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The Backstroke Snorkel

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As part of my training for MIMS, I did a long swim today (10 x 1650's). I did this workout a couple of weeks ago and a few people asked me how I could swim this long, as it would be far too boring for them. I have two answers to this question:

1. Nothing is too boring for me; and

2. How could I possibly be bored when my mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapour of invention.

Behold the results of today's labours!! I submitted the following patent application to the Patent and Trademark Office and received the somewhat dubious serial number of 123,456,789. I'm sure this application will get through without any objections and I will receive a letters patent shortly.

Please private message me with any licensing offers.

US Patent Application Serial Number 123,456,789

Title:
BACKSTROKE SNORKEL

Background of the Invention

In recent years, snorkels have become a very popular training apparatus for swimmers. When worn, a snorkel allows the swimmer to concentrate on his or her head position without having to move their head to breathe.

Traditional snorkels have proven ineffective when worn during backstroke, as the opening of the snorkel is submerged beneath the water, making breathing problematic.

Description of the Invention:



A traditional backstroke snorkel is shown in Figure 1. The tube (A) of the snorkel extends from the swimmer's mouth (B), over the swimmer's head (C) and then angles down, with the opening (D) resting underwater when the head is in the correct position for backstroke. This design has proven disastrous for some backstrokers, as it is nearly impossible to inhale anything other than water in this position.



A first embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 2. In this embodiment, the tube (A) of the snorkel extends from the swimmer's mouth (B), around the side and underneath the swimmer's head (C), and up above the surface of the water on the other side of the head (C). This embodiment has the advantage of having the snorkel opening (D) in the air instead of underwater.

This arrangement is advantageous in that the backstroker can keep their head in the optimal position during practice, while breathing enough air to remain alive.



A second embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 3. In this embodiment, the snorkel further includes a mirror (E). The mirror (E) is attached to the snorkel tube (A) and allows the backstroker to see where they are going.



A third embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 4. In this embodiment, a vase (F) is also attached to the tube (A). The vase (F) can contain a flower (G) or other foliage deemed attractive to the backstroker's coach or spectators. With this embodiment, it is recommended the backstroker perform open-turns rather than flip-turns. Other variations on this third embodiment include but are not limited to fishing tackle, video entertainment equipment, coffee-cup holders and ashtrays.

Claims:

What is claimed is:

1. A backstroke training apparatus comprising an air tube connectable to a swimmer's mouth,
said air tube comprising an opening which protrudes above the surface of the water in which said swimmer is backstroking.

2. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a mirror attached to said air tube

3. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 2, wherein said mirror is attached to said air tube above the surface of the water while said swimmer is backstroking.

4. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 1, 2 or 3, further comprising fishing tackle, a vase, video equipment, or an ashtray attached to said air tube.

5. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 4, where in said vase, fishing tackle, video equipment or ashtray is above the surface of the water when said swimmer is backstroking.

6. A backstroke training apparatus, substantially as described herein, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

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Updated March 29th, 2010 at 01:49 AM by Chicken of the Sea

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Comments

  1. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Cool!
    I confess that I had always wondered how you distance types kept yourselves amused during endless FR sets. Now I know.
    Also cool that you will be doing MIMS!
  2. ViveBene's Avatar
    Objects are larger than they appear in the mirror.
    A brilliant touch!

    MIMS - cool!
  3. jim thornton's Avatar
    Magnificent! You have a real future! (I am not sure what that means. It's probably the case that we all have real futures, but yours seems to be distinguished in a way that ours, or that is to say mine, are, that is to say is, not.)
  4. jim thornton's Avatar
    I have been in such a state of deep stupor lately that it took me quite a while, distracted by the minutiae of the various embodiments, to realize that backstrokers do not need snorkels. But this is a trifling matter in that most products that are sold to us these days are items that we don't need. I think you should contact Michael Ross and ask him to endorse your product; ditto for Leslie, another backstroking great whose endorsement would certainly boost sales greatly.

    Now that speed suits are outlawed, you may have single handedly returned profit to the swimming gizmo industry while simultaneously enriching your deserved self.
  5. jim thornton's Avatar
    P. S. of all the fauna depicted in your charming drawings, my favorite is the apparently panicked sea horse.
  6. aquaFeisty's Avatar
    Cool idea! Not because backstrokers need snorkels (they don't) but because if you set it up so the tip of the snorkel *just* clears the water, if you don't keep your head steady you'll suck down water. Talk about instant biofeedback! Fantastic!!!

    P.S. - Glad to see you are practicing your patent law skills...
  7. poolraat's Avatar
    You probably should run some performance tests and get testimonials before you market this awesome invention. And you should consider doing MIMS backstroke. With the mirror attachment it would be easy to stay on course.
  8. quicksilver's Avatar
    Very clever.

    Wouldn't it be nice if pools were eco-friendly enough to support marine life. <ie the sea horses and guppies.>
  9. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver
    Very clever.

    Wouldn't it be nice if pools were eco-friendly enough to support marine life. <ie the sea horses and guppies.>
    Maybe my backstroker is an OW swimmer too terrified to look down
  10. quicksilver's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken of the Sea
    Maybe my backstroker is an OW swimmer too terrified to look down
    Thus, the 'chicken of the sea' .

    Sometimes the fishies are on the large side.
  11. jim thornton's Avatar
    It's always interesting when you see a shadow the size of a Volkswagon pass by you underwater, loitering, perhaps, for just a "zero at the bone" instant beside your groin, then swishing its gigantic tail and moving on.
  12. chaos's Avatar
    i'll purchase the first prototype!
  13. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    It's always interesting when you see a shadow the size of a Volkswagon pass by you underwater, loitering, perhaps, for just a "zero at the bone" instant beside your groin, then swishing its gigantic tail and moving on.
    Depends. Are we talking Volkswagon Jetta here, or a Combi van?
  14. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chaos
    i'll purchase the first prototype!
    Excellent! Do you want the optional mirror and/or ashtray?
  15. gigi's Avatar
    I think you should market a deluxe model that automatically blocks off the tube at predetermined intervals to more closely mimic non-snorkel, non-backstroke swimming. That way backstroking snorkel users can reap the benefits of intermittent breath holding/breath control that swimmers of "real" strokes employ during their non-snorkel swims.

    The more I think about it, you should design a companion snorkel for face-in-water use that blocks off air to re-inforce proper breath control.

    When I was a smoker I always lamented how severely swimming cut into my smoking time - so the thoughtful addition of ashtray is a nice touch for the smoking subculture.

    Good luck with your patent. I want to pre-order one in neon green.
  16. EricOrca's Avatar
    thats what Ive been missing !, no wonder why I can't break 33 sec in the 50BK ! If I had the mirror I would not have rammed my head against the wall and I can swim a straight line! But I cant help but laugh at what my coach would say!
  17. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gigi
    I think you should market a deluxe model that automatically blocks off the tube at predetermined intervals to more closely mimic non-snorkel, non-backstroke swimming. That way backstroking snorkel users can reap the benefits of intermittent breath holding/breath control that swimmers of "real" strokes employ during their non-snorkel swims.
    That's a great idea! But I think smoking while backstroking might take care of the oxygen deprivation.
    My coach used to have us balance cups of water on our foreheads while doing backstroke drills. I must have an oddly sloping forehead, because it trained me to keep my head in the wrong position. However, it did stir in me a desire to invent an apparatus where one could have both a martini and a cigarette while backstroking. The martini device is still on the drawing boards.
  18. Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
    Vivebene and Ms Addict. MIMS = cold. I'm terrified!!!!!!!