Mad Wave Pro Finger Paddles – Review

These are the first finger paddles I’ve ever used, and when I was putting them on I realised they are the first paddles with straps that I’ve used in over 19 years. Which meant I had to do a double take putting them on because I had forgotten how tight I like them and how hard it is to re-adjust them when you have them on. My old trick of slipping out my fingers and leaving the wrists in didn’t work because it’s all about the fingers with these paddles. Not being used to having paddles fixed on me also meant readjusting them a number of times when trying them out for this review.

I’ve organised this review according to the four strokes I tested them with.

Frontcrawl

These felt very strange at first, but comfortable as they aren’t large enough to put any strain on the arms or shoulders. While, my first concern wearing them was the hand entry and initial catch, once I had that stabilised I had to work on my pull and exit. On my first turn they nearly came off, I’m so used to compensating my hands on the streamline for agility paddles that I did it for these. I quickly realised that these paddles allow for a streamline that’s closer to my actual streamline and don’t need to worry about them again.

IMG_20180305_233356 I really like the feeling these paddles give on the entry and catch. The fact that the fingers are allowed move independently of the palm works them that bit more and the catch feels more natural. I will admit that I sometimes stabilise them using my thumb, I’m guessing this isn’t how I should use them. I did a few sprints with the paddles on and they were fantastic as they were both secure yet small enough to not cause extra strain.

Backcrawl

These paddles are the first ones I’ve tried that worked brilliantly on backcrawl from the go. They really help to straighten out the entry. The catch is immediate with no fear of it falling off and the size of the paddle means there is less pressure on the arms. On the pull they allow for me to feel for the water for the most efficient path and the independence of the fingers results in a strong pull. I found other paddles could lead to water slipping if the pull is slightly wrong which would then be hard to compensate for on the same stroke. The shape and size of these finger paddles allow for minor pathway changes to be made easily mid stroke if things aren’t going right.

Breaststroke

IMG_20180305_233340 I found that these helped encourage a high elbow in breaststroke. However the initial catch doesn’t feel right for me. It could be my technique or the fact that I’m more used to different paddles for breaststroke, but either way these paddles weren’t as effective for me in this stroke as they were for others. They did allow for an easier touch turn (A.K.A. open turn), than for other paddles.

Butterfly

These paddles allowed for a good pull and I didn’t have any problems with the end of the pull phase or the recovery. I did have an issue with my entry though. When going in fingers first it would slip water and the paddles would move a little on my fingers, if I compensated I would end up slapping the water a bit. It was enough to put me off at the start of my catch. However as with breaststroke, this could just be an issue with my technique.

Summary

IMG_20180305_233349 Overall, I enjoyed using these paddles. They worked my forearms more than I expected, but are small enough to not strain my shoulders. They only come in one size, I usually wear medium paddles and these fitted me perfectly. I will try to get someone with different size hands to see how they feel about them. They are also different from some other versions of finger paddles in that they are curved, have ridges, grooves, grips, and gaps. These should give an advantage over flat finger paddles as they give more grip for your fingers and more catching/less slipping of water.

Pros Cons
Great for Frontcrawl and Backstroke Issues with Breaststroke and Butterfly
Works the forearms
Not tough on the shoulders

These are available on amazon here.

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