Underwater Sports: Fin Swimming

The world record over 50 meters freestyle swimming stands at 20.94 seconds. Shave off about 30% and you get to the record marks in men’s fin swimming (50 M APNEA): 14,34! The formula applies to all other distances as well. Attaching the mono fin, a large fibre glass or plastic blade, to both feet converts conventional swimming to the turbo-charged fin swimming. A snorkel, braced over the athlete’s forehead and nose, is used in addition to the mono fin for surface racing.

Fin Swimming featured in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for all details.

Fin Swimming will participate at The World Games 2017!

Learn more about Fin Swimming on The World Games Channel.



Hold your breath and do as the dolphins ...

Fin swimmers attempt to minimize their frontal resistance to the water by extending both arms in front and by keeping upper body motion to a minimum. Only the lower body and legs are kept in constant ondulating motion. A snorkel, braced over the athlete's forehead and nose, is used in addition to the mono fin for surface racing. Competitions are staged in pool and open water surface - athletes breath through their snorkels - and APNEA events, with athletes holding their breath.

Surface every now and then ...

Some very basic rules apply for the surface events. One part of the swimmer, including his or her snorkel, must be at the surface at all times. However, athletes may swim completely submerged for up to 15 meters after turning at each end of the pool. The governing rules for fin swimming are authored by the World Underwater Federation - CMAS.

Disciplines ...

There are two disciplines and various events in international fin swimming (in pools).

  • Surface: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 4×100 relay and 4×200 relay (meters)
  • Surface bifins (stereofins): 50, 100 and 200 (meters)
  • Apnea: 50 (meters)

Immersion disciplines and a full "short course" program for 25m pools exist as well.

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