Speedo fins don’t promise life in the fast lane
Aspen Times Weekly
I’m not sure who came up with “the crawl” as the appellation for a swimming stroke, but it couldn’t be more apropos than when I’m the one flailing across the pool.
I finally broke down and bought myself a pair of fins to use when I’m swimming laps at the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs, which I think would constitute cheating, were I a better swimmer.
As it is, the not-so-aptly-named Speedo-brand fins ($30 in the pool’s shop) have taken my crawl up a decidedly marginal notch. I remain one of the slower swimmers in the lap lanes, where finless swimmers regularly leave me in their wake. Apparently, the key is in the kick not the flippers.
What’s worse, the fins have become something of a crutch. Now, I can’t swim without them.
In September, I found myself in Ouray, a southwest Colorado town with a much smaller hot springs pool than the one in Glenwood, and decided to dabble in my swimming regimen. After I got over the shock of the much colder water in the Ouray lap lanes, I found myself stunned by my inability to finish my first length of the lanes without standing up to pant. Ouray’s lanes aren’t nearly as long as Glenwood’s, but it was apparently taking me just as long to swim the length of one without my trusty crutches, er, fins.
Another downside to the fins: I think they’re ruining my kick technique when I swim the breaststroke, as I’ve had to modify the kick to make it work when I’m wearing them.
Aside from certain deficiencies that might best be chalked up to user error, there’s also a fit issue with the fins. The mediums, which I own, are a tad too large, but the smaller size was too small. I suffer blisters on certain toes unless I tape them up before I swim.
It has been suggested that I try wearing socks on my feet, but I’m still weighing the dork factor associated with that idea (I know it’s pretty high, having seen someone else swimming in socks and fins).
I may opt for another crutch instead ” little paddles I can wear on my hands.
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