Long Length Fins
When most people think of fins, something like a long length fin is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Used primarily for diving and recreational use, long length fins help displace a large amount of water with only minimal effort. Unlike training fins that need short, fast kicks, long length fins, also known as paddle fins, are designed to help swimmers conserve energy and oxygen usage. This is especially important for SCUBA divers that have to monitor their air intake. Because long bladed fins lengthen the legs’ natural lever in the water, the fluid kicking motion easily pushes swimmers through the water.
Split or Channel Fins
Fins that feature medium length blades with a split running down the middle are considered split fins. Their unique design helps swimmers kick through the water with a good deal of propulsion while reducing drag. The splits in the middle of the blade actually help channel water and usually produce forward movement no matter what the kind of kick. The uniquely shaped swim fins are great for recreational use and perfect for junior swimmers. Their design helps alleviate ankle fatigue and can stay comfortable for hours on end.
Short bladed fins, often referred to as Zoomers, are the fin of choice for fitness and competitive swimmers. These types of fins are shaped just like long bladed fins, except in a much more compact form. The rubber used to produce short fins is often stiffer than other types of fins and doesn’t produce the same powerful forward propulsion that split and long bladed fins produce. But, what the compact fins do help with is strength and speed training. Their shorter than normal design doesn’t rely on a long lever properties to produce propulsion. Instead, they promote fast, short kicks, and, in turn, develop essential leg muscles. They are great for cardio workouts and used by high-level swimmers everywhere.
The least common type of fin shape is the Monofin. Designed to look like a dolphin or mermaid tail, this model essentially fuses two medium length blades together. This results in a swimmer’s feet being kept together and requires a fluid undulating motion to propel forward. Because the unique design helps push swimmers forward with both the up and downward kick, the Monofin can really produce a great deal of forward motion. While their single footed design isn’t ideal for recreational swimming, the one-blade fin is great for working on body alignment and the dolphin kick.