Sunday, September 26, 2010

Epic Streamline: David Mullins 265m Dynamic With Fins World Record Swim

dave mullins 265m

World renowned freediver, David Mullins, broke another world record this weekend with a 265m horizontal swim underwater with a monofin. That translates into 5.3 laps in the Olympic sized Naenae pool in Wellington, New Zealand. This type of event falls into the category of dynamic apnea, or holding your breath while swimming rather than floating motionless.

dave mullins 265m

What’s more impressive? This world record swim was actually Dave’s third attempt of the day! According to a news report, the “first time, he went 100m before his goggles filled with water. Second time, he went about the same distance and wasn’t feeling quite right. No pressure, Dave” (source).

Take a look at the video below, his technique is amazing. As you might imagine, the most efficient way to swim underwater is the dolphin kick with a monofin. He makes several kicks in a row and then glides as far as possible to conserve energy. Mullins was underwater for just over 4 minutes for this swim, but his static apnea (holding breath without moving) personal best is 8 minutes 7 seconds.

So next time your coach gets on your case about coming up inside the flags, think about Dave’s 265m underwater swim, and hold that streamline a bit longer!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

British Diver Peter Waterfield Pulls Out Of Too Risky Commonwealth Games

peter waterfield india commonwealth games

29 year old British diver, Peter Waterfield, has pulled out of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, because he does not want to put himself at risk (source). At risk for what? Well there have been a few recent concerns:

1.) New Delhi reports 72 new dengue fever cases – As of a few days ago, the total number of cases in the city reached 2,296 for the year. The disease is transfered by mosquitoes and produces flu-like symptoms. One strain of the disease causes severe hemorrhaging that can be fatal.

2.) Stray dogs roam the Commonwealth Games athlete village (photo).

3.) A stadium footbridge collapse injured 23 laborers (source).

4.) Following weeks of monsoon rain, “many of the basements of the residential tower blocks are flooded with stagnant water” (source).

5.) A gun attack on a tourist bus in Delhi last week (source).

6.) Peter’s wife and two children were very concerned about him attending the event – which is probably the best reason not to go!

However, British diving superstar, Tom Daley, says “of course” he is going to India! The Mail Online even called him Tom Delhi (nauseatingly clever).

Canadian diver, Reuben Ross, considered the concerns, but said it is “too big of an event to let it slide” (source). He is confident that the people working under pressure will get things done to ensure a safe environment to live and compete.

The Commonwealth Games will begin on October 3rd, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Liam Tancock Joins Custom Shoe Ranks

liam tancock shoes

Remember how much hype Ryan Lochte’s custom shoes received? Of course you do.

Joining the ranks of swimmers with custom shoes, Liam Tancock tweeted his Boxfresh originals – decked out in Team England colors for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Does the whole team get their own shoe? Or are these really Liam Tancock exclusives?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speedo Dress: Banned LZR Suits Become Modern Fashion Material

speedo lzr dress

My list of 7 Things To Do With Your Old Speedsuit added an 8th item with the completion of the LZR Racer Pavilion modern art installation. Now it looks like the count is up to number 9 with the announcement of Speedo’s collaboration with award winning sustainable fashion label, From Somewhere.

“Owned by award winning designer Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci, From Somewhere recycles and rethinks the fashion industry

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tom Daley Goes Cartoony For “My School Lunch” Website

tom daley activity sheet

The British Swimming Foundation supports a website called “My School Lunch,” that, for whatever reason, hosts a Tom Daley blog shrine with information for schools and Tom Daley stalkers fans alike. Ok so it’s not for stalkers, it’s a tool for parents and teachers to get kids interested in diving, swimming, and overall healthy lifestyles.

On the site, you can watch videos of Tom doing exercises, check out what Tom eats on a daily basis, and print off fun activity sheets with a cartoon-ized Tom Daley. The site includes information on swimming, diving, and gymnastics!

