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Cliff
March 15th, 2002, 04:48 PM
HI all. I need help deciding what paddles to use. I just bought TYR Catalyst paddles size S. I am a male, 23 years old, weigh 150 and swim about 3-4 times a week. I would say that I am intermediate. Basically, I feel that the paddles provide too much resistance for me. Although, the Small size is what it recommened. I have no experience with paddles so I am un sure of how they are suppposed to feel. I am afriad that if I move a size smaller, my hands might be slightly too big for it. The XS is recommended for for males and females 11-12 years old. I am in a bind so any help would be appreciated!!!! Regards, Cliff :)

jim thornton
March 15th, 2002, 10:25 PM
Cliff--I don't mean to sound too curmudgeonly here, but...

Forget paddles altogether. They contribute to shoulder problems, cost money, and make you swim weirdly. I may be iconoclastic here, but I think a sport like swimming is basically about you and the water. Lots of companies would like to sell you gadgets, from underwater radios to bungee cords, but this is not a sport like tennis or skiing or biking where excelling depends tremendously on buying the "right" equipment. (The one exception here, I believe, are body suits like the Speedo Fastskin, but that's another topic.)

To me, practice swimming with paddles or zoomers or other gizmos are of marginal benefit other than the distraction such items offer from the (sometimes) monotonous aspects of our practice regimens. Remember how joggers used to use hand and/or ankle weights to add resistance to their training? And how many ended up injured as a consequence of slightly abnormal gaits? I think paddles essentially do the same thing for swimmers. You are still pretty young-in your 20s, right?--so this might not effect you as much now as when you're older. But the bottom line, in my view, is that swimming speed is so tailored to the idiosyncracies of the individual human body that to try to "enhance" it with external apparatus (which you won't be able to rely on in the meets) is not doing you much good--and may be doing you some harm.

gmgdc
March 16th, 2002, 02:35 PM
Jim,
I tend to agree with you. While my daughter's coach has her and the other senior kids use paddles a lot, at my age (51) with my limited water time and, face it, my performance at some end of the year meet is not crucial, paddles are just an annoyance that only cause injury to the others with whom I share a lane.

Another fact specific to me, is that the weakest part of my stroke is my kick (give me a pull buoy and the 27 year old in my lane can't keep up). Therefore, for me, I don't see that paddles are going to help what is already my strength, i.e. pulling.

I'm sure there'll be opinions contrary to mine, but in the spectrum that is Master's Swimming, I fall somewhere in the middle of those who are in it just for fitness, and the other end, those who are obsessed with their training and have lofty goals of setting records. There's room for everybody and, for me, I don't care if I ever put on a paddle or ever see a kickboard.

Bert Petersen
March 16th, 2002, 04:03 PM
They got it right........... Paddles are an arm-sore as well as a huge annoyance to your lane-mates. Same for fins. Or... go to a workout where only triathletes train. ;)

strong440
March 16th, 2002, 05:01 PM
Thanx Greg and Jim, for your support for a position that I have been advocating, with little avail, for about three decades. And to Clif for bringing up the subject which allows me to express my most recent summary of the situation.

Leonardo da Vinci not only was a great artist, but also he was a prolific inventor of war machines of horrific destruction. In my mind's eye he had a pre-christian era anchestor whose own contribution was the attachment of a scythe or sickle to chariot wheels to mow down the enemy pawns. One of his twentieth century decendants, on a more subtle level, invented hand paddles for swimmers!

I have only myself to blame, I guess, for not expressing this graphic analogy to the various committees to whom I have brought my previous proposals to ban hand paddles from pools that are open to the general public.

If swimming coaches permit their use during closed practices that is their own business and I do not have a quarrel with them, but the general public should not be put in a position of having to avoid those scary things.

I have never charged a hand paddle wearer with intending to "touch " anyone, nor does it happen every day where I swim, but twice this week, that I have observed, it has happened.

