Swimming paddles, less known than fins, nevertheless have the same function as the latter: they allow to gain power and therefore, to swim faster.

If they actually allow you to move faster, swimming with paddles will also require more effort, this is also not recommended equipment for people who are new to swimming, those accessories are aimed more at experienced swimmers.

If you are looking for quality swimming paddles, but have no idea what to choose, you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you how to start choosing the pads that will meet your needs and reveal a selection of models.

What is the best swimming paddles?

In the market there are many hand paddles for swimming and, as you may have noticed, some of them are simply not good. So that you can distinguish the good from the bad, it is important that you consider the size and shape of the swimming paddles. The bigger they are, you will face greater resistance against water and, therefore, you will make more effort and improve your muscles. Ideally, start with a shovel just a little larger than your hand and then increase the size bit by bit.

Then you can find flat paddles, ergonomic or for specific uses. The first can come triangular, rectangular or similar to the hand, with holes or without holes. The latter have shapes and reliefs similar to your hand, while the latter are for certain styles of swimming. A good choice will help you improve strength and technique.

Speedo Power Plus Paddle

The Power Plus Paddle pads are very robust and adapt to all body types. They are designed to help the swimmer easily increase their power. Its edges are smooth and comfortable. They are pierced with several holes which allow water to circulate without slowing the movement. Four sizes are available, allowing an excellent fit for all levels of swimming.

Power Plus is designed to get more power with each stroke. They have lateral tubers which increase its surface. This advantage makes it possible to maintain a constant propulsion trajectory by pushing a large quantity of water.

Speedo uses plastic for its versatility. This material is ideal for swimming pads since it is possible to make it flexible or rigid according to the use that one intends to make of it. The plastics used to manufacture the wafers are high-mass polymers. They may contain other materials making them more practical.

Turbo Power Swimming Paddles

We started our comparative list with these professional swim fins with comfortable and durable rubber bands, multiple holes, equipped with a transport bag and suitable for triathlon training.

Vortex Hand Paddles

These fins of the brand Arena have reliefs of the palm of the hand to give you greater comfort when swimming, have an asymmetric shape and have a tubular strap.


Ergonomic hand paddles are available in small size and combination of blue and grey. They are very comfortable, flexible, allow good adjustment to the hand and are quite light.

Finis Freestyler Hand Paddles

Finis Freestyler swimming paddles are made in order to improve the position of the body. These strapless pads allow the body to adopt a more balanced position during swimming. They prevent drag by promoting hand typing. Crossovers are also avoided.

The hydrodynamic shape of Finis Freestyler pads significantly reduces water resistance. The hand is oriented forward and each line is elongated. The patented skeg design ensures perfect control of the pads and very good stability in all phases of training. They represent an excellent tool for correcting inadequate movements in swimming.

As with most quality swim pads, the Freestyler Finishes reduce stress on the shoulder while swimming. The risk of pain and injury is considerably reduced, among other things thanks to the adjustable finger strap which allows precise adjustment. Their design prevents hands from crossing. As for the fin, it straightens the entry of the hand into the water.

The Freestyler Finis, as their name suggests, are designed primarily for the practice of freestyle. The hand can, therefore, hover over the water. They promote strong pushes as well as a better rotation of the hips. The use of these plates is indicated to improve the crawl.

Speedo swimming paddles

Speedo, the leading brand in the market, offers these hand paddles in a combination of red with black and sizes: small, medium and large. They are spacious to give a better workout.

Speedo Biofuse Power swimming paddles

These ergonomic paddles are perfect for the health of your hands for its comfortable relief and excellent design. They are very good for improving the flotation technique.

Why swim with paddles?

The swimming paddles are very useful accessories for the swimmer because they act like fins but on the arms. In fact, the hand paddles allow you to strengthen your muscles and improve your support. Thanks to them, you develop your shoulders, back and forearms. 

Once you have gained muscle, swimming without paddles will be very easy and you will quickly notice that you have gained power in the arms. Using swimming pads is also a good way to learn how to properly position the arms and forearms or to correct certain faults. By performing the wrong movements over the long term, you increase the risk of injury, especially tendinitis in the shoulder and elbow.

How to choose swimming paddles?

The choice of your swimming paddles should mainly relate to one criterion: the size. There are two main sizes of paddles.

The large swimming paddles cover the entire hand, so they offer greater resistance to water, so they are more complicated to use, so we recommend them for more experienced swimmers.

Then there are smaller swimming paddles, also called finger paddles which, as their name suggests, cover only the top of the hand (the surface of the fingers). They are less efficient than large pads but also simpler to use and they reduce the risk of injury (compared to larger models), especially for beginners.

You can opt for more or less flat models, it’s up to you to see what you prefer. But most of the time, flat pads fit the shape of the hand best. You can also choose between swimming paddles with small holes or completely airtight plates. There, the choice will be made on the level of water resistance you expect. If you want pads that offer the best performance but are also more demanding, you will need to choose a completely airtight model.

How to use them?

Before putting on your swimming paddles, first, remember to warm up properly or you may be injured. Do a few lengths in crawl with large and flexible movements. Then place the pads against the palm of your hands and thread your fingers and handles through the rubber straps. There is no point in over-tightening the straps during the first use.

Once in place, start swimming normally. During the first use, you will need a few lengths to find your marks because the paddles modify your supports and the entry of the hands into the water. Little by little, you will correct your faults without even realizing it and you will reproduce the same movements during lengths without pads. For training with pads, prefer series at medium or slow speed to be able to focus on the arm movements.