View Full Version : hand paddles

Concho Pearl
August 27th, 2006, 10:53 PM
which style hand paddles do people recommend?

August 27th, 2006, 11:27 PM
I am a fan of the Star Paddle.

August 28th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Good question. I have started using my hand paddles again and they are just the old flat Speedo ones, about 15yrs. old. I have seen all these newer ones with holes and different shapes claiming to help your stroke technique . I was wondering if they work or should I just stick with the old style ones. There are so many different styles its a bit confusing.

August 28th, 2006, 03:20 PM
I don't use hand paddles

August 28th, 2006, 03:21 PM
I have TYR Catalyst paddles, and use them very sparingly, maybe once every 2 weeks or thereabouts.

August 28th, 2006, 04:05 PM
I don't use paddles due to past shoulder issues.

Concho Pearl, since you're just getting back into the water, be careful if you choose to use hand paddles. They can magnify poor stroke mechanics and really do a number on your shoulders.

I watched this one guy swimming at the Fitness Center on his own last Saturday and he was wearing HUGE paddles and doing elementary backstroke. My shoulders still ache just thinking about that...

August 29th, 2006, 08:22 AM
I occasionally use finger paddles - just big enough to feel what's wrong with my stroke, but not big enough to strain my shoulders. Since you're a beginner, the smaller the better to avoid injury.

August 29th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Rich Saeger and I agree that smaller hand paddles are more to our liking. Large hand paddles tend to slow the arm turnover too much and place a lot of torque on the shoulders.

I use the old Speedo rectangular paddles in the red size.

John Smith

Jeff Commings
August 29th, 2006, 07:29 PM
If you're a breaststroker, don't use paddles. The arm motion is not real conducive to it, unless you have shoulders of steel.

And it should go without saying that paddles are a no-no for butterfly.

September 19th, 2006, 06:26 PM
I hope I don't get in trouble for suggesting you try a forearm paddle or EVF trainer. The fist glove, the fulcrum system by Finis and the techpaddle are EVF trainers that help train that skill.

September 20th, 2006, 08:19 AM
I haven't used a paddle in 12 or 15 years. I used to love using them (and buoys as well) because:
a) I swam faster and,
b) I thought they gave me amazing "feel of the water." I liked the sense of having "hands as big as dinner plates."

What troubled me about that experience was the "feel" disappeared as soon as I took them off and was replaced by feeling like I had "hands as big as popsicle sticks."

Tom Topo mentions Fistgloves. Scott Lemley badgered me to try them for a couple of years. Finally, I reluctantly caved and used them one day after teaching a TI Workshop in Atlanta. The first time I used them I felt like I had "hands as big as spaghetti strands" -- cooked ones! But I soldiered on for 20 or 30 minutes. I don't think I swam anything farther than 50m (it was a 25m pool) because I found it mentally challenging to solve the problem of finding any grip.

But after taking them off I had the most amazing experience. I thought Ian Thorpe's hands had been transplanted to my arms. The sensation only lasted for five or 10 minutes but it was life-changing.

It seemed sensible to me that a tool that made me feel amazing AFTER using it, rather than the opposite, would probably be of greater value.

Since then I've never used paddles. I used FGs intensively for six or 8 years, but then tailed off in my use because the "FG effect" rather than lasting for 10 to 15 min after I used them, gradually became permanent. For the last five or six years I've hardly used them at all, simply because I always feel the water pretty much the way it felt briefly that first day. Now I use them mainly during taper, as a way of underloading my muscles, which promotes muscle recovery.

September 20th, 2006, 08:22 AM
One more thing. If you want an experience similar to FGs, but with "your own equipment" try swimming with just your index finger extended. You'll feel as if the water is rushing by it. Do whatever it takes to gain control of the water with your finger, and to feel as if your finger is moving through the water at "normal" speed.
It won't make you feel like you have "Ian Thorpe hands" but it will teach you a new level of awareness and I find it more effective for that than full fist-closed swimming.

October 3rd, 2007, 01:23 AM
Where can one get a good pair of fistgloves?

Rob Copeland
October 3rd, 2007, 09:50 AM
Check the USMS corporate partners. Many carry fistgloves. http://www.usms.org/merch/sponsors.php

October 14th, 2007, 01:44 AM
Check the USMS corporate partners. Many carry fistgloves. http://www.usms.org/merch/sponsors.php
I checked a bunch of those places and didn't find fistgloves at them. I didn't try every place, but it was getting discouraging.

Rob Copeland
October 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM

I found fist gloves at Adolph Kiefer & Assoc., our first corporate partner listed on the page.

October 14th, 2007, 10:02 AM
yep... Swim Fist Training Glove (http://www.kiefer.com/Kiefer/productr.asp?pf_id=660110) at Kiefer

October 14th, 2007, 01:17 PM
Oh. OK. Thanks.