If there is anybody out there who has information about court cases, or out of court settlements, involving swimmers hand paddles please do not hesitate to contribute it to this thread. The life you save could be someone very close to you.;)

KenChertoff
March 16th, 2002, 05:05 PM
I think I have to express a dissenting view here. My coach has us do at least one paddle set in almost every workout. I've found that they are useful -- particularly for giving a sense of whether your stroke mechanics are correct and giving you the feel of swimming at (or even faster than) race pace. But, I agree that they don't help much for strengthening your pull, and they can cause shoulder soreness.

So, I would suggest starting with the smallest paddle you're comfortable with and working up to a larger size that covers your hand as you get used to them. (But there's no need to work up to a size that's bigger than your hand -- the excess resistance could cause shoulder strain.) Also, avoid rectangular paddles, since they put pressure against your fingers, rather than your palms, so they can distort your stroke and increase the strain on your shoulders.

Paul Smith
March 16th, 2002, 05:08 PM
Cliff,
I disagree with the others and beleive that using fins and pulling gear can be incredibly beneficial. First however I would point out that if your technique is not correct these "devises" will only magnify your problems and possibly cause/worsen injuries. If you have a good coach who will keep on you about tehnique then you should not completely rule out using the "toys".

The flip side is that paddles especially can help promote a more balanced and efficient stroke if you alreaady have good body awareness, they are also excelleant strength builders. The biggest problem I see is that if people tend to drop their thumbs on entry the paddles will put additonal starin on the shoulder. If your focused on a flat or little finger first entry and are using hip roatation and extension the paddles can really increase your feel as well as the resistance.

As for fins, I see a lot of folks get addicted and can understand people getting pissed about others using them. However, one of the biggest factors in developing a powerful and efficient kick is ankle flexibility which fins help develop. Personally I like a set of long softer fins that I use for long (200-500) kick sets or for race pace sprint sets vs. someone who may be leaving them on the whole practice.

Bert, as far as annoying lane mates, I'm 6' 6" with an 80" arm span. The 5 lane pool we train is has lanes that are about 10 inches narrower than a "standard" pool. Needless to say people who drop in from time to time get a little freaked when I'm using my XL catalyst paddles! Truth be told however is that I geet hit from arm swingers in the lanes next to me and have only hit others 2-3 times in the last few years (high elbows!).

Paul

Cliff
March 16th, 2002, 06:52 PM
Thanks guys. Alot of interesting opinoins here, and that's exaclty what I posted for. As for injuries, that's exactly what I don't want to happen. I guess I will do away with the paddles. The main reason why I swim is for my lower back. I have a bad lower back and swimming is the only form of exersize that is easy on it. I really can't afford to get hurt. Now, I am kind of scared to use them. :( Better scared, than injured I guess. Thanks to all! -Cliff

jim thornton
March 16th, 2002, 07:40 PM
Cliff,

One final note on bad backs. I injured my back when I was in my 20s--jumping off a wall to avoid being bit by a guard dog, but again, that's another story...

Anyhow, I had episodic lower back pain for years, sometimes with sciatica. I thought swimming would be just the ticket, and to some extent it is. But swimming (especially butterfly and sprint freestyle) can cause me to arch in a way that aggravates the back pain, despite all that's been written about how swimming is supposedly the most injury-benign of the major sports.

What I have found helps a lot is to do some moderate weight lifting, lots of walking, and a variety of other sports along with swimming. For whatever reason, my back tends to be worse in winter months--possibly because of the cold, possibly because I don't get as much walking, etc. in.

The main point I want to get across here is that back pain will go away eventually, and if you can take a balanced approach to exercise (even jogging really helps, if you can do this), chances are you can elongate the interludes between painful episodes. Good luck.

