How to Choose Swim Fins
Question: Do you need to train with swim fins?
Answer: Only if you want to become a better swimmer.
Swim fins are a vital training tool for all swimmers, increasing ankle flexibility and strength for a stronger and more efficient kick, as well as providing a great workout for leg muscles. With consistent use, adding swimming fins to your workout will make you stronger and faster in the water.
Training with swim fins provides excellent results – it’s truly a no-brainer and any swimmer serious about boosting their athletic performance should do it.
However, swim fin selection isn’t a no-brainer. In fact, swimmers that are new to fin training often find it difficult to make an educated decision on what fins to buy, justifiably confused by the variety of fin styles on the market. There are several factors to consider before buying, including fin shape, fin length, thickness, and stiffness.
The Most Important Decision – Long Or Short Fin Blades?
The biggest decision to make is selecting a fin length – and Kiefer offers both short and long fins. The longer the fin blade, the more resistance will be added to your kicking. Kiefer recommends that beginners choose long blade fins. Slower tempos caused by the added resistance of longer fin blades means you won’t be able to kick as fast with a long blade, but this will give leg muscles additional loading for a better workout. Short blade fins promote a faster / higher kick tempo, important for freestyle and backstroke training. However, the range of motion needed to develop a strong double legged dolphin kick is best left to long fins. Ultimately, short blade fins are better suited for an experienced swimmer.
Choosing your swim fins – what model is right for me?
We recommend choosing one of five different Kiefer brand fin swim fin models to help you perfect your kick.
Long Blade Fins:
We offer two long blade fins: Kiefer Thrust and Kiefer Cruiser. Both styles offer a closed heel for a secure and comfortable fit, ensuring they stay in place during your swim. Kiefer Thrust has a moderate level of stiffness/thickness, while Kiefer Cruiser offers added stiffness/thickness. So if you are looking for a more intense workload for your legs, Cruiser is your fin. For a more standard resistance and muscle loading, choose the Thrust fin.
Short Blade Fins:
Kiefer offers three short blade fin models: Kiefer Power Fin, Kiefer Training Swim Fins, and Kiefer Silicone Training Fins. These short blade models are especially effective for training freestyle and backstroke because they improve flutter kick speed, offering considerably less resistance than long blade models. Kiefer Power Fins would be considered the standard model, essentially a shortened Thrust Fin. The Kiefer Silicone Training Fin provides added comfort over other standard rubber fins. Split blade Kiefer Training Swim Fins, slightly longer than Power Fins, provide a transitional blade length for swimmers moving away from long blade training to shorter blades.
Monofins are perfect for developing a Dolphin Kick, increasing both strength and range of motion. Instead of a pair of fins, the monofin is a single unit that features a single blade fin with twin foot pockets. Kiefer currently carries the Finis Foil Monofin.
I hope this helps you make an informed decision when purchasing fins. We’d love to hear what you think! Did you see last week’s Kiefer Conqueror review?