With the summer break approaching lots of families are soon heading off on holiday. If you have young children then buoyancy aids for the pool are essential. We’ve been lucky enough to be sent a Swimfin to try out. As a swimming teacher I’ve used lots of different aids, so how did the swimfin measure up?
*Gifted – this means we were sent the item free of charge to try it out for the purpose of our review. We have not been paid to feature this product.
If you haven’t seen a Swimfin before then they basically look like a shark’s fin that straps on to the child’s back. It’s made from EVA foam which is lightweight, feels really durable and dries quickly. The two straps are secured using velcro so can be adjusted to the size of the child. Larger straps are available if ‘big kids’ want to give it a try. The standard Swimfin straps are aimed at children age 2-12 years (younger children can use it but must be able to support their own body. Do not put it on a baby!)
Having never used a Swimfin before I wasn’t sure how well it would support a child, especially a non-swimmer. We tried it out on our son Cody who is 6 years old and a weak swimmer. For those of you who are familiar with the Swim England programme he is a stage 3. He can swim 10 metres on his front and back unaided. The straps of the Swimfin fit comfortably round him and he was so excited to try it out!
I got Cody to try out swimming on his front with the fin. The fin helped him achieve a flat body position in the water and he loved being a shark! We then had a go at swimming on his back which he actually managed really well. I was suprised as didn’t think it would be very easy on his back. The Swimfin gives a good amount of support though to get a horizontal body position in the water. Rolling from front to back was a little tricky and he used his arm to help push the fin round but was able to do it on his own.
The big test was to see how the float faired with Cody in an upright position in the water as this is how non-swimmers tend to be. The fin was completely submerged beneath the water to give him enough support to stay up. He was able to tread water and move around comfortably. I’m not sure how well it would work on a preschool age non-swimmer but having looked at other reviews they all seem positive. The fin didn’t push him face-down as I expected which is great. When Cody jumped in to the pool the Swimfin brought him straight back up to the surface. He had a go at trying to swim under water with the fin on but despite kicking with all his might the fin kept him afloat – as it should!
I’m really impressed with the Swimfin and look forward to using it more on our future trips to the pool. Cody loved wearing it and found it very comfortable. The straps didn’t rub his skin at all. If your child is particularly sensitive then put a swim top on them and the swimfin over the top. The play element of this being shaped like a shark’s fin means kids will love wearing it. They have their arms free to practise swimming which is a big plus compared to arm bands or a swimming noodle. It also allows children to learn to support themselves in the water far better than a swimming jacket as well. We highly recommend it!
*I have not included photos of Cody actually swimming with the fin on as there were other children in the pool. At some point we hope to hire a private pool and will update with more photos of the Swimfin in use then.
For more information on Swimfin and to order your own please go to their website at https://swimfin.co.uk/