The FloaterPaddle is a fun and easy to use recreational swimming device, but it also makes a great addition to swimming lessons, exercise and fitness routines, and it can be used in physical rehabilitation programs. The FloaterPaddle is also a great device for helping kids learn how to swim. While life vests and arm floaties are currently popular tools used in swim training, these devices make it difficult for children to move their bodies from a vertical to horizontal position in the water. This limited movement makes learning to swim difficult and many children quickly become bored and give up on swimming. The FloaterPaddle not only helps children to float in the water but it also allows them to move around the pool, beach or lake with ease thus making learning – and swimming – more enjoyable. When swimming is fun and easy, kids stay in the water for longer. And the longer kids are in the water, the better swimmers they become.
Growing up in the Philippines, my friends and I would swim the the local river. On one of those days, I almost drowned. Sometimes we would use products not intended to keep us afloat, like volleyballs, basketballs, beach balls, tire tubes, or pieces of logs. Most times, we simply went to the water and swam and had fun chasing one another. On this particular day, I didn’t realize I went to the deeper part of the river and decided to rest, thinking that the water was shallow. In reality, it was deep and I began to tire. Fortunately, there was a fisherman there who rescued me.
Some years later, we went to the middle of a lake. This time, I wore a personal flotation device. Great, I floated. But when I decided to swim back to the boat, I just couldn’t swim. The life vest created too much drag for me to move anywhere. I realized that my life vest made me float but didn’t help me move around at all. I looked at my vest around my body and started thinking about moving the floatation device to my forearms instead. That way, I could eliminate the drag and at the same time, create a paddle that would help me swim faster.
I gathered some materials from retail stores and created a rough representation of the concept. Using yard irrigation pipes as the skeleton, I wrapped it with foam noodles and wrapped it around with small life vests made for kids. I brought this prototype to a swimming pool, and to my surprise, it worked!
I spent months looking for manufacturers who would be willing to produce a final prototype so that we could test the product with a larger group of people. In no time, parents were asking when production would start and when they could buy the product. So that brings us to where we are today, needing to mass produce the device.
Swimming gear news is courtesy of FloaterPaddle, a SwimSwam partner.