How To Swim With Flippers

Learning to swim with fins is highly recommended as it allows you to move through the water much more easily. You don’t get as tired – and you won’t scare away the marine life you’re expecting to see when you go snorkeling!

An effective kick technique is improved when you know how to use fins that are right for you. See how to swim with flippers here…

Soliman Bay Snorkeling

See Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose swim-fins?

There are basically two types of fins used for snorkeling – paddle fins and split fins. And there are two main considerations – the fin length and flexibility. Longer fins work better for underwater kicks and body undulation techniques, and let you go at a lower kick tempo.

Shorter fins give a feeling of speed and are best for every day kicking and swim training. Fins need to be firm and flexible to allow for your strength level without causing muscle pain and fatigue.

You can make sure you don’t get blisters by putting on an old pair of socks before slipping into your fins. And you need to test drive your fins to determine a good match.


people snorkeling

Is it better to swim with or without flippers?

Swimming with flippers helps with endurance, and if you have a weak kick can add that extra speed. You can move through the water with extra velocity – and they let you swim and kick for longer periods of time.

This added propulsion and stability also allows you to work on balance and arm pull for different types of swimming strokes. Wearing fins lessens the impact on your upper body as you swim. And the added resistance reinforces kick techniques as ankle flexibility improves.

snorkel blue water cenote

Is it hard to swim with fins?

Depending on the type of fin you choose you’ll have to learn different techniques. Swimming in a straight line may be a little tricky, to begin with, but practice makes perfect. Getting your ankles used to the strain of the kick can take a few weeks – and there may be a few aches and pains.

When wearing fins initially you should swim about 50 meters – gradually building up distance as you get more comfortable. It takes about 10 swims of this distance before you increase as pushing too hard can cause ankle and shin injuries including tendonitis. You need to give your ankles a chance to strengthen.

Wearing paddle fins the motion is for slow kicking – most of the work is done by your upper leg muscles – keeping the lower leg and foot muscles more relaxed. The kicking motion with split fins is quicker and smaller with more power coming from the calves.

cenote snorkel tour

Does swimming with fins tone legs?

The up-kick of the kick motion engages your hamstrings – providing you with positive muscle reinforcement. Swim fins create resistance when kicking the water which strengthens your leg muscles including quads.

Well-developed legs are more powerful in using bigger kicks to build up speed. And swimming is a great way to tone your legs as the kick uses muscles from your hips and thighs right through to your ankle. A swimming workout is far easier on your joints due to the water relief of body weight – making it more comfortable for joints and muscles.

Dos ojos snorkel

Playa del Carmen Scuba Diving Shop

Visit the Koox dive shop in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a great choice of flippers. The prices are low and the service is second to none. If you don’t want to buy your gear you can opt for free equipment rental on all tours. And if you want professional training from divemasters you can get all the flipper skills required by taking an induction course.

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