Does Your Swim Training Gear Really Matter?
So you may be a purist… getting by with just a swimsuit, towel and goggles. That’s great. With effort and knowledge you can become a great swimmer with that limited bit of equipment. That said, incorporating additional swim training gear into your routine can do a lot to improve your stroke, build strength and conditioning, keep workouts interesting…. or just give you something new to talk about with the swimmers in your lane. This article reviews some of the best swim training gear that you may want to add to your swim bag.
Ray-Board is the newest kickboard available for those looking make kick sets an important part of their swim training. Ray-Board’s ergonomic design positions your elbows several inches lower and wider than with traditional flat kickboards. This takes stress off of your shoulders, neck and back. While using Ray-Board your upper body truly gets to rest, allowing you to focus on your kick. It’s simply the most comfortable kickboard you can use.
Paddles: Speedo Nemesis Contour Paddles
Speedo paddles have always been great, but the contouring of the Nemesis model makes them even better. Their shape positions them on your hands naturally, and the straps provide the necessary additional support. They are big enough that you can really feel the water, but not so big that they disrupt your natural stroke. They are reasonably priced and are available in three sizes.
Fins: Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers
You might not have expected to see significant innovation in swim flippers, but the Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers achieve a meaningful advancement. The unique “flex box” on the underside of the flipper catches water on the up kick, which is intended to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. Stiffening ribs allow your full foot to generate power without hyperflexing or fatiguing the forefoot. They are available in many sizes so you can get the perfect fit.
Pull Buoy: They are all okay
Pull buoys can be useful training tools, and all competitive swimmers should have one, but there just isn’t much difference between them. One gear review website scored the top nine pull buoys between 88.4 and 90.6 on a 0-100 point scale. So essentially the same rating. Most have similar shape, density and stiffness. A couple are designed for dual use as pull buoys and kickboards, but as is often true for hybrid products, they don’t do either particularly well. Perhaps this is an area for future innovation.
Snorkel: MP FOCUS Swim Snorkel
You may not see a lot of swim snorkels at your pool, but don’t let that turn you off to them. After you acquired the basic swim gear and you’re looking for your next piece of equipment, you may want to try a swim snorkel… and the MP Focus is a great place to start. A lot of thought went into this design. It comfortably fits the face and mouth, stay steady as you swim, and doesn’t take on a lot of water. This allows you to truly focus on your stroke.
Goggles: Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored
As you get more competitive you may consider owning more than one pair of goggles. The Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 goggles provide a low profile inner-eye fit, wide visibility, and anti-fog design that makes these performance goggles the go to piece of equipment for days when performance matters. As you’d expect, Speedo provides exceptional design and engineering at a reasonable price. You could spend more if your simply looking to intimidate other swimmers, but for most swimmers the Vanquisher 2.0 is hard to beat.
You probably shouldn’t be shoving all this new swim gear it into an old worn out gym bad. You need a dedicated swim bag. If you’ve spent much time around a club swim team you’ve likely seen dozens of this Speedo swim bag, and likely in just as many different colors. These bags have plenty of compartments for your dry and wet gear, and its available int two sizes, one that’s perfect for kids and another for adults. With so many patterns available you can simultaneously join the crowd and express your unique style.
Lap Counting Watch: Garmin Swim 2
We love the small profile of this Garmin watch. The features support serious swim analytics, but will also provide basic tracking for your run, bike, steps, sleep, etc. You can preload swim workouts. It’s rest and stroke detection functions work reliably. It has wrist based heart rate detection, and optionally connects to a chest based heart rate sensor if you want really accurate data. It tracks both pool work outs and open water swims. This tech gets stronger every year, and the Garmin Swim 2 delivers a lot of functionality.
Safety Float: Kiefer Saferswimmer Open Water Swim Buoy
This is a must for open water swimmers. Seriously…. Safety first. Sure, you may be an amazing athlete who never gets cramps, or who hate how it feels to be dragging a buoy, but it only takes one time for this product to be worth the expense and effort. If COVID-19 has you swimming in open water instead of in a pool, please consider using a swim buoy.
There are plenty more gadgets and gizmos for you to spend your money on. Let us know what other swim training gear you recommend. Just drop us a note on the Contact Page. We’re always keen to try new things.