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View Full Version : Favorite pull buoy?



jmeyer
December 14th, 2007, 12:12 AM
I'm looking for a hard styrofoam single-piece pull buoy and I can't find one. Here are problems I see with current offerings:

Tyr pull float (http://www.lincolnaquatics.com/shop/catalog/Swim+Training+Equipment+and+Accessories/product.html?ProductID=54%2D041). This isn't buoyant enough, plus I think it will absorb water a little bit and will stay soggy in my locker.

Lincoln Leg Floats (http://www.lincolnaquatics.com/shop/catalog/Swim+Training+Equipment+and+Accessories/product.html?ProductID=54%2D052). Perfect buoyancy, dries off easily and doesn't remain soggy, but it's too slippery and nearly impossible to keep between your thighs.

Two-piece soft styrofoam (http://www.lincolnaquatics.com/shop/catalog/Swim+Training+Equipment+and+Accessories/product.html?ProductID=54%2D065). This type will stay soggy.

Something just like the Lincoln Leg Float, but made from hard styrofoam would be perfect. I know they used to make these, but I can't find them. I think if you're not careful with them, the styrofoam pellets could slough off and start clogging pool filters. Maybe that's why they're no longer made.

Any suggestions?

swimshark
December 14th, 2007, 07:24 AM
I have one that is no longer made which I love. It is soft styrofoam but doesn't absorb water at all. In fact it is made from the same material as the Tyr. Mine is just a different shape. I personally wouldn't want hard stryfoam between my legs while I'm trying to pull.

Alison

Redbird Alum
December 14th, 2007, 09:45 AM
I have one of the Tyr floats (although I only use it infrequently) which I've had for a few years. I rinse it and dry it off and don't have any issues with sogginess at all (I backpack my gear back and forth to the pool).

As far as floatation, I've never been a fan of too much floatation of the legs during pull sets, as it throws off body alignment and can cause compensation in the pull which messes up my stroke and sometimes my shoulders as well.

For me, styrofoam is way to much floatation and irritates the skin.

ViveBene
December 14th, 2007, 10:08 AM
Your mileage may vary.

I find the Tyr buoy TOO buoyant. I use that at one facility and the two-piece polyfoam at another, and both jack me up and change arm alignment. Occasionally it is exactly that change that my coach wants to see. I use them now in mixed sets (swim with, then without) or to unweight the lower body completely, but now we mostly use fins to look at arm technique. :blah:
(Oh dear, I am boring myself!)

Regards, VB

Redbird Alum
December 14th, 2007, 10:15 AM
(Oh dear, I am boring myself!)


VB - Not boring at all, instructional, actually. I only use my Tyr infrequently because I'm not a big fan of leg floatation. Like you said, no sense jacking up my body position. My comment was mostly in response to the sogginess question.

Surfsalterpath
December 15th, 2007, 07:59 PM
i too got addicted to the dang things when I first started swimming

i hate pull buoys

when I do pull sets w/paddles I just drag my legs and foucs on balanced body position

Slowswim
December 17th, 2007, 10:25 AM
Your mileage may vary.

I find the Tyr buoy TOO buoyant. I use that at one facility and the two-piece polyfoam at another, and both jack me up and change arm alignment. Occasionally it is exactly that change that my coach wants to see. I use them now in mixed sets (swim with, then without) or to unweight the lower body completely, but now we mostly use fins to look at arm technique. :blah:
(Oh dear, I am boring myself!)

Regards, VB

I use my styrofoam pull bouy, a lot! I'm new to swimming and have relied on it because my legs sink so badly. Without it, I swim "uphill". Should I quit using it and switch to fins? I tried just dragging my legs and I wen down like the Titantic. :drown:

ViveBene
December 17th, 2007, 10:48 AM
I use my styrofoam pull bouy, a lot! I'm new to swimming and have relied on it because my legs sink so badly. Without it, I swim "uphill". Should I quit using it and switch to fins? I tried just dragging my legs and I wen down like the Titantic. :drown:

I'm not a coach, but I would say, continue using what you need to use! When I was 10, I sank like a stone -- skinny kid -- and could not for the life of me understand how people were able to float.

