Paddles

Gear Paddles Main Image

We assembled a crack team of swimmers to test a range of swimming training aids to bring you our choice of the best kit to use in your training sessions


KIT TESTERS

Dan Abel
Swimmer and swim coach at Fit&Abel

Lisa Lloyd
English Channel swimmer

Jonathan Cowie
OS editor

Alice Gartland
OS contributing editor


FINIS AGILITY PADDLE

€17.99, finisswim.com

They say: Teaches an early vertical forearm position to increase stroke efficiency. The convex shape requires a proper palm-positive hand position. Incorrect technique will cause the paddle to fall off.

Dan: A technique paddle that encourages positive pressure on the water. They don’t have a strap which is helpful in guiding beginners towards the correct stroke and catch technique – if swimming incorrectly they just fall off. A lot of products can be over-engineered. These aren’t.


FINIS FREESTYLE PADDLES

€17.99, finisswim.com

They say: Specifically designed for freestyle training, the paddles plane the hand forward through the water, improving reach and distance-per-stroke. They promote a strong pull through, better hip-rotation and increased efficiency.

Dan: Unique and really helpful for technique development. They help a swimmer with extension out in front. Well designed and robust. Just remember these are a specific rather than general paddle.


“Paddles predominately provide increased resistance and are great for strength and speed training” Dan Abel


AQUA SPHERE ERGOFLEX HAND PADDLES

£14.99, aquasphereswim.com

They say: Combines stiff polypropylene “bones” with flexible rubber frame, combining resistance with a feel for the water. Available in two sizes. The wide hand strap is adjustable and can be removed for optional finger only use.

Jonathan: A more elaborate kit design than other paddles, we liked the rubber frame making the paddles more swimmer friendly if training in a crowded lane.


AQUA SPHERE MP STRENGTH PADDLE

£15.99, aquasphereswim.com

They say: Designed to mimic the natural bone structure of the hand for a more natural pulling motion. Adjustable wrist strap and finger loop. Available in three sizes

Alice: A high visibility flat paddle. Its shape and raised palm supports helps to provide a more natural feel of the water. We would have liked the finger loop to have been adjustable too.


Paddles Selection

HEAD CONTOUR PADDLES

£19.99, head.com

They say: Contoured hand paddle with adjustable silicone wrist straps.

Jonathan: They’re good for swimrun if you don’t want too large a paddle and can easily clip them onto your belt or can leave them free. Because they’re not too big they won’t tire you out if you’re swimming a long distance.


ROKA PRO SWIM PADDLES

£19.04, roka.com

They say: Defined by their ergonomic design. They come in three different sizes and have a customisable strapping system.

Dan: For basic strength building paddles, these are really comfortable, easy to set up and adjustable.

Alice: Yeah, I like these – and out of the pool, you could probably use them as ping pong bats.

Jonathan: Slightly bigger than some paddles so give you more propulsion, which is great in swimrun.


ZOGGS MATRIX HAND PADDLES

£14, zoggs.com

They say: A great training aid for improving stroke technique. They force your hand to stay straight as you pull through the water.

Jonathan: A good price point. We liked that you can move the rubber strap up the paddle to wrap around one finger if you want.


BORN TO SWIM ERGONOMICAL HAND PADDLES

€19.95, borntoswim.eu

They say: Small hand paddles. Ergonomically shaped contour.

Jonathan: Try using just the middle finger strap, which will help guide your hand through the water without relying on the silicone strap support.


LOMO WEBBED GLOVES

£7, lomo.co.uk

They say: Webbed fingers provide additional resistance in the water whilst swimming and increase the intensity of your training.

Jonathan: Not an alternative to paddles, but they do introduce a degree of resistance. Softer than plastic paddles if you bump into someone in the pool.


Price

Varies

Retailer

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Cover March2020

Issue 36 March 2020

  • Breaking Boundaries - stories from the global outdoor swimming community
  • Alice Dearing - Team GB's only black swimmer
  • Towards North – wild swimming in Finland
  • Better Breaststroke - tune up your stroke
  • Swimrunner - new magazine section!

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