What is a monofin?
Unlike traditional separate-footed fins, a monofin consists of a single blade with a fused footpocket that houses both feet. Because of this, the diver or swimmer is forced to use the dolphin kick along with a smooth body undulation. The movement is reminiscent of a mermaid's kick and explains why monofins are often referred to as mermaid fins. Monofins are used by swimmers, as well as free divers. As you can imagine, monofins are ideal for training the butterfly stroke. But, because they are so good at challenging cardio endurance, any type of swimmer can greatly benefit from training with a monofin. The single bladed design might be harder for newer swimmers to master, so most training-specific monofins are best suited for intermediate and advanced athletes.
Monofins are great at teaching something called the Foil Technique or Foil Body Motion. Instead of relying on the legs to solely power the kick, this technique incorporates the full body to propel forward. By engaging muscle groups throughout the body, a swimmer can move more efficiently through the water. Working with a monofin to learn the Foil Technique helps strengthen the core, promotes an equal use of up and down kicks, and fine tunes proper body positioning in the water.
Monofins for Kids
While heavy duty diving and training monofins aren't well suited for kids, there are a few options that can help young children propel through the water. Designed to look like a mermaid's tail or shark fin, these kid-specific fins can help entice even the most cautious child into the pool. Monofins like these can help build a child's confidence around the water, as well as introduce them to crucial swimming skills that will be refined as they grow older and stronger. Monofins for kids help promote a balanced kick and a strong core, and work great as a teaching tool for novice swimmers.