Cliff
March 16th, 2002, 11:35 PM
Jim, that was some relaly thoughtful advice. I appreciate it. Actually, I have a pretty bad lower back. I have a herniated disk and a fracture of my L5 vertabre that doesn't heal. The fracture is congenital defect. It never bothered me till 2 years ago when I injured it weight lifting. Now, I sometimes have some pretty bad sciatica. Swimming has really helped me strenghten my lower back muscles as well as walking. Jogging isn't really that good for me because of the impact. But as you stated, butterfly and sprint freestyle should be avioded!! Thanks again for your genuine help Jim. :D :D

Mark in MD
March 17th, 2002, 04:11 PM
Hey Jim and Cliff,

I've been through the back pain routine, too, specifically sciatica. At my first episode, I was given the usual muscle relaxers and pain relievers, hoping that the spasms would subside. They did to a degree, but it wasn't until I enderwent physical theraoy through my chiropractor that the pain was relieved. I know that some chiropractors have received a bad "rap" and deservedly so. For the majority of them, they are truly excellent therapists.

I still, upon occasion, visit the chiropractor, for an adjustment. This, coupled with swimming and some weight training has resulted in little or no back problems for me.

Just a suggestion, here, from one who's been there and done that.

tzsegal
March 17th, 2002, 05:50 PM
I have found small hand paddles very helpful in figuring out where I stress my shoulders. I have been fighting shoulder strain on and off as I refine my freestyle. Nothing like 25 to 100 yards with paddles to really feel where I am leaning too much on my hand/arm while I breathe or some such phenomena. I only use them when I am experiencing no shoulder pain ... to figure out where in my stroke I am being hard on my shoulders. And maybe they also show where I am being inefficient ... if I don't finish a stroke or something, it is obvious. They definately have helped me with a cleaner entry into the water also. Now I put them on about once a month for a few laps, just to feel what I am doing. [I swim with fists at least a part of almost every workout ... to refine my stroke without relying on my hands too much.]
The paddles I use are barely larger than my hands, shaped like my hands mostly, and full of holes. I use strokemakers XS (red) and like them alot.

Good Luck!

gmgdc
March 17th, 2002, 08:12 PM
Cliff, Jim and Mark (and others)
I have noted somewhere in these forums previously that I am a chiropractor, hence my e-mail moniker gmgdc. I have also refrained from entering this discussion since I know from my own patients that there is no one cause for back pain, as you have indicated, Cliff, with your "herniation" and your spondylolisthesis being two separate problems right there. Therefore, there is no one answer for everyone with "back pain". There is no one exercise that will help everyone with the generic problem of back pain.

It's interesting to see comments about my profession as if I'm a fly on the wall listening in, but it's best I identify myself so that discussion participants can use some discretion in their comments. While I agree there are some in my profession who deserve criticism, the same is true for MD's, DDS's, DPM's and DO's as well as us DC's. I personally believe that we seem to get more criticism because what we do is very misunderstood, not only by the general public, but by our MD brethren as well.

Sorry, that's enough of my editorializing, but I thought I needed to explain who I am, and why I would never begin to try to give advice of a specific nature for problems which I can't be sure is appropriate without direct communication and some assurance of the specific etiology of the pain.

You are welcome to contact me directly, but I can't offer blanket advice over a forum and be comfortable that it wouldn't be applied by someone who has a different problem altogether and suffer as a result.

Cliff
March 17th, 2002, 09:29 PM
Greg,
Every professional should be as observant as yourself. I absolutly agree with what you have said about back conditions being very specific to each individual. I think that handing out advice can sometimes be counterproductive and even dangerous. Given my herniation and spondylolisthesis, I have educated myself on all the literature and research as well as seeing top spinal surgeons. This way, I feel best equipped to devise an exersize routine that is effective and most important safe for me. Swimming has helped strenthen my lower back muscles as well as every other muscle that is around the spinal column. The result is reduced pain while sitting and overall reduced pain.
I haven't seen a chriopractor because there isn't anything a chriopractor can really do for me personally. Some other people may benifit from chriopractic treatment but usually those with my problem don't. As you know Greg, there isn't any "fix" for the spondy except for surgery and I don't want a fusion nor am I suffering from severe nurological deficits that would warrent surgery. Even surgery is not a complete fix. Without ranting on and on, you know all about the different treatments anyway. Thanks for your insightful and personal post! And... thanks to everyone else as well. :)

