What is Finswimming?

Little Flippers is proud to be the only Swim School in Massachusetts to offer Finswimming!  Finswimmming is well known as the fastest sport in the water. Swimmers achieve this speed by using the dolphin kick as a powerful and effective way of moving through the water. Utilizing this kick also incorporates a hydrodynamic position in the upper part of the body that helps swimmers to decrease the frontal resistance, thus becoming the fastest style of swimming. This has been proven throughout history by numerous swimmers and such is the case of Denis Pankratov a retired Russian butterfly swimmer of the 1990s, who was best known for winning the butterfly double at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. His 100 meter butterfly triumph is particularly remembered as he used the dolphin kick for 25 meters of his first lap underwater and then 15 meters in the opposite direction. Having mastered this technique, Michael Phelp’s has also been successfully showcased in a variety of olympic games and his dolphin kick was a definite advantage when it came to outperforming his competition.

How is Finswimming Unique?

Swimmers will utilize a dolphin kick technique while wearing a “monofin” to fully resemble the dolphin movement. In addition a “snorkel” is used to keep the head in the water so that the athletes avoid the movement of the head to breathe. This is the perfect combination and fans call it the “Formula 1” of the aquatic world.

Brief History of Finswimming.

The first mono-model was introduced by Louis de Corlieu in the 1930’s and the practice of Finswimming was born in the mid-1950s, after World War II, where fins were widely used for the rescue of shipwrecks. However, it wasn’t until 1971 when the real revolution for Finswimming began. The MONOFIN was introduced in a competitive environment and five years later, in 1976 the use of the monofin was used in the first world championship held in the city of Hannover, Germany. In the United States, Finswimming has been practiced since the 1980s after the first World Games were held in Santa Clara in 1981. At the international level, USA also participated in CMAS Championships held in China in 1994 ‘, Hungary 1996, Spain 2000 and Italy 2007. Misty Hyman and Jenny Thompson also competed as a members of the U.S. Finswimming Team at the 8th World Championship held in Hungary in August 1996. We have now seen how interest in this modality has grown in the United States with new clubs and participants on both the west coast and the east coast.

Why Choose Finswimming?

The learning process of Finswimming begins with the use of flippers that should be soft and comfortable. Breathing is done through a snorkel, which helps the swimmers to breathe uninterrupted while the head is submerged. This is learned with an adequate progression that will allow the child to swim even longer distances. Once comfort with flippers is mastered, the child will be introduced to the monofin. By combining all of the tools and techniques, children can learn to swim at greater speeds and have fun while learning!


About Coach Leon!

León Andrés Valderrama is a world-class Finswimming coach, with over 15 years of experience.  In 2000 he moved to Italy, where he improved his knowledge in the sport of Finswimming, specializing in sports technique. In that moment he became motivated and interested  in becoming a coach and achieved his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, Sports and Health and Human Performance.  Throughout his career he has worked with young athletes and students helping them to develop and improve their swimming skills. Between 2008 and 2016, Leon participated in multiple international tournaments and students achieved medals in Open and Youth World Championships as well as Continental Records. Leon believes that good technical fundamentals of swimming are the key to success in water sports.  He is delighted to bring the Finswimming experience to Little Flippers Swim School and is excited to introduce this new and innovative program.  Finswimming will guarantee a memorable and fun-filled aquatic experience for all who participate.