Michael Phelps may have a children’s book, but Tom Daley seems to be fully immersed in this youth-targeted site. Because Tom is the ambassador for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, being marketable to parents is definitely a plus.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Are Strokemaker Paddles Distraction Proof? A Case Study

strokemaker paddles

Stokemaker paddles only come with an 8×5 single-sided instruction sheet, 33 inches of rubber tube, and the paddles themselves. I wanted to put the paddles to the test – not in the water – but in my living room. This post was originally going to be titled “Are Strokemaker Paddles Idiot Proof?” but then I changed the wording for the sake of my ego. Convinced that I was, in fact, NOT an idiot, I put the paddles through a distraction test. Here’s what I found…

strokemaker paddles

Family Guy was on TV, so I turned the volume way up. I dumped the contents of my Strokemaker assembly kit out on the table, and went looking for some scissors (I told you I wasn’t an idiot). I found some very pre-school looking safety scissors and decided to keep looking. I went into the kitchen and found cooking sheers nestled in the knife rack. Perfect! While I was in the kitchen I decided to have a snack: Diet Coke and almonds.

diet coke and almonds

Back to the paddles… I faintly remember the words “into thirds,” “cut” and “DIAGONAL” (in all caps) on the instruction sheet. I cut the 33 inches of tube into 3 equal sections. That’s as far as I got before my cat (Sasha Cohen) did something cute and I had to take a picture of her!

sasha cohen strokemaker paddles

Back to the paddles! I cut one of the wrist tubes in half to make two finger tubes. I’m pretty sure whoever came up with this standard equation for wrist to finger tube ratio should have a movie made about them. Maybe call it “A Beautiful Mind 2,” and get that Russell Crowe guy again, he’s Australian so I bet he can swim.

strokemaker paddles

Now you just feed the tubes through the holes and you’re done. No need to cut anything else! So how’d I do?

strokemaker paddles

This proves that Strokemaker Paddles really are distraction proof. Family Guy is still on, I finished my Diet Coke, and I have a strange urge to start a Russell Crowe DVD marathon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Value of Your Swim Shop

kast-a-way swimwear interior retail swim shop

You’re loading the car for an entire weekend trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the Lakeside Seahawks Invitational. You’ve got your hotel reservations, you programmed the directions into the Garmin, and your Sienna or Tahoe just got an oil change last week. Little Susie decides that now is a good time to mention that her goggles broke during yesterday’s practice, her cap melted in the dryer, and all her friends just got the ‘Sea Creature’ Silly Bandz that are way cooler than the dorky ‘Dinosaur’ pack she already has.

Luckily, you have options. You can either drive like mad to the local swim shop or you can just pick up some goggles and a cap from the meet vendor first thing in the morning. Do you know how that meet vendor got there? Do you know where they came from?

We’re from your local swim shop, we brought the store with us, and we’re probably staying in your hotel!

We’re at the meet (in the trenches just like you), adjusting Little Susie’s goggles minutes before her race. We’re your local swim shop, we’re parents and coaches and [former] athletes, and we’re here to help. Knowledge of the product is something you can always count on from a local swim shop.

Can’t get the goggle nose-piece to cooperate? Hand it over, we’ve done this a thousand times. Fallen behind in the polyester vs. Lycra debate? We’re your own personal We do this for a living, and stay versed on the changing product line so you don’t have to. You don’t need to dig through anonymous product reviews online, just ask us, our kids swim too!

kast-a-way swimwear interior retail swim shop

Let’s look back at the opening scenario: Little Susie’s last-minute crisis. Buying locally is always the quickest solution. This is where the rubber hits the road, and you walk away with what you need that same day. UPS and FedEx can do some amazing things, but I’ve never seen them put a cap on someone’s head within minutes of buying it.

Aside from knowledge and immediacy, local shops allow you to be a hand-on shopper. “I don’t like the feel of this material”, “These goggles are a little darker than I thought.” Get in there and get handsy!

We know all of our local teams, and we’ve got your best interest at heart. We can either help keep your team on budget, or glitz up your swimmers with custom spiritwear and banners. We always give team discounts, coach discounts, and quantity discounts. We’ll even bring the gear to you and host your equipment night.

So let’s hear it for the local swim shop – the store whose brick and mortar will outlast the faceless competition. Let’s hear it for Kast-A-Way Swimwear, Kiefer, D&J Sports, All American Aquatics, NorCal and CAS Swim Shop – thank you for supporting the great sport of swimming in your local community!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday’s Trouble Down Unda’

nick d'arcy and stephanie rice trouble down unda

Australian swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Stephanie Rice found themselves in two completely different kinds of trouble this past Sunday.

Following a last-minute Australian rugby win over South