July 24, 2007 The idea of attaching fish-like fins to the body to propel us more efficiently through the water occurred to many early inventors, including Leonardo da Vinci, but it wasn’t until the early 1940s that flippers came into actual use – in this case, for the US Navy’s underwater demolition teams. Since then, they’ve become popular around the world for skin diving, snorkeling and swimming training. Look at the tails of fast fish, however, and you’ll notice that none of them sport a flat-edged tail – and it’s this observation that has driven Italian swim fin specialists Salvas to develop a new asymmetric fin design to get maximal kicking power out of a swimmer while promoting a more natural kicking motion than many standard fins.

Salvas first demonstrated its new Aquaria fin at the recent ISPO Sportstyle expo in Germany. The new fins imitate fish tailfins and are adjusted to more accurately comply to the anatomical requirements of swimmers. While normal fins can force the legs into unnatural positions during the swimming stroke, the new asymmetric Aquaria fins promote a clean descent of the lower extremities and a more natural kicking motion.

The fins are made of three different plastic and rubber materials, which are selected to provide optimal stiffness and flexibility, and a soft TPR heel pocket allows them to slip on and off in comfort.

Other advanced swimfins on the market include the similarly fishtail-shaped Force Fin, and the Shin Fin, which straps to the shin allowing free movement of the feet on land.

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