By comparing the time of the same distance swum with and without an added resistance, under the assumption of an equal power output in both cases, the drag of 73 top swimmers was estimated. The active drag Fr(a.d.) at maximal swimming velocities varied considerably across strokes and individuals. In the females Fr(a.d.) ranged from 69.78 to 31.16 N in the front-crawl, from 83.04 to 37.78 N in dolphin, from 93.56 to 45.19 N in breaststroke, and from 65.51 to 37.79 N in back-stroke. In the males Fr(a.d.) ranged from 167.11 to 42.23 N in front-crawl, from 156.09 to 46.95 N in dolphin, from 176.87 to 55.61 N in breaststroke, and from 146.28 to 46.36 N in back-stroke. Also, the ratio of Fr(a.d.) to the passive drag Fr(a.d.) as determined for the analogical velocity in a tugging condition (in standard body position-front gliding) shows considerable individual variations. In the female swimmers variations in Fr(a.d.)/Fr(p.d.) ranged from 145.17 to 59.94% in front-crawl, from 192.39 to 85.57% in dolphin, from 298.03 to 124.50% in breaststroke, and from 162.87 to 85.61% in back-stroke. In the male swimmers variations in Fr(a.d.)/Fr(p.d.) ranged from 162.24 to 62.39% in front-crawl, from 191.70 to 70.38% in dolphin, from 295.57 to 102.83% in breaststroke, and from 198.82 to 74.48% in back-stroke. The main reason for such variations is found in the individual features of swimming technique and can be quantitatively estimated with the hydrodynamic force coefficient, which thus provides an adequate index of technique.