Body position comes first, and if a pull buoy helps you find and neurally imprint the correct body position, that's all good. Later, some one-on-one sessions with a coach might help you find that position without a buoy or fins.

(Any coaches want to weigh in here?)

Regards, VB

smontanaro
December 17th, 2007, 11:01 AM
I use my styrofoam pull bouy, a lot! I'm new to swimming and have relied on it because my legs sink so badly. Without it, I swim "uphill". Should I quit using it and switch to fins? I tried just dragging my legs and I wen down like the Titantic. :drown:

(EDIT: lest you think you can't do this, I also have "heavy" legs. It's not terribly easy at first, but it's doable.)

Maybe try some balance drills. Our coach had us do this a couple weeks ago, 6x75 as follows:


Gently push off from the wall & hold the streamline. Balance yourself. Use your core muscles and/or head/arm/leg position to make yourself float level.
When you need to breathe, lift your head to take a breath then return to the streamline position. Adjust as necessary.
After six breathe/streamline cycles scull to the end of the pool. That completes the first 25.
Swim the next 50 focusing on the streamline and balance.


When I'm on my own and impatient I've dropped it to three breaths and just swim a 25 after the streamline/scull 25. (I can't really do 75's at the club where I work out because they lack a pace clock and I can't see the wall clock from the far end of the pool.)

Skip Montanaro

Slowswim
December 17th, 2007, 11:50 AM
(EDIT: lest you think you can't do this, I also have "heavy" legs. It's not terribly easy at first, but it's doable.)

Maybe try some balance drills. Our coach had us do this a couple weeks ago, 6x75 as follows:

Gently push off from the wall & hold the streamline. Balance yourself. Use your core muscles and/or head/arm/leg position to make yourself float level.
When you need to breathe, lift your head to take a breath then return to the streamline position. Adjust as necessary.
After six breathe/streamline cycles scull to the end of the pool. That completes the first 25.
Swim the next 50 focusing on the streamline and balance.

Thanx, I'll give it a try next workout.

CaliSwimmer
December 17th, 2007, 08:46 PM
Can someone please explain to me the benefits of using a pull buoy during a pull set (with paddles)? I've only been swimming for 2 years and the one time I tried using a pull buoy, it threw off my balance so badly that I gave up after one lap. I have pretty good balance in the water and am able to keep up with or pass my lane mates on drills, but I swim freestyle sets slowly compared to them. Today during our pull set (300 x2, 200 x2, 100 x2) they all lapped me. But they were all using pull buoys, as well as paddles. I was using paddles but just kicking with bare feet. My coach came down on me after the set about not having/using enough power to swim. I honestly feel that I'm giving it everything I have and my arms have been aching all day from the pull set (total yardage for this morning's workout was about 3,800 yards). I don't have a swimming background and all my sports and activities as a youth were leg-based (soccer, running, cycling) so it seems like now at age 44 I just don't have the muscle-base. Would adding a pull buoy to the paddle workout help me develop a more powerful catch/stroke overall, or would it just make me a faster puller and be able to keep up with the group? Does pulling without fins or a pull buoy work the muscles harder and thus build them up? Somehow I need to develop those upper body muscles, and four days a week of swimming 1.5 hours (plus 2 weighlifting sessions a week) doesn't seem to be doing it.

spudfin
December 17th, 2007, 11:38 PM
I use my styrofoam pull bouy, a lot! I'm new to swimming and have relied on it because my legs sink so badly. Without it, I swim "uphill". Should I quit using it and switch to fins? I tried just dragging my legs and I wen down like the Titantic. :drown:

Slowswim
You remind me of me three months ago. I had grown dependent on the buoy for about 2 years. Same feeling of uphill swimming without it. So much that I would NEVER swim without one. Well on Labor Day weekend I started some lessons and went cold turkey on the buoy. Have not used one since. First 6 weeks were very painful but with lots of drilling, sculling and attention to detail as directed by a top notch coach I can now say I love the feeling of swimming without a buoy. Developing my kick has helped a great deal as well. My body rotates more effectively and my times are beginning to drop as well. Heart rates are coming down as well. All in all a great feeling. Do the drills and it will happen. I will never use a buoy again!
Regards
Spudfin

Blackbeard's Peg
December 18th, 2007, 04:36 PM
I've seen the words "relied" and "dependent" used to describe people's relationship with this accessory in this thread. The first time I ever used one was when someone was trying to show me how to achieve proper body position. Thats really all it should be used for - as a learning tool. The moment it becomes a crutch, it should raise a red flag.

