins exercising the thighs without straining the lower legs and ankles. I get a lot of feedback like that.

Gillian (after 9 years)

“As a 75 year old, I am much slower in the pool, and am doing a bit less distance wise. After reading your advice about doing aquarobics wearing fins, I did my exercises with my fins on. The workout was tougher.”

“I’m happy that my fins have outlasted five pairs of foot flippers. Two years of discomfort before foot flippers snap across the middle!”


Yes, we have many customers using shinfinTM fins for aqua aerobics, water exercises and water running (deep and shallow water) etc. We also have many customers using them for rehabilitation after various problems/injuries/operations. In all cases, the shinfinTM fins encourage a kick with less knee bend and which is much more streamlined than a typical foot flipper kick (foot flippers cause a lot more knee bend). Therefore there is less stress on your knees but they still help to strengthen your knees. That is the feedback that we get. For the forward and back kicks, power comes from your thighs, torso and stomach. So all these areas are strengthened too. There is no added strain in the calf muscles, ankles or feet (a common complaint with foot flippers).

You can also position shinfinTM fins on your leg to face the direction of your kick, which reduces the twisting forces on your ankles, knees and back (a common problem with foot flippers). This means you can use them for a wide range of leg exercise movements in different directions.


“Love the fins. I’ve shown them to a lot of people at the pool, usually the older generation, like me.”


I’m glad you love your fins. Many thanks for showing them around. I really appreciate your help in getting the message out there.


You’ll love shinfinTM fins for daily pool swimming, tumble turns, tougher exercises and aqua aerobics workouts too. It won’t take you long to get comfortable swimming with them and adjusting them (even if you don’t have much strength in your hands). They’ll help you power down the pool with great swim style doing freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke arms with butterfly legs. They guide you into a streamlined kicking technique from your hips. shinfinTM fins are lightweight, strong and long-lasting for many years.

Other exercising reviews illustrate cardio exercise from a stronger kick without cramps, exercising without back problems and exercising without toe cramps or Achilles problems. Related swim technique reviews show butterfly technique training and kick muscle memory.