This study analysed the start phases of 15 elite front crawl swimmers, all specialists of sprint events. The first aim was to determine which phases were correlated with the 15-m start time. The features common to the sample of swimmers were then established and individual profiles were clustered. The subjects performed two 25-m trials at the 50-m race-pace using their preferential start technique (grab start). The kinematical analysis assessed the durations of the block, flight, entry, glide, leg kicking and full swimming phases to the 15-m mark. Stroking parameters and the index of arm coordination (IdC) were analysed for the swimming part (10-20 m) of the 25-m. Through the swimming part IdC increased while stroke length and velocity decreased (p<0.05). The relative durations of the aerial (block, flight), entry and underwater phases were correlated with start time. Inter-subject variability was observed, which suggests that various motor solutions were used for the start. Notably, four clusters led to a short 15-m start time: the leg kicking style, mixed "leg kicking/swimming" style, long glide style and short glide style.Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York.