open water swim finning guide fins technique training 1
open water swim finning guide fins technique training 1

Swimming in open water can be an exhilarating experience, but without the right knowledge and skills, it can also be daunting and exhausting. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate Open Water Swim Finning Guide, designed to help you navigate through the vast expanse of water with ease and confidence. From choosing the right fins to mastering the correct technique and implementing effective training strategies, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your goggles and get ready to dive into the world of open water swimming like never before!

Choosing the Right Fins

When it comes to open water swimming, choosing the right fins can make all the difference in your performance. There are various types of swim fins available on the market, each designed for different purposes. The two main categories of swim fins are long-bladed fins and short-bladed fins.

Long-bladed fins are ideal for building endurance and strength in the legs. They provide a larger surface area, allowing for powerful propulsion through the water. On the other hand, short-bladed fins offer more control and agility in the water. They are perfect for working on technique and speed.

When selecting fins for open water swimming, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and goals. If you’re looking to improve your technique and speed, short-bladed fins may be the best option for you. However, if you aim to build endurance and strength, long-bladed fins would be more suitable.

Another crucial consideration is the fit and sizing of the fins. Ill-fitting fins can cause discomfort and hinder your performance. It’s important to choose fins that snugly fit your feet without being too tight or too loose. Investing in fins with adjustable straps can help achieve the perfect fit, ensuring optimal comfort and performance in the water.

Proper Finning Technique

Mastering the proper finning technique is essential for efficient and effective swimming in open water. It involves maintaining a correct body position, utilizing the right kicking technique, and coordinating the movements of your upper body.

A basic body position involves lying on your front with your body horizontally aligned. Your head should be in line with your spine, and your arms should be extended forward. This position minimizes drag and allows for smooth movement through the water.

In terms of kicking technique, it’s important to focus on a relaxed and fluid motion. The kick should originate from the hips and involve a slight bend in the knees. Aim for a gentle, continuous flutter kick, avoiding any excessive splashing or thrashing.

Proper upper body position and movements complement the kicking technique. Your arms should be extended forward, and you should engage your core and back muscles to maintain stability. Use your arms to initiate slight rotations of your body, facilitating a smooth and efficient swim stroke.

Training for Open Water Swim Finning

Preparing for open water swim finning requires a well-rounded training regimen that focuses on building endurance, improving strength, and mastering technique.

To build endurance, incorporate long-distance swims into your training routine. Gradually increase the distance over time, challenging your body to adapt to the demands of open water swimming. Additionally, interval training can help enhance your cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

Improving strength is crucial for powerful propulsion in the water. Incorporate exercises such as lunges, squats, and leg presses to strengthen your leg muscles. Resistance training using resistance bands or weights can also help build upper body strength, contributing to overall swim performance.

Mastering technique is an ongoing process that requires consistent practice. Focus on drills that target specific aspects of the finning technique, such as dolphin kicks or scissor kicks, to refine your skills. Incorporate technique-focused workouts into your training routine to reinforce proper form and efficiency in the water.

Open Water Swim Finning Guide - Fins, Technique, Training

Breathing Techniques

Proper breathing techniques play a vital role in open water swim finning, as they allow for efficient oxygen intake and help maintain rhythm and control. Incorporating bilateral breathing, dealing with waves and swell, and mastering sighting and navigation are key aspects to consider.

Bilateral breathing, or breathing on both sides, helps balance out the workload on your body and provides better visibility while swimming. Practice alternating your breathing pattern regularly to ensure comfort and adaptability in different open water conditions.

When dealing with waves and swell, timing your breaths becomes essential. Take advantage of the moments when the waves are breaking or moving away from you to take quick breaths. This helps prevent water from entering your mouth or nose and enables smoother, more consistent swimming.

Sighting and navigation are crucial in open water swimming to stay on course and avoid getting off track. Lift your head slightly to look forward and find landmarks or buoys to navigate. Practice this technique during training to improve your sighting skills and maintain an efficient swim path.

Safety Precautions

Open water swimming poses certain hazards that should be taken into consideration. Being aware of these hazards and taking appropriate safety precautions is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Some common open water hazards include strong currents, unpredictable water conditions, and potential encounters with marine life. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific conditions and potential risks of the open water environment you’ll be swimming in. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions and take appropriate safety measures.

Wearing a wetsuit can provide added protection and insulation, especially when swimming in colder water temperatures. A wetsuit helps retain body heat and provides buoyancy, enhancing your safety and comfort during the swim.

Using a safety buoy is highly recommended for open water swimming. These bright-colored, inflatable buoys help increase visibility and provide a flotation device in case of fatigue or emergency. Attach the buoy to your waist or wrist to ensure it stays with you throughout the swim.

Drills and Workouts for Finning

Drills and workouts specifically tailored to finning can be instrumental in improving your technique, speed, and endurance in open water swimming. Incorporating a variety of drills and interval training sessions can help you maximize your training efforts.

Finning technique drills focus on specific aspects of the finning motion. For example, dolphin kicks can be practiced to develop a powerful underwater propulsion. Scissor kicks can be incorporated to refine coordination between your legs during the kick.

Interval training with fins involves alternating periods of high-intensity swimming with active recovery. This type of training improves cardiovascular fitness, stamina, and overall swim speed. Experiment with different intervals and intensities to find the best workout regimen for your goals.

