SwimSwam Pulse: 37% Want To See Butterfly Skins Race in ISL Season

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which stroke they’d most like to see in the ISL skins format:


Question: Which event are you most excited to see as an ISL skin race?

  • 50 Fly – 37.2%
  • 50 Breast – 26.3%
  • 50 Free – 21.7%
  • 50 Back – 14.8%

Butterfly (37.2%) and breaststroke (26.3%) led our poll, with readers most excited to see multi-round skin races of the short-axis strokes.

Commenters brought up the taxing nature of both fly and breast as adding to the intrigue of those races. The skin format (three rounds of a 50-meter swim with three minutes between rounds and the bottom half of finishers cut after each round) would be especially brutal in those strokes, and we might see a lot more round-to-round change in the finish order as athletes tire.

Butterfly also has the allure of featuring some of the ISL’s biggest names, including the top two in last year’s MVP finish order: Sarah Sjostrom and Caeleb Dressel.

Breaststroke features Lilly Kingwho has been arguably the most dominant swimmer in the ISL so far, winning all 12 of her individual breaststroke races last year. On the men’s side, it would be a pretty wide-open field. London’s Adam Peaty isn’t as dominant in short course meters as he is in long course, but he’d still be among the favorites, with a bunch of top contenders.

We saw freestyle skin races in all seven ISL meets last year. This is the first year the non-free strokes can be mixed in. Freestyle still pulled 21.7% of the votes, despite it being a much more known commodity – Dressel and Vladimir Morozov would be the clear frontrunners for the men, and Sjostrom and Ranomi Kromowidjojo for the women.

Backstroke got just 14.8% of the votes – but that’s one we’ll probably get to see tomorrow. The LA Current are loaded in backstroke, and get to pick the men’s skin race after winning today’s medley relay.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick which season they are more excited for – ISL or NCAA:

Which swim season are you more excited for?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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IU Swammer
7 months ago

I know they still have a lot of kinks to work out, but the ISL is just fun. The longer NCAA season provides more entertainment, with more analysis and long-term strategy. But it doesn’t get fun until conference meets and NCAAs.

Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

I want to see Ben Proud and MA go three rounds in a fly skins to see which one needs to be embalmed first.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
7 months ago

Ask old man Santos to go with them and then carry both home later

7 months ago

Yes, Butterfly!!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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