This post is long overdue, but finally, I kicked myself to introduce you to the wonderful world of the Palm Paddle.
I am not kidding when I say it is the world's smallest hand paddle.
At first sight, the paddles are so tiny and cute that you just want to cuddle them in your palm :).
Do not let the small size fool you into thinking that since they are so small, they have little to no purpose for swimming though.
On the contrary, as someone famous once said "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", we could say "one small stroke with the Palm Paddle, one giant leap forward in your swim technique". :).
Many swimming technique articles that are out here in the darkest corners of the Internet focus on the early vertical forearm, the early catch or also called the high elbow technique for freestyle.
And rightly so, without mastering this technique, it is tough to become competitive in your field of fellow swimmers or triathletes.
However, what is often overlooked is what happens after the catch.
Let's assume that you have a very good early catch, so you set yourself up for a great underwater stroke.
After the initial catch, your hand still slips through the water as if you are not pulling any water.
You just do not move forward as fast as you would expect.
So what happened?
You did have a nice starting catch or in other words, you grabbed a hold of water or better yet, you found support in water with your hand and forearm, however, this hold or support disappeared as your stroke progressed.
Basically, you lost it somewhere along the underwater stroke.
Chances are your hand was not moving in a straight line driving back and deviated quickly to one side causing it to cross under your body and lose your grip on water.
If you are tearing your hair out to figure out what the issue is, don't despair any longer.
This is very common among swimmers and the Palm Paddle is here to help.
The Palm Paddle is not designed to be put on as a regular paddle would where you'd slip it on your middle finger(s) all the way to the knuckles and then perhaps use another strap to attach it to your wrist.
No no no.
It only slips on your middle finger passed the first finger joint, so it only hangs on the tip of your finger.
This delicate attachment makes sure that if your hand deviates from the straight underwater pull path, the paddle will slip from your hand.
Thus, causing you to be extra careful with your hand trajectory.
It teaches you to follow the pulling path where you retain the initial grip on the water that you got from the high elbow catch.
Isn't it cool?
A paddle that will teach you how to properly run your hand through your stroke.
And do not worry, they float, so you will not lose them if they fall off:).
Of course, this is not the only benefit of the Palm Paddle, but it is, in my opinion, the main one.
After you master the underwater pull without losing the paddles, then you can start discovering the other benefits which are like the "antipaddle" nature.
Basically, it makes your hand feel desensitized for the period when you swim with the paddles.
When you then take them off you are better equipped to feel the water in the palm of your hand.
Following the same idea, the conical shape makes you pull less water.
Therefore, if you are in a lane with slow swimmers, just put on the paddles and voila.
You no longer need to pass the slowpokes since you swim at the same speed while working on your technique or increased stroke rate tempo.
Also, if you are recovering from a shoulder injury or surgery, you can use these paddles to lessen the water pressure since your hand slips through the water easier.
Another benefit is a small size.
I no longer carry a huge swimming mesh bag with me to practice. I just stick these world's smallest paddles in my pockets and go :).
If you are in open water, they can be easily slipped into your swimsuit or wet suit for safekeeping while you swim without them.
Alternatively, if you have already discovered the benefit of using the Safer Swimmer safety device they don't take much space at all, leaving you a lot of free room for other necessary items you'd like to take with you for a swim.
Now, go out there and improve your underwater pull, so you can enjoy the benefits of fast and easy swimming.
Furthermore, if you are still on a hunt for a great swimming related Christmas present, the Palm Paddle or "trilobites" as my swimmers call them :), could be your lucky Christmas winner :).