You've seen the Speedo LZR-Racer and its effect on Olympic swim times, but the Lunocet Monofin promises to have an even greater effect on swimming speeds. Although it will most likely never be allowed in competition, it represents another product design that is sure to change the swimming experience.
Designed by Ted Ciamillo, the 42-inch carbon-fiber monofin acts much like a dolphin tail. In fact, Ciamillo studied the dolphin flipper for seven years while developing the Lunocet in an attempt to emulate its efficiency. When strapped to feet, it increases surface area and moves on a pivot to produce thrust on both up and down movements when kicking. Wrapped in silicone, the fin moves quickly through the water with less drag and, although it weighs 2.5 lbs on land, it is completely buoyant in water.
The founders claim that it can help swimmers reach speeds of up to eight mph and that you can even propel yourself out of the water, again much like a dolphin. We find this hard to believe, but we won't knock it till we try it.
Maybe now average swimmers will be able to keep up with Michael Phelps or with the marine life when snorkeling or scuba diving. Recently pushed into production, the Lunocet ranges from $1250 to $1800 depending on configuration and orders can be placed at Lunocet. Also be sure to check out the videos of the monofin in action.