cinc3100
July 3rd, 2002, 12:47 AM
Give me a break. Shirley Babashoff used paddles a lot and had fewer injuries than current top swimmers. I have not used them in over 25 years and if a person in their 20's wants to use them, then I don't see why not. I don't know if they make one better or not it depends on the person using them. I agree that for older swimmers they may lead to more injuries.

Gail Roper
July 3rd, 2002, 11:02 AM
I'm 73 and use the red xtra large Strokemaster paddles for large (1200 m) pulling sets about 3x a week. It's my strength and technique workout. Never had shoulder problems. I agree with Paul, that the shoulder problems occur when the thumb enters the water first and creates a twist and strain in the shoulder.

aquageek
July 6th, 2002, 04:14 PM
I have used the TYR Catalyst paddles and found them overly addicting so I switched to the Speedo Swim Foil devices. They don't have the addictive quality and, I believe, have helped me improve my stroke.

However, on pull sets, I still go without paddles about 80%-90% of the time. They are a nifty little training aid in my opinion.

My opinion is that these little toys aren't going to do irretrievable damage every 5th pull set or so (maybe once a week). I swim because I love it and find a little deviation from time to time actually helps my overall enjoyment.

Maybe you should use them if you like them.

aztimm
July 9th, 2002, 11:25 AM
I've used the TYR Catlyst paddles (size XL) for about 4 years now, and have had no problems. I swim with Sun Devil Masters swim team, and will use them when we have a pull set, occasionally for other long sets.

I think the point to stress is that I don't use them for an entire workout. At the extreme, I'd say more like 1,000 yards (of a 3,000+ workout). Also, on many days, my 'toys' stay in my deck bag untouched.

With the proper coaching, I have experienced some great uses of swimming 'toys' and think it is a great break from just swimming. However, if swimming on your own, I'd use some caution, and start off with short distances, working your way up.


Tim Murphy

KeatherSwim
July 9th, 2002, 04:38 PM
While I can certainly see where paddles could contribute to injury, especially if not used properly, there is risk of injury to the shoulders inherent in our sport anyway. I personally have found that both use of paddles and fins can be extremely helpful in getting a good muscular work out. I avoid them when I am swimming for speed of distance, but when I am aiming to work my muscles along with cardio, they are the first things I advocate.

Matt S
July 9th, 2002, 05:17 PM
Cynthia,

I think the underlying point of most of the postings is not that paddles are universally good or bad, but that it depends on how you use them.

I personally do not use paddles at all for specific reasons. First, I have had shoulder problems in the past, and I am not inclined to risk having them again for whatever benefit paddles might bring. Second, I do not think I will benefit from increasing the leverage on the water I get from my hands alone. The style of swimming I am trying to teach myself emphasizes using my core body trunk muscles to generate power, and getting my arms, abs and legs all working in coordination. Isolating my arms and shoulders is not going to help me learn how to coordinate my whole body, and increased strength in my arms alone will not necessarily make me faster.

However, others may have different training objectives where paddles might help. I can't visualize how paddles would teach me to swim better, but when a swimmer as accomplished, and as scientific in his training methods, as Paul Smith says he can, I pay attention.

I think the bottom line here is paddles can be counterproductive. Don't use them just because everyone else is, but do use them if you have a specific purpose in mind and know what your limits are. Finally, I think it extremely dangerous to argue paddles are OK because Shirley Babashoff used them alot, and she had no injury problems. I've riffed on this before, but to sum up... Just because a training method works well for extraordinarly gifted world class athletes who are preparing for world class meets, DOES NOT MEAN that these methods are best (or even safe) for other swimmers whose goals are more modest. I know of plenty of swimmers in their 20's, or their teens even, with blown-out shoulders.

