Palm Paddle - The world's smallest hand paddle

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Dec 19, 2012

Palm Paddle - The world's smallest hand paddle

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 :). Don't 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". :).

About 10cm small palm paddles
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, however, after the initial catch your hand still slips through the water as if you are not pulling any water and you do not move forward as fast as you'd expect.

So what happened? You did have a nice starting catch or in other words, you grabbed a hold of water or yet in other words, 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. Don't despair though, this is very common among swimmers and the Palm Paddle is here to help.

Attach to top tip of  your middle finger
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 and teaching you to follow the path were you retain the initial grip on water which you got from the high elbow catch. Isn't it cool? A paddle which will teach you how to properly run your hand through your stroke. Simply amazing. And don't worry, they float, so you won't 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 loosing the paddles, then you can start discovering the other benefits which are of the "antipaddle" nature. Basically, it makes your hand feel desensitized for the period of time when you swim with the paddles and when you take them off you are better equipped to feel the water in the palm of your hand.

Along a similar idea, since you swim with them, the conical shape makes you actually pull less water, so if you are in a lane with slow swimmers, just put on the paddles and voila, you no longer need to pass the slow pokes since you swim with 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 the 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 swim suit or wet suit for safe keeping while you swim without them. Or if you have already discovered the benefit of using the Safer Swimmer safety device they don't take much space at all, therefore, leaving you a lot of free room for other necessary items you'd like to take with you for a swim.

So, go out there and improve your underwater pull, so you can enjoy the benefits of fast and easy swimming. On another note, 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 :).

Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

3 comments:

Darek Krawczyński said...

Dude where can I buy the palm paddles? Could you provide a link?

Libor J said...

Hi Darek, you can try here

Darek Krawczyński said...

Thanks