It’s easy to think that a fin is a fin and any model will do to provide you with the forward propulsion you need when you are in the water. However, swim fins come in different lengths, shapes, and sizes and all of these provide a different kind of experience.
Swim fins can be divided into two main categories and these are short swim fins and long swim fins.
These are the differences between the short fins vs long fins.
Short vs Long Swim Fins
Together with swim essentials for beginners, long fins allow the hip to be raised slightly up while making it easy to gain forward motion.
But the downside to these types of fins is that the swimmer will not be able to replicate the kicking that is often done in fast swimming or competitions.
The long swim fins are popular among snorkelers. Most snorkeling fins will feature this design and allows them to kick slowly but still make significant movement underwater. Some people will prefer something that is designed for fast swimming.
Often when swimming with long fins, you will not be able to perform quick kicking to keep up with the arm movements of the breaststroke. And this is where the short swim fins come in. These have a shorter blade that is positioned at a certain angle resulting in a more natural kick.
Due to this, the swimmer can build leg strength that swims specific. Even better is that premature fatigue is significantly reduced. Short blade fins can work muscles on both the upper side and the lower side of the leg and allows the swimmer to achieve a more fluid kick motion. Check out the 10 swimming workouts that build strength.
Simply put, you will be able to kick at a faster rate and maintain this rate for a longer duration of time. In a competition with a guy wearing long fins, you will most likely swim past them.
When you are deciding between short fins vs long fins, always ensure that the rubber used to create the swim fin is soft. This will help reduce the occurrence of blisters after spending long durations swimming.
Long swim fins, on the other hand, provide an even larger surface area which allows the legs to displace more water in a single kick. This means that for every kick, the diver is going to make a significant move forward. The downside, however, is that getting the legs back into a position of a second kick will take more time than if you were using a short swim fin.
This makes long fins more ideal for leisure swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Always make sure that you have the best quality swim fins or scuba fins that you can get as these will serve you longer and will be more comfortable to your feet.
Similar to the short swim fins, you want to make sure that the part that goes to your feet is made from soft rubber. However, the blade should be slightly stiffer to provide the best propulsion compared to one that is overly soft.
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When it’s said and done, the right fin for you, whether short fins vs long fins depends on your goals and what you are looking to accomplish. If for example, your goal is stronger swim specific leg muscles, and increased flexibility, then you will want to go for the short swim fins. If you are not in a competition and want to just enjoy slow strokes as you watch the fishes swimming under you, then you’ll probably want to go for the long swim fins. What’s even better is that you will reap the swimming health benefits.
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