Lastly, I really appreciate the analogy to scythed chariots, and let me develope this theme further. Not only are paddles and scythed chariots potentially items of mass mayhem, for the most part they are wholey ineffective. Darius tried to use them against Alexander the Great, and Alexander's highly trained army had no problem neutralizing them. You've touched on my other obsession--military history--and I could riff for hours on that one, but you REALLY don't want to get me started. (Unless, of course, you are just like me, and when you here of a movie titled "Hannibal," you think Hannibal Barcid rather than Hannibal Lechter.)

Matt

Philip Arcuni
July 9th, 2002, 05:54 PM
I use some paddles make by Lane 4, I think. They are small, triangular, and have a fin on the pushing surface, and attach only by the middle finger. Any stroke errors and they fly off into the next lane. That is annoying, but great for getting and maintaining a good freestyle stroke (I have to be careful not to grab the sides with my thumb and little finger). Let me explain - any sideways motion (as from a bad entry) pushes sideways on the fin and pulls the paddle off. Also, a careless recovery causes the bottom corners of the paddles to catch also, and again fly away.

As I see it, they will only allow me to push hard when I can do it correctly. I have yet to have a shoulder problem (knock on wood) and I think one reason is I approach paddles cautiously. Some day I will be using paddles as big a Gail's.

Paul Smith
July 9th, 2002, 06:41 PM
I think one of the misconceptions and misueses of paddles is that of "strength building". Certainly that can be accomplished to some degree, however I see far more benefit in their aability to enhance stroke corrections.

I've been using the TYR paddles for a couple of years now and have a bit of a love hate thing going on with them. The hate part comes from the fact that these paddles can seduce you into ripping a really fast/hard pull set and create the exact problems Matt describes. My wife is a good example, she has minimal rotation and needs to work on higher elbows, amazingly with a set of these paddles she pulled a 3:06 300 free the other morning (she would swim that about 10 seconds slower).

The love part for me came after quite a bit of time spent on focusing in on body rotation, arm extension, high elbows, etc. These oversizeed paddles allow me to enter and extend with a "floating" sensation and get an incredible feel of the exact rotation we all aspire to. Interestingly enough I've been able to increase my DPS and lower my stroke count even more.

Fisch
July 9th, 2002, 08:54 PM
I agree with Paul's last paragraph. The Tyr paddles
give a great "feel" for core rotation and dps. They have
helped a lot there.

I don't swim hard with them because they will overload
my old joints.

cinc3100
July 9th, 2002, 11:33 PM
Well, Matt I agree that paddles depend upon individual people. When Iwas a kid I swam about 5 seconds with them on in practice than I did at a meet. Some people they might cause problems. I also like history. And when I think about Hannibal I also think about his Roman rival at Zama, Scipio Afrcanius. I'm better a little bit with Roman history than Greek.

KeatherSwim
July 10th, 2002, 12:00 PM
I would think that one's optimum use of paddles depends on what one is trying to accomplish. Certainly if one wants to improve stroke technique, caution should be exercised in using them properly (as always I guess) because if used improperly, the point will be missed. But if one uses swimming for fitness especially more so than competetion or a "perfect" technique, I would think the extra resistance they provide would be great for strength building.

cinc3100
July 10th, 2002, 07:10 PM
Note most teenagers and people in their 20's that get injuries are more likely to swim at the pre-national and national level. The reason why is the heavy yardage they do compared to other swimmers. A teenager that only swims strokes at the B to AA level probably has less injuries because of less mileage. Also, college swimmers in division 3 and community college suffer less injuries than Division one swimmers. Note the elite swimmers are more likely to have operations on their shoulders because they are more likley to swim over the 15,000 mark. Paddles might caused some of their injury but yardage over the 10,000 mark certainly can cause injuries.

