Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is Finswimming? - It's fast and looks really fun!

Martin from Zurich sent us this and I have decided to cover this sport at the new site I am building. So what is finswimming?


Invented for use by the Russian Special Forces, a mono-fin was first strapped onto the feet of swimmers in order to allow them to move more quickly in the water while keeping their hands free. The military invention led to an interesting discovery. The easiest and most natural stroke to use while wearing a fin is the Dolphin Kick. The Dolphin Kick requires snaking the body in exactly the same way as the mammal from which the name was taken. The combination of the two allows you to swim extremely fast, faster than any other method before it.


A bi-annual World championship was started in 1962 and the sport was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1986 where it has been staged as an exhibition sport ever since. Today, Fin Swimmers beat even the fastest free-style or butterfly Olympic times by over three seconds on a 100 meter race. The sensations are incredible and the swimmers claim that they are literally flying through the water. They don’t swim as much to beat records as for the thrilling sensation of speed.

Martin put up an ad hoc gallery at; here is an image from that gallery. Can you figure out which swimmer false started?

Here is a list of finswimming sites:

Martin's gallery at Flickr: [Link] [Link]

All Fin Swimming blog: [Link]

Fin City: [Link]


Tom said...

Forget about the 1500 for women and 800 for men. Make Finswimming an Olympic event.

Scott said...

I was allowed to borrow a monofin from our Hyack Masters' parent club to practice with on my own - and it came with the very serious warning it was not be used when the pool was short course because the speeds one could attain with it on made it much too dangerous. Ramming into a wall at monofin speeds can cause serious injury. Certainly my coach wasn't pulling my leg - I could swim 50 meters in close to ten seconds with those things on (me!) and that included slowing down at the end of each fifty after my first terrifying encounter with the wall. No arms of course. Any attempt on my part to involve them merely gave me badly wrenched shoulders. Seeing what would happen when I tried butterfly at full speed (which I just had to experience) and scraped my chin on the pool bottom. Admittedly it was only a meter deep at that point but it needs noting that my intention at the time was to remain at or close to the surface. My arms folded underneath me due to the water pressure resulting in an involuntary tumble turn, and my turns are horrible even when I'm fully aware I'm about to attempt one. Taken unawares I had no chance!

Open water finswimming with Olympian caliber swimmers would be like watching horses race. If you want a professional sport Tony swimming that would be your ticket.

Chris DeSantis said...


I don't know if you noticed but some of those people that are Finswimming are wearing full body suits.

WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE SUITS IN FINSWIMMING IMMEDIATELY. They are literally destroying the proud history of finswimming. This is the most important issue I can think of. Absolutely nothing more important going on in the entire swimming world. I would also like to add that I am an expert on this topic

Tony Austin said...


Scott said...

A little more of these posts and you'll have to ask all those under eighteen to leave. ;^0

Anonymous said...

:-D yeaaa we finswimmer still have techsuits!
But we never was allowed to use those shiny rubber things. Just the fabric suits are allowed. So a Speedo FS Pro is probably the fastest suit war are using.
By the way world record for 50m is a 15"20. So everybody who is able to swim the 50m (included slowing down at the end) close to 10" should seriously think about to start at the next world champion chip ;-))
Anyway a good swimmer is mostly always able to swim the 50m below 20" and that is just pure fun!



Anonymous said...

So it's settled. UCLA has a "t-shirt relay" at the end of its masters' meets. Someone needs to have a fin race at the end of a meet. The long-course meters season is upon us ... who can I call to make the case?

Tony Austin said...

meet directors - hmmm Perhaps Pierce Turkey Shoot?

Chris DeSantis said...

Be careful, if you swim in a non-FINA sanctioned meet in a fully body suit, even if it is a pro, you may be banned for a year by FINA.

Tony Austin said...

Wait, so if I go ask a meet director if I can swim in a FINA meet with a "non-sanctioned" suit and accept my DQ, could I be banned for a year or is does it have to be non-FINA sanctioned events?

This is silly, i am doing a non-sanctioned open water event called the "Playa Del Run" and if I wear a tech suit I am banned from swimming in a FINA sanctioned meet at the masters level?

Christine said...

I love the Finswimming and want it to be an Olympic event. I am not a professional swimmer but I love to watch Finswimming. I want different swim pools to provide Finswimming Swim Lessons.

Jens said...

dear tony ...

thanks for posting our link at your magnificent blog! ... judging by the amount of comments to your finswimming post it is obvious, that interest in the sport is high ... please find more information about the "formula one" of swimming in our wiki! ...

there is also a poll and a forum discussion going on at the community website, if finswimming should be governed by FINA instead of CMAS ... we'd be very much interested, in hearing about the classical swimmers opinions ...

stay in touch ...
jens graikowski (admin, fin city)

Unknown said...

If there is any interest for a finswimming coach, I may candidate myself for holding some presentations, seminars, lessons and tutoring a team and coaches in California

My most notable result is a silver medal for Croatia in 2016 World Championship

See you,