call us on: 01239 613 789
< Return to all posts

Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel - A Training Aid We Do Recommend

Not put off by Finis’s motto under the logo on the packaging, ‘Swim Hard’, Ian has tested the snorkel.

    Front Crawl, Product Review, Swimming Technique
17-Apr-2013 /  written by Ian Cross
(0) Comments
Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel - A Training Aid We Do Recommend
“ Continue to think of the stroke as a whole – with the head releasing into the water, the breath flowing and the spine lengthening."

We only sell products we know from personal experience to work. We don't sell training aids like kickboards, pull buoys or certain hand paddles because we believe them generally to be detrimental to the process of swimming without stress.

But, with memories of Olympic legend Popov training with a snorkel back in the 90s, we were intrigued by the Swimmer’s Snorkel by Finis and thought we’d try one out. Not put off by Finis’s motto under the logo on the packaging, ‘Swim Hard’, Ian has tested the snorkel during recent training sessions with some surprising results.

What Finis Say: 
  • Breathing through a snorkel while swimming increases lung capacity - the capacity of the lungs to expel air which is required for optimal intake of oxygen
  • Allows for a natural and proper body position in the water 
  • Improves body balance 
  • Allows you to practise proper stroke technique by eliminating the breathing cycle rotation 
  • Eliminates strain on neck, back and shoulders 
  • Worn over the centre of the face 
  • Designed for use with conventional swim goggles

“The Swimmer’s Snorkel is a revolutionary product that all swimmers can use to improve their technique” Pablo Morales, Three Time Olympic gold Medallist

“The Swimmer’s Snorkel allows the swimmer to isolate and concentrate on body balance, rotation and alignment by eliminating the complicated breathing motion.” Richards WQuick, Head Coach, USA Women’s Olympic Swim Team

Since this blog post, there is now also a Finis Freestyle snorkel, which seems to offer greater avoidance of the risk of taking water in through the tube. Cheryl says, 'Take away the strain. This is the snorkel you want if you're concerned at all about taking all the strain off your neck and back. You can really let your head rest, face down with this snorkel.'

Ian’s Review of the original 

As an Alexander Technique teacher, it would be easy for me to argue against any of the benefits of a swimming snorkel claimed by Finis. But I’m certainly glad I gave it a go. I’ve been using it for about 300 or 400 metres during each training session (about 25% of distance covered) and find that it really does something for my stroke. It causes me to feel, particularly after I’ve taken it off, that I’m getting hold of the water better than ever before though I can’t quite work out why.

Trusting the process of breathing through a tube takes a bit of getting used to (when swimming with fish on holiday I prefer not to bother) and it wasn’t until the second time of using that I managed to stop holding my breath! But I’m definitely a fan. In the same way that sparing use of training fins makes your kick more effective by educating the legs and feet, using the snorkel seems to improve my stroke and makes me feel, fleetingly, like Michael Phelps (so long as I don’t look at the clock)!

About breathing and rhythm

I find it helpful to regulate snorkel-breathing by exhaling through the mouth on one glide (as one arm enters the water and travels forward) and inhaling on the other. It is enjoyable just to allow yourself to switch from left to right like a pendulum with your neck relaxed and head and spine still, at the centre of it all.

When you take the snorkel off, can you keep a similar rhythm or does the need to rotate into the breathing position change the rhythm of your stroke? I find that my old pattern when breathing bilaterally is to think something like ‘one, two, breathe left, one, two, breathe right…’, which means I’m breaking the flow of the stroke in order to inhale, whereas the challenge is for the breathing stroke to be just another stroke with no interruption of forward direction. After using the snorkel, I remind myself to think ‘left,right, left, right…’ or ‘one, two, one two…’ so that breathing bilaterally doesn’t cause me to interrupt the flow of the stroke; the simple, brain-satisfying pleasure of switching from oneside to the other, left to right.

So to sum up my experience and advice:

Don’t think of using the snorkel as an opportunity to forget about the breathing, while you focus on the rest of the stroke.

Continue to think of the stroke as a whole – with the head releasing into the water, the breath flowing and the spine lengthening as the base from where the movement comes.

To order a Finis Swimmer's Snorkel  or Finis Freestyle Snorkel, or to read the reviews of other shoppers please visit our swimming shop (the video demonstrating the snorkel is particularly useful).



Your comments