Let's go backward in time scale and take a look at the era of the scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519) who, through his clairvoyance, invented the webbed glove. The 15th century leaves us as witness, drawn on two engravings, two swimmers putting on special boots which may have been the precursors of the current fins (Zurich central library). Disciple of Galileo, Borelli Giavanni (1608 - 1679), physiologist and mathematician, worked with a breathing system and fins of his invention.

From the 17th to the 19th century, humans used different prototypes to walk and breathe at the bottom of the water. In 1873, a Prussian named Thiess designed a fin and it was tested by J-A Foëx in 1948. In 1935, Captain de Corlieu developed two rubber fins. The era of surfing and underwater gliding is born. The era of 39/40 is notable for its underwater battles. It was in 1967 that the first European fin swimming championship was born, in the city of Locarno.

The Soviets invented the monofin. By its form, its prowess of movement and techniques of training, swimming with fins changes its look and style. In 1971, Svetlana Uspenjkaia surprised the world of the fin by realizing 400m in bottle immersion within less than four minutes with a first generation monofin made of titanium, whose two branches are joined by a strong canvas for the first generation, then Hypalon fabric, which probably weighs no less than three kilos. In 1972, the monofin appeared at the European Championship in Moscow and opened up new chronometric horizons for competitors who reached speeds of around 12 km / h. Very elegant, it completes the transformation of swimming with fins into a sliding sport.

Recognized as an Olympic discipline by the IOC in 1986, Swimming with Fins for competition and leisure is a sport in full expansion. It is aimed at all age categories, men as well as women, provided they have no contraindication.

Swimming with fins

which is practiced both in a swimming pool and in a natural environment.

where the swimmer moves underwater without air supply, over a maximum distance of 50 m (25m for 12-13 year olds).

where the swimmer moves underwater and breathes using a compressed air cylinder (volume adapted to the length of the event), over a maximum distance of 800 m.

Swimming competitions with fins take place over the following distances:
  • At the surface (SF): 50m, 100m, 200m, 800m, 1500m and 1850m (one nautical mile).
  • In apnea (AP): 50m, (25m for 12-13 year olds, forbidden for the youngest).
  • In immersion with a diving suit (IS): 100m, 400m, 800m.
  • Relay (RL): 4 x 200m in surface swimming.
  • No limits
National and international championships take place over distances of 6 to 8km.