Open water simulation workouts are designed to prepare you for the specific challenges of swimming in open water. This can include practicing in a crowded pool or lake, mimicking the dynamic and unpredictable nature of open water environments. These workouts help improve adaptability, mental focus, and overall swim performance.

Mental Preparation

Open water swim finning requires not only physical strength and skill but also mental preparation. Overcoming anxiety, visualizing success, and practicing positive self-talk are key strategies to enhance your mental game.

Anxiety may arise from the unfamiliarity or unpredictability of open water swimming. To overcome this, gradually expose yourself to open water conditions and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals or joining a swim group can also help alleviate anxiety and build confidence.

Visualizing success involves mentally rehearsing a successful swim in your mind. Create vivid mental images of yourself swimming confidently, smoothly, and efficiently in open water. This visualization technique can help instill a positive mindset, boost self-confidence, and enhance performance.

Positive self-talk entails using encouraging and motivating statements to boost morale during training and competition. Replace negative thoughts or self-doubt with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths, accomplishments, and progress, fostering a positive mindset and fueling your determination.

Transitioning from Pool to Open Water

Transitioning from pool swimming to open water swimming presents unique challenges and requires some adjustments. Adapting to open water conditions, practicing in a similar environment, and learning to navigate without pool walls are critical aspects to focus on during this transition.

Adapting to open water conditions involves familiarizing yourself with the different water temperatures, currents, and visibility present in the open water environment. Gradually expose yourself to swimming in open water to acclimate your body and mind to these new conditions.

Practicing in a similar environment to the open water can help bridge the gap between pool swimming and open water swimming. Find a lake or a river with comparable conditions and incorporate it into your training routine. This will give you a better sense of how to navigate and adapt to open water challenges.

Navigating without pool walls is perhaps one of the most significant adjustments when transitioning to open water swimming. In a pool, you can rely on the pool walls to guide and support you. In the open water, you have to rely on sighting techniques and landmarks to stay on course. Practice sighting regularly during training to improve your navigation skills and build confidence.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Open water swim finning comes with its fair share of common mistakes. Being aware of these mistakes and knowing how to avoid them can significantly improve your performance and safety in the water.

Kicking too fast or too slow is a common mistake made by many swimmers. Kicking too fast can lead to decreased efficiency and increased energy expenditure. On the other hand, kicking too slow can result in a lack of propulsion and forward motion. Finding the right balance of speed and power in your kicks is crucial for optimal performance.

Poor body position is another mistake that can hinder your swimming in open water. If your body is too high in the water, you create unnecessary drag. Conversely, if your body is too low, you lose propulsion. Strive for a horizontal body position, with your head in line with your spine, to minimize resistance and maximize efficiency.

Neglecting upper body movements is a common error, as many swimmers tend to focus solely on their leg kicks. Proper coordination and engagement of your upper body are essential for maintaining balance, stability, and effective stroke technique. Incorporate exercises and drills that specifically target your upper body to ensure proper synchronization during your swim.

Choosing the Right Gear

Choosing the right gear can greatly enhance your open water swim finning experience. There are several pieces of gear that are worth considering, including wetsuits and swimskins, goggles and caps, and the use of paddles and pull buoys.

Wetsuits and swimskins provide insulation, buoyancy, and hydrodynamics benefits in open water swimming. They help retain body heat, provide added buoyancy, and reduce drag. Choose a wetsuit or swimskin that fits snugly and allows for a full range of motion without restricting your movements.

Goggles and caps are essential gear for open water swimming. Goggles protect your eyes from the water and enable better visibility, while caps help keep your hair out of your face and maintain body temperature. Look for goggles that have a snug fit and offer a wide field of vision. Caps should be made of durable, comfortable material that stays securely in place throughout your swim.

Using paddles and pull buoys can further enhance your training and technique development. Paddles help increase resistance, building strength and power in your arms. Pull buoys can be placed between your legs to isolate your upper body, allowing you to focus on your arm stroke. Incorporate these tools into your training sessions gradually and consult with a coach or experienced swimmer for guidance.

In conclusion, open water swim finning requires careful consideration and preparation. Choosing the right fins, mastering proper technique, and undergoing comprehensive training are crucial for success. Additionally, factors such as breathing techniques, safety precautions, and mental preparation play significant roles in optimizing performance and enjoyment in the open water. By being aware of common mistakes and selecting appropriate gear, you can further enhance your swimming experience. With the right mindset, skills, and gear, you’ll be on your way to conquering open water swimming.

Diana Hanson
Hi there! I'm Diana Hanson, a SUP enthusiast and paddler with over ten years of experience. I have a deep love for exploring new places and trying out new things on my SUP board. Whether it's gliding across a peaceful lake, navigating a fast-moving river, or riding the exhilarating waves of the ocean, I'm always up for an adventure. As the author of the website, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others. My goal is to help beginners learn the skills needed to paddle safely and confidently. I understand the challenges that novices face when starting out, and I'm dedicated to providing them with valuable tips and advice. But my passion doesn't stop there. I also strive to assist experienced paddlers in taking their skills to the next level. Through, I constantly update the site with the latest SUP gear reviews, insider tips, and expert advice. My aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skill level, can get the most out of their paddling experience. I take great pride in my work, and I have been fortunate to receive recognition in the form of prizes and rewards for my contributions to the SUP community. It's an honor to be able to share my passion for this incredible sport with others, and I hope that through, I can inspire and empower fellow SUP enthusiasts to embark on their own unforgettable journeys. Join me on, and let's dive into the exciting world of SUP together!