Matt S
July 10th, 2002, 09:38 PM
Cynthia,

Ah, too much yardage--another of my pet peeves. But, since I've riffed "eloquent" on that one enough to get flame-mail from the other long time discussion participants, I'll spare you.

Oh and by the way, I think Carthage should be destroyed.

Publius Cornelius Scipio St. Louis

cinc3100
July 11th, 2002, 09:58 PM
I used the paddles back in the 1970's in those days they were big and sometimes they hit your risk. I got use to them. The injuries I had was tendencis practicing butterfly heavy but nothing that took me out more than a couple of days. I didn't need shoulder surgey like Amy Van Dyden and Dara Torres and Lenny K did. Also, I think the other extreme can cause shoulder problems, new master swimmers who never swam competely when they were younger, starting out with workouts with 2,000 yards. First these people should use start with something around 500 or 200 yards, more so if they are past 40 years old. Then built up to 2,000 and more. I agree people can misused the paddles.

TomBrooklyn
September 27th, 2007, 05:46 PM
Below is what finis writes about thier Freestyler Hand Paddles
Do you think it's true or not?

Patented skeg technology teaches proper freestyle technique with instantaneous results.

The Freestyler is the only hand paddle designed specifically for freestyle. With its unique shape and design, swimmers can improve the more technical aspects of their freestyle stroke during daily training. Benefits such as high elbows, maximum extension, proper hand position and entry will be a natural and instant result of using the Freestyler hand paddle. This patented skeg design uses the same principles of a surfboard. With proper hand entry, the skeg channels the hand forward for maximum extension with every stroke. This paddle is not designed for resistance and strength training, but is intended as a training aid to improve technique and efficiency.
http://www.finisinc.com/products-tr-handpaddles.shtml

Syd
September 27th, 2007, 08:15 PM
Below is what finis writes about thier Freestyler Hand Paddles
Do you think it's true or not?

Patented skeg technology teaches proper freestyle technique with instantaneous results.

The Freestyler is the only hand paddle designed specifically for freestyle. With its unique shape and design, swimmers can improve the more technical aspects of their freestyle stroke during daily training. Benefits such as high elbows, maximum extension, proper hand position and entry will be a natural and instant result of using the Freestyler hand paddle. This patented skeg design uses the same principles of a surfboard. With proper hand entry, the skeg channels the hand forward for maximum extension with every stroke. This paddle is not designed for resistance and strength training, but is intended as a training aid to improve technique and efficiency.
http://www.finisinc.com/products-tr-handpaddles.shtml

If we do away with the advertising speak"will be a natural and instant result " (I mean come on...puhlease...that's like saying as set of Ping golf clubs with their superior aerodynamic design will instantly produce a better golf swing:rolleyes:) they might acually be quite useful. They seem to be constructed less for resistance and more for forward hand entry. Interesting. Still it is going to be difficult to say one way or the other without trying them. Just don't expect any miraculous results: that's all.

Syd

Donna
September 27th, 2007, 08:35 PM
I totally believe in the use of paddles, it has done alot to help me correct my strokes especially my fly. Figuring out how to swim fly with paddles correctly took me serveral laps to get my rhythm down. Now my stroke looks and feels 100% better.

I have several pairs of various shapes and sizes and each one serves a purpose. I use a smaller flat rectangular speedo paddle for fly and breast. A more curves paddle for back and free. Closer to taper time I have a really small curved speedo paddle smaller than the size of my hand.

At first I only used paddles for freestyle and my improvement was tremendous in the distance events. I had read that Shirley used to use paddles all the time and so did I. I still do, but not as much on freestyle, more on the other strokes.

The key to paddles is to use proper form.

shark
September 27th, 2007, 08:40 PM
[QUOTE=TomBrooklyn;107512] natural and instant result of using the Freestyler hand paddle. This patented skeg design uses the same principles of a surfboard. With proper hand entry, the skeg channels the hand forward for maximum extension with every stroke. This paddle is not designed for resistance and strength training, but is intended as a training aid to improve technique and efficiency. QUOTE]

Natural and instant result, WOW!
Not designed for strength training, NO KIDDING?
Intended as a training aid to improve technique and efficiency? WHOSE TECHNIQUE?
Where do I sign up? For the cuckoo's nest that is.

