Swim Gear Review: The FINIS Agility Paddle

Paddles (and fins) are a swimmer’s best friend. That being said, they aren’t all created equal. Here’s a review of the best swim paddle on the market, the FINIS Agility paddle.

Paddles are one of the most favored pieces of equipment in the pool.

Like fins, which help power your kick to faster than regular kick speeds, wearing swim paddles gives us additional surface area to pull with, boosting our propulsion through the water.

Paddle use, beyond helping us swim faster, can also assist in developing better technical habits in the pool. They have a way of magnifying our strokes; it reinforces the things that are working (with higher velocity and efficiency), while highlighting the things that aren’t.

Additionally, throwing on a pair of paddles can help us to improve our feel for the water (particularly when we alternate paddle use with regular swimming to better promote desired motor patterns)

And one of the most popular swim paddles on the market today are the FINIS Agility paddles.

They combine a unique strapless design that encourages better technique across all four strokes. Have a plastic design that lasts forever. And are asymmetrically designed for each hand, making for a more natural pulling motion and reduced strain on the shoulders and elbows.

Having tested and evaluated countless swim paddles over the years, I can say with confidence that there is no paddle like it in the water.

Here’s a quick breakdown and review of these paddles.

Going Strapless: The FINIS Agility Paddles

The first time you look at the these paddles it tends to cause consternation. You might wonder to yourself how on earth the paddle will stay on your hands.

After all, unlike your traditional swim paddle, there are no straps to slip through your fingers and wrist and to hold your hand fast to the plastic paddle.

So how does the paddle stay on your hands?

First, you need to swim with correct technique.

Improper hand entry means the paddle slips right off, giving you a type of immediate technical feedback that helps insure that you are swimming properly.

Swim Gear Review: FINIS Agility Paddles Review

If your catch and pulling motion isn’t on point the paddle goes bye-bye, and there are fewer things more annoying than having to stop mid-length to retrieve swim gear.

Because there are no straps, the paddles require you to continually maintain pressure on the paddle to keep them from coming off. This will help in developing a quick early vertical forearm and build a fuller pull.

Second, the paddles have a small hole to slip your thumb through. Between the thumb hole, and swimming with proper technique, the paddle isn’t going anywhere.

Because of the strapless design you don’t need to screw around with tightening or loosening straps. No more broken or faded straps, or tightening one of the straps and having it snap on you.

As a result, these paddles last basically forever.

Swim Gear Review: FINIS Agility Paddles Review

FINIS Agility Paddles FAQ:

  • Who are these paddles for? Developing swimmers who want to clean up their technique while also getting the power and strength-building benefits of using paddles.
  • Can you do all four strokes with these paddles? Yes, you can. I found that it was most effective with freestyle. While swimming breaststroke with these paddles I had difficulty maintain the pressure on the paddles to keep them from falling off. I’ve seen other (better) breaststrokers and butterfliers use these paddles no problem.
  • It keeps falling off—is it broken? No, your stroke is! If you find that the Agility paddles are continually falling and sliding off, take note of where in your stroke it is happening. The catch? Hand entry? The paddles aren’t just for swimming faster than you would normally with your hands, it can also provide immediate feedback on your technique.
  • Does it get easier to use them? Absolutely. It takes time to create more efficient and proper technical patterns in the water, so be patient.
  • How much are these bad boys? They are actually quite cheap—usually around $20. This is particularly awesome as these paddles, with no moving parts, will basically last you a lifetime.
  • Where can I buy them? You can pick up a pair of FINIS Agility paddles over at Amazon by clicking here.
FINIS Agility Paddle Review

More Swim Gear Guides:

Looking for more swim gear to improve your stroke and speed in the water? Here are some more reviews of swim training accessories I currently have in my swim bag.

Swim Gear Review: The FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro. Here’s a quick review on how the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro can help you become a better swimmer.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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