Some of you may recall back in April 2011, I tore up my left hamstring by swimming with fins and swore them off forever and ever. I had a high hamstring tear because of the evil fins and despite not using them anymore and resting, it would not heal and it hurt ALL. THE. TIME. I had to DNS (Did Not Start) two races and still had Ironman Florida on the schedule, which really freaked me out. Thankfully, I found ART (Active Release Technique) and that saved my butt, literally and figuratively speaking. Fast forward to today ...lessons learned? Yes! I learned that all fins are not created equally and to never say never. I did end up giving the evil fins away and hopefully they were not so evil to the new owner, Dr. J.
|Aqua Sphere Zip VX|
Several weeks ago, I received a nice email from Lizzy at AquaGear Swim Shop asking if I'd like to try out any of their products. My first thought was, maybe I'll try out some goggles, then I started looking through all of the products they offer at www.aquagear.com and the fins caught my eye. I kicked it around a few times, went back and forth with myself. I reminded myself about my fear of fins and all the reasons not to pick the fins, then I picked the fins, ha!
"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." ~Japanese Proverb
|The Zip VX's out of the casing ...so fancy!|
I was able to get in 3 swims with the fins and the first thing I noticed compared to the previous clunker fins (aka: the evil fins), is that they were so much lighter. I can't remember what brand the evil one's were but they were very heavy but since they came highly recommended by a swim coach, I bought them. Comparing them is like comparing night and day. The Zip VX felt light and nimble, fit perfectly, not too tight, not too loose. No rubbing anywhere and I love that they are adjustable. As you can see from the ratchet type strapping at the heel, you can get a perfect fit. That is a great feature and one that the evil one's didn't have. The sizing chart was very easy to use on the Aquagear website and the shipping was FAST!
Best part about the fins was that they caused me no pain or discomfort. Now, don't think I wasn't apprehensive about using fins again, I was a bit scared but once I saw them and felt how light they were, I had a good feeling about them. I will continue to slowly introduce them into my workouts at the pool from now until Ironman Florida, which by the way, is 2 months from today. Pinch me!
Since I'm no engineer or rocket scientist, I can't explain to you the aerodynamics of these fins but I found a good description of why they are so awesome and why the design works so well. Here you go:
- Leverages natural kicking motion to produce a springboard effect that boosts efficiency
- Hole in the blade creates vortices that can be used for increased thrust
- Narrow blade improves kicking mechanics and reduces fatigue
- Non-slip pads on fin rails provide traction for a better push off wall
- Easy-to-adjust buckles for a custom fit
If you are looking for a nice set of fins, these are a great choice and I'm no swim coach, but I'd definitely recommend these based on my positive experience with them. By the way, AquaGear just so happens to be celebrating their 21st Anniversary, so if you go to AquaGear.com, there are a bunch of products discounted 21% to commemorate the anniversary.
Much love and peace out!