FINIS Freestyler Paddles – Review

These paddles are, as the name suggests, designed specifically for freestyle and won’t work for any other stroke. Their shape as an arrow is quite striking, as is the “keel” they have. The purpose of both is to encourage a correct entry and path through the water. There is only one finger hold for each paddle. The idea behind this is similar to the Agility paddles, incorrect technique will result in the paddle becoming unstable. If the hand doesn’t enter the water correctly, or if it crosses the centreline then the paddle will give instant feedback. This should then cause the swimmer to make the necessary corrections to stop this happening again.

I don’t cross over on entry, and my hands enter correctly, or at least don’t enter very badly, so I didn’t feel any corrections. What I did feel was an incredible hand entry for a paddle. Normally if I’m doing hundreds of meters with paddles I will have the odd mistake where I catch the water wrongly or a slightly off angle with end up with the paddle dragging my hand off in some crazy direction. That never happened with these. The paddles also helped really lengthen my stoke as I rolled on entry. Their shape also meant that I could easily get an early and efficient catch with my fingers pointing to the floor.

I didn’t expect much in terms of power when I first saw their shape and when I found my hands hitting the edges with them on. I thought they would be similar to the ISO paddles; however, their shape and size are deceptive. The amount of power the generate is roughly the same as the agility paddles, so while they aren’t the most powerful out there, I personally wouldn’t want much more in a paddle.

The only real downsides I can think of are: it’s size, at only one size I’m not sure how someone with bigger hands than mine would cope with them (it might not even made a difference); and they are limited to the one stroke, which is really only a downside if you can only afford to buy one pair of paddles and need it to suit all your swimming needs.

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