The TECH-PADDLES are a unique and useful tool for developing good grip/hold on the water, allowing maximal propulsion with each arm stroke. They are simply a teaching aid to guide you toward creating a good connection and ‘grip’ on the water by forcing the arm position to align in the optimal position to hold water and push it backward.
In essence, upon the arm dropping in the water -- with the shoulder sliding forward -- your fingers curve toward the bottom of the pool, followed by wrist, while the elbow stays high. With palm back, you then accelerate water backward. You can see this below.
The design of the tech paddles forces the arm to stay in good alignment and encourages the swimmer to get fingers lower than the wrist, and lower than the elbow. While they certainly don’t create great propulsion -- they put your hand and arm in the position to do so. This means that the real power arrives when you take them off, assuming you link the feeling of the tech-paddles into your swimming.
The challenge of the paddles? They are a small company and tough to get for many. We also have reports that their customer service is lacking, we assume related to capacity issues. So what alternatives are there to utilizing these paddles?
- Fist Swimming: Simply swim with your fists closed, but aim to mimic the stroke and connection we talk about above (and the picture). Knuckles down, wrist down, and both below the elbow. Your hidden palm still faces back, but use your forearm as your propulsive tool.
- A Normal Paddle: Don’t strap in. Instead, lay your forearm and wrist across the top of the paddle and grip with your fingers over the end. You now have a paddle that locks the wrist and prevents any ‘break’ at that hinge joint. Your own tech paddles (and least a starving artist's version.)
With whichever option you choose, the key is to think through and appreciate the mission and outcome. It is only then that you can apply and be effective.
I hope that helps.
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