Back to the original topic of this thread... the solid white styrofoam pull buoys that everyone seems to like and not find anymore I believe are made by Competitor, the same people that make a lot of the lane ropes and pace clocks. I have one, and their brand name is barely visible. Any venture capitalists out there? Perhaps I should find out if Competitor will license the patent and design and I can re-launch these buoys under a new company.

jmeyer
December 18th, 2007, 04:36 PM
The purpose of the pull buoy is to isolate your arms. The purpose of paddles is to put more of a load on your muscles. To get stronger, pull with a buoy and use paddles. Don't use fins during a pull set.

Don't choose paddles which are too large such that your stroke cadence is thrown off. If in doubt about which size to choose, go with the smaller ones. The yellow Catalysts are good for me, and I'd consider myself a strong swimmer. I can't remember which size yellow is though.

I feel that some paddles, such as the Tyr Catalysts, encourage good stroke technique. I find it easy to attain a high elbow catch when using those paddles. Strokemaker is another good brand.

If you swim uphill without a pull buoy, perhaps your head position is incorrect. Try looking straight down at the bottom of the pool. This should bring your hips and legs up. If your head is pointed up and you're facing the end of the pool, your hips will be forced down and if you have a weak kick your legs will sink.

Happy laps.

Warren
December 18th, 2007, 04:45 PM
I realized at the pool yesterday that pull buoys are for old men and old men only.

Blackbeard's Peg
December 18th, 2007, 04:52 PM
I realized at the pool yesterday that pull buoys are for old men and old men only.

hey now, puppy, some of us younger old men have knee injuries too! :toohurt:

Donna
December 18th, 2007, 08:37 PM
My favorite pull bouy is a blue two peice styrofoam, mostly because no one else has one like mine so it is less likely to magically disappear from the deck like my old white two peice styrofoam bouy did.

Actually my coach has us use a kickboard between the legs more often than the pull bouy. ROTATION, ROTATION, ROTATION.

Slowswim
December 19th, 2007, 02:43 PM
(EDIT: lest you think you can't do this, I also have "heavy" legs. It's not terribly easy at first, but it's doable.)

Maybe try some balance drills. Our coach had us do this a couple weeks ago, 6x75 as follows:

Gently push off from the wall & hold the streamline. Balance yourself. Use your core muscles and/or head/arm/leg position to make yourself float level.
When you need to breathe, lift your head to take a breath then return to the streamline position. Adjust as necessary.
After six breathe/streamline cycles scull to the end of the pool. That completes the first 25.
Swim the next 50 focusing on the streamline and balance.
When I'm on my own and impatient I've dropped it to three breaths and just swim a 25 after the streamline/scull 25. (I can't really do 75's at the club where I work out because they lack a pace clock and I can't see the wall clock from the far end of the pool.)

Skip Montanaro

Skip:

This was a great drill! A couple of times, I was in a perfect streamline except my arms from my elbows up were out of the water and my toes were dragging the bottom; once I just rolled over in to a streamline back stroke!:doh:

I'll working on this for a while, thanx.

Dennis Tesch
December 20th, 2007, 04:26 PM
I have had the same pul buoy for the past 20 years and I love it. It is a yellow bouy made in sweden which was given to me from one of my friends in Sweden. It is actually a childrens float reconfigured as a pull bouy. I've tried to bring them over to the US to sale, but I can't get them shipped here. They are strong (plastic), don't slip, float well, and never wear out.

I will not use any other pulling device, they just don't compare.