"The stars are aligned, the gods are maligned, it is better to give than receive." Neil Peart

The Fortress
September 27th, 2007, 11:55 PM
Has anyone tried the star paddles or the tyr fingertip paddles?

Syd
September 28th, 2007, 12:10 AM
I totally believe in the use of paddles, it has done alot to help me correct my strokes especially my fly. Figuring out how to swim fly with paddles correctly took me serveral laps to get my rhythm down. Now my stroke looks and feels 100% better.

I have several pairs of various shapes and sizes and each one serves a purpose. I use a smaller flat rectangular speedo paddle for fly and breast. A more curves paddle for back and free. Closer to taper time I have a really small curved speedo paddle smaller than the size of my hand.

At first I only used paddles for freestyle and my improvement was tremendous in the distance events. I had read that Shirley used to use paddles all the time and so did I. I still do, but not as much on freestyle, more on the other strokes.

The key to paddles is to use proper form.


Quite agree Donna. And thanks for your suggestion about using them for fly. I do a set of 25's with them on every now and again and it forces you to be very aware of your hand entry and pull. I also fully agree with your final statement: The key to paddles is to use proper form. You need to have perfect form otherwise you run the risk of injury. I like to use paddles for resistance training. I usually do a set of 10 x 100 free and practice concentrating on a high elbow position and feeling that pull right from the catch all the way to the release. By the end of the set my forearms are aching. I feel my speed has improved a lot since using paddles but I use them judiciously and certainly not every practice.

Syd

art_z
October 1st, 2007, 10:47 AM
i've been using hand paddles for years, both the old square red ones in college in the 80s, and now for the various Tyr and Strokemaker ones for about 10 years as a masters swimmer (i'm soon to be 41). I like to use them for a set of maybe 900 to 1000 yards, maybe during some hypox work. They really let concentrate on stroke form and also distance per stroke.

Paddles aren't for everyone. If you can use them, and they help, they do it. If they don't help, then don't bother. I'm like that with pull buoys. Never liked them, they make me swim like crap and throw my stroke off like crazy. I would rather let me legs just drag on their own that use a buoy, ymmv.

imspoiled
October 1st, 2007, 01:02 PM
I have a pair of Freestyler paddles, and they are very good. The "instant" improvement thing is misleading (duh!). The design of this paddle makes you use a flat hand entry (rather than thumb first), and if used properly they can improve your stroke. Again, this is the design of the paddle. They're only strapped on to one finger, so people with bad form, used to wearing paddles strapped on the fingers & the wrist whave found this paddle frustrating. It moves around on you if your form is not good.

On the other hand, these can only be used for freestyle (again due to the design), so if you only want one pair of paddles in your bag, the Freestyler is not the right paddle to use.

pwolf66
October 1st, 2007, 05:21 PM
One aspect of paddles that helps me (or at least it did in the past) was to help me get a better feel for a clean entry and exit with my hands. And also to provide feedback on when I was just skimming my finger tips over the water on recovery. When I felt the tip of the paddles dig, I knew I was at the proper height. But even when I was younger and dumber (OK, younger), I used padddles sparingly. And only as a training aid.

But in all cases YMMV, just make sure you actually LISTEN to what your body tells you.

Paul

geochuck
October 1st, 2007, 10:10 PM
I have checked out all kinds of paddles and have found this one to be the best. It has solved the sore shoulder and sore muscle problem that is so evident in all of the other paddles http://www.early-vertical-forearm.com/

Fenella
December 20th, 2012, 06:28 AM
My friend and I were abroad, and participated in a video analysis of our freestyle. Having seen the underwater results - we both held our heads in shame

The coach suggested we invest in some finis agility paddles - not to swim sets - but simply to work on improving our catch. He lent us a pair and they certainly felt very different to conventional paddles

:carolers:Santa has been very generous and sent some as an early Christmas present. I have found this link and clearly there are very diveregent views on paddles and their use both a aids to technique and for swimming sets etc

Does anyone have views/ experience on using the finis agility ones to improve catch technique? did it work?

