Following our earlier blog article on how swim parachutes help improve your swimming we are thrilled to be working with FINIS on these great products. For this weeks blog, we are excited to have the FINIS Swim Parachutes Review with both their parachute and drag chute swimming products. All expertly reviewed by a member of the Trivelo Test Squad. Hear what Yvonne has to say following a thorough four-week trial of drag chute swimming products from FINIS, Inc.
Trivelo Test Associate Intro: Yvonne
My name is Yvonne and I’m an amateur triathlete who got into to the sport due to a knee injury after hiking in the Andes nine years ago. Up to this point, I never really swam and the first thing I learned was front crawl and building up endurance. Straight away, I fell in love with swimming and as soon as I was able to swim front crawl for 2 km, I was out and about swimming in lakes and oceans. Open water swimming is now my passion and I take any opportunity to jump in.
Monthly, I swim between 20-30 km and have completed a number of 5 km pool swims and open water swims. Naturally, when FINIS asked me to test some of their new swim tools I happily accepted. It timed perfectly with the end of the Tri season. Jumping in the pool at 6.30am is a challenge and anything to keep me motivated is well accepted. I received two different swim parachutes to compare and identify the pros and cons for each.
First Impressions of the FINIS Swim Parachute
The first impression and thought of the FINIS Parachute was that it looked a bit basic and simple. The cardboard box didn’t appeal either as it’s no use when the parachute is wet after use. It didn’t come with any instructions, but looked simple enough to use. The belt seemed very long and I wasn’t sure if that would bother me whilst swimming.
First Swim with the Parachute
Still pretty open minded and excited to use it the first time, I was quickly disappointed. To be honest, I found it slightly frustrating. I just couldn’t get on with it at all. No matter what I tried, shortening the rope or extending the rope, it kept constantly interfering with my legs and feet and didn’t allow me to get into a smooth swim stroke. Pretty frustrating and really no fun using it. I persevered and kept swimming but no joy. I tested it again for the next four swim sessions and incorporated breast stroke as well, but after 50 metres, I simply had to give up.
Summary of the review of the FINIS Swim Parachute
Not sure if it was me or my swim style, but I just couldn’t find any joy in using this swimming drag parachute. The other thing I didn’t get on well with was the belt. Although it was adjustable, being quite petite, there was just too much belt hanging off me. It didn’t always help with the swim either. The other issues was the space I was using (length of me and the parachute). If the pool was busy, it didn’t feel like the tool to be using.
One down and one to go in the FINIS swim parachutes review.
First Impressions of the FINIS Drag+Fly Swim Trainer Chute
So I was a little less excited about trying the FINIS Drag+Fly Swim Trainer Chute after my experience with the other parachute. I took it on my trip to my hometown in Germany, where I would have access to a 50 metre pool. I thought would feel less like invasion of other peoples swim space. First impression when taking it out of the package was great. It came with a handy mesh bag which allowed the transport of the swimming chute to the pool and after use. The fabric and feel was totally different than the other one. It felt like a properly thought through swim tool and one which would potentially last for a very long time. It did initially feel a bit heavy, but this didn’t seem to be an issue in the water. I liked that it offered five stages of difficulties and I straight away spotted the little buoy attached to the rope.
First Swim with the FINIS Drag+Fly Swim Training Chute
My first swim with the FINIS Swim Chute was a completely different experience. Immediately, I fell in love with it. It felt like the chute wasn’t there, something I didn’t get with the previous model. The belt fit comfortably due to the velcro all the way round and I swam and swam. I was a bit worried that it may chaff around the tummy area due to wearing a two-piece swim suit but the worry was unfounded. It felt comfortable throughout and fitted perfectly.
During my first session with the FINIS swim chute, I swam 400m and loved it.Yvonne – Trivelo Test Associate
I started with the easiest level, and over the next few sessions I experimented with the difficult setting and really could feel the difference.
Benefits of the FINIS Swim Chute
My swim times for 50m slowed dramatically but that is the point I guess. It definitely felt like I was working my arms and upper body and could really feel the difference when swimming without the chute.
Summary of the Review of the FINIS Drag+Fly Swim Trainer Chute
The little buoy is exactly what was missing on the other parachute. This ensured that the rope did not interfere with my legs or feet. I varied my swim stroke between front crawl and breast stroke and both worked equally well. A very enjoyable experience and would happily recommend this tool for additional strength training – and also for a bit of fun in the pool.
If I had to choose, I would definitely go for the FINIS Drag+Fly swim training chute. Its more versatile, it looks good and works well.
Video from Yvonne of her testing the FINIS swim parachutes
Buy the Finis Drag+Fly Swim Training Chute for £59.99
Buy the Finis Swim Chute for £24.49
Huge thanks to Yvonne for such a fabulous article on the FINIS swim parachutes review. For other swim training aids we recommend you take a look at include.
Aqua Sphere hand paddles – under £15
HUUB Toy Buoy Pull Buoy – under £20
Aqua Sphere Pro Swim Fins – Under £25