Courtesy of FINIS, a SwimSwam partner.
The paddle is nothing new to the swimming community. You can find a pair in just about every size and shape imaginable if you take the time to shop around. So what makes a paddle good and what makes a paddle bad? Is it the size, the shape, the way it fits your hand? Is it just a matter of preference? We would argue that it is a combination of all the above.
The strapless Agility Paddle has been a huge success since it was first brought to market, but why is that? If you’ve never tried our Paddles before, this definitely is a new experience. This paddle is smaller than many, countours to the shape of your hand, and doesn’t even include the elastic straps that other paddles use to secure to your hand. So you’d ask again, why is it successful and how does it work?
Using a Paddle that is only slightly larger than your hand is actually a benefit over the long haul. Swimmers who have used the “garbage can lid” paddles of the past will tell you that it doesn’t do much for your feel of the water and they may also issue a warning to ‘take it easy’ or ‘not to injure yourself’ if they have come from a high volume program.
The Agility Paddle is large enough to catch water that you otherwise would not have been able to grab, but is small enough to allow for a natural feel and stroke progression without risking injury or repetition of poor technique.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Agility Paddle is the shape, or how it is used to enhance your swimming. The ergonomic design of the Paddle fits tight along your palm and fingers and is held in place by the water pressure you generate from the pull. If you lose pressure during the pull, the Paddle will slide off of the hand, generating instant feedback to the user. For this reason, straps were not only unnecessary, but also helped to increase the awareness of the swimmer and create a more dynamic and powerful swimming motion over time.
We cant speak to the personal preference of swimmers around the world, but we do know that this product is a helpful tool to have in your gearbag. Although many people have chosen to “Go Strapless” and have ditched conventional paddles all together, we are also seeing many swimmers use the Agility Paddles to supplement the gear that they are accustomed to using. That seems like a good happy medium to most swimmers, who use the Agility Paddles to improve technique or to maintain form at the end of a strenuous workout.
So why “Go Strapless” and why try to re-invent the wheel? We saw an opportunity to give the swimming community a product that is more responsive to the user and more aligned with the goals of competitive swimmers around the world. If we can all swim a little smarter, more people will be able to enjoy the sport that we all love.
Learn more about the Agility Paddle from the FINIS VP of Product Development in this week’s SwimOutlet Tech Talk.