Chris Stevenson
December 20th, 2012, 08:26 AM
Does anyone have views/ experience on using the finis agility ones to improve catch technique? did it work?

I love them, use them a lot and primarily to reinforce good technique. I like to combine them with the FINIS snorkel.

And as an extra-special bonus, the paddles & snorkel are color-coordinated...

Betsy
December 20th, 2012, 08:55 AM
I definitely agree with Paul and Chris. Paddles are great for stroke work, getting the feel for doing it right. You need to take off the wrist band and have the finger band loose. This way they will come off if you do the stroke incorrectly.
When I coach, I tell my swimmers that bad technique causes shoulder problems. If you strap on paddles tightly and continue with the same stroke, you will get shoulder problems even faster. Keep the paddles loose and think when you use them. To keep them on, you must have pressure on the water. Go slowly at first. It should improve your stroke.

Bill Sive
December 20th, 2012, 09:50 AM
I have tried the Agility Paddles.

I friend of mine let me borrow his for part of my workout a couple of times recently. I liked these types of paddles very much. They felt like a natural extension of my hands. Easy on, easy off, no rubber bands/straps.

I've tried odering them, but they seem to be out of stock everywhere I've tried to obtain them. I am probably going to give up my other paddles (8 different types) in favor of the Agility Paddles.

Chris Stevenson
December 20th, 2012, 10:58 AM
I've tried odering them, but they seem to be out of stock everywhere I've tried to obtain them. I am probably going to give up my other paddles (8 different types) in favor of the Agility Paddles.

You tried directly from Finis? I just went to their site and got to the point where I had to put in my CC and stopped.

Calvin S
December 20th, 2012, 11:21 AM
I use the FINIS "strapless" paddles a lot for catch work in freestyle. When I am doing more power pulling (such as a negative split set, or something where I need a little more speed) I will switch to the traditional speedo brand (I think...whatever the brand where "small" = green, medium = yellow, large = red, etc.).

I definitely think the FINIS paddles have done a lot of good for my stroke. I found that part of my stroke where I had bad technique caused me to lose the paddles. They stay on just fine when I focus on perfect stroke.

ekw
December 20th, 2012, 11:28 AM
You tried directly from Finis? I just went to their site and got to the point where I had to put in my CC and stopped.

SwimOutlet.com seems to have them in stock as well.

StewartACarroll
December 20th, 2012, 06:34 PM
In my experience good freestyle is about being long and strong. I have always found that paddles allow me to work on both. I agree with all the comments about bad form leading to injury, but when used correctly they are awesome.

mcnair
December 22nd, 2012, 10:52 PM
I avoided "toys" for a decade of on and off swimming for cross training and fitness. I felt like I just needed to work on technique and that the toys were going to be a crutch. In the last year, however, I have slowly started introducing the pull buoy, fins, and *gasp* even paddles just this last month. But for very specific purposes, like strengthening a weak area or working on technique problems that have been stubborn to solve. Our YMCA has a lot of Kiefer products available on the deck (or locked in the closet) and I just recently incorporated the paddles into my pull sets... and yes they really have helped with the catch. I'll do a thousand alternating 100 w/ paddles and 100 w/o, paying attention to proper hand entry and the way in which the water forces the paddle (and hand) into the proper position for catch. On the non-paddle reps I'm amazed at how my hand wants to follow the same track. So if done properly, the toys can be good for imprinting proper technique.

These are the paddles we have at the Y:
http://www.kiefer.com/kiefer-ergo-hand-paddle--pair--products-446.php?page_id=236