3 Methods to identify your Swim Type

Method 1.

Read our profile descriptions for each type


Swim Type 1

The Arnie is often male, of strong build and commonly with a background in team sports such as football and rugby. The female ‘Arnette’ is less overtly muscular but otherwise has very similar attributes. Their lean muscle mass and limited upper-body flexibility gives them very sinky legs when swimming. This means that one of their primary areas of focus needs to be improving their body position.


Swim Type 2

The Bambino is often but by no means always female, of small to light build with limited swimming experience. Co-ordination in the water is a key concern and learning to improve their rhythm, timing and catch will really aid this. In terms of limited experience, the Bambino is equivalent to The Arnie but with a distinctly gentler temperament and much lower power.


Swim Type 3

The Kicktastic is often but not always female with some swimming experience, often from earlier childhood. Their stroke is characterised by a very dominant and propulsive leg kick but lacks catch and feel for the water with their arm stroke. As kicking is a relatively inefficient method of propulsion, and uses very large muscle groups, meaning this swimmer is often short of breath.


Swim Type 4

The Overglider can be male or female but with one common trait – a very conscientious approach towards developing their swimming technique! Their stroke is typically long but contains too much glide and has a distinct dead-spot within its timing. Once they have intellectually bought-in to the removal of glide from their stroke they can make rapid progress.


Swim Type 5

The Swinger nearly always has good swimming experience over a long period of time and feels confident in the water. The key characteristic of the Swinger compared to the Smooth type is that they have a shorter stroke with a faster turnover. Over the years some bad habits may have crept in and their stroke is often in need of a tune up.


Swim Type 6

Everybody wants to be a smooth but even their stroke will benefit from a tune-up. The Smooth can be male or female and has an excellent swimming background. They appear to be perfect in the water and to exert very little effort whilst cruising past their opponents.Their stroke may require some adaptations to perform at their potential in open water.

Method 2.

Ask A Friend Or Coach To Use Our Observation Sheet:

This is the very best way to discover your type. Download the Swim Type Observation Sheet, take it to the pool with you and ask a friend of coach to assess your stroke against the simple criteria.


Method 3.

Take the Swim Types Questionnaire:

We've created a simple set of questions and answers to help you identify your type.
It's not a foolproof but will give you a good indication of your type in most cases:


1. Can You Swim 400m (or yards) without stopping for short rest ?
2. Do You Feel Out of Breath When You Swim ?
3. Are you male or female?
4. How would you describe your build?
5. Did you swim competitively when you were a child?
6. How tall are you?
7. What’s your arm span minus your height in inches? **
8. Are you a very driven person who doesn’t like to lose?
9. Do you ever feel anxious in the water?
10. Do you get a buzz from the social side of squad swimming?
11. Are you good at kick sets?
12. Do you go well in the open water relative to your pool speed?
13. Are you slower with a pull buoy than normal swimming?
14. What length pool do you swim in?
15. In that pool, what time do you swim for a fast effort 400m at your current fitness?
16. How many strokes per length do you take, counting both arms, in the latter half of that 400m?

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You have finished the Questionnaire
Click on "Get the Results" to display Results, In order to get results by Email fill out the details and click "Get the Results"


  • The results show your likelyhood against each Swim Type. e.g. If you get a long bar for both Arnie and Kicktastic, this means you could be either -the questionnaire is not sure.
  • The results rely on the quality of your entered data - please check carefully, particularly 400m time and strokes/length!
  • The results are just a guide and occasionally produce erronious results, do not rely on them alone to discover your type!