There are all kinds of products out there to help correct your swim stroke. There are fins, hand paddles, and straps that are meant to straighten your lines and aid your kicks. There’s even a product on the market that uses a snorkel to help you keep correct head position--the Freestyle Snorkel, by FINIS.
What makes this snorkel different from your usual observe-the-fish-underwater snorkel that goes along the side of your face is that this snorkel is positioned along the front of your face and goes straight up and over your head so that you may keep your head in a neutral position.
FINIS, founded in 1993 in Northern California, is a leader in technical swimming products. They first released the swimmer’s snorkel over 15 years ago and have only improved on it since. They also have a Swimmer’s Snorkel Jr. and the Youth Swimmer’s Snorkel for young competitive swimmers.
Coaches have used snorkels for years to help their swimmers. The FINIS Freestyle snorkel curves around the head to reduce drag and promote proper body position. It stays in place for all four competitive swim strokes as well as flip turns. The goal is to remove the head turning necessary for swim breathing so that a swimmer can fix either head or body position before adding back in their head turns.
The snorkel helps swimmers to find that sweet spot between looking too far forward (which makes the legs drop, making the kick efficiency decrease) or looking too far down (affecting head turn efficiency). If you’re making either of those mistakes while wearing the snorkel, you’ll suck in water which will prompt you to correct your position.
It’s also meant to still your head so you can focus on your body motions (or body roll) without turning your head. Your shoulders and hips should be turning together while your head remains still and this helps that attention be focused. The snorkel helps still the head so the head can face forward while the body rolls independently. People have a tendency to flick their head around while their body rotates which causes unnecessary drag in the water.
If you’re looking for a way to correct your stroke but feel at a loss, this is the perfect way to be mindful of your body position, especially if you don’t have someone to coach you and give you pointers out of the water. This snorkel helps swimmers achieve that neutral face down head position that allows you to focus on kick and positioning technique. Whether you’re competing in a triathlon, swimming competitively, or just looking to fix your stroke for the sake of exercise, the FINIS snorkel is the way to go.
FINIS has a video all about the Swimmer’s Snorkel if you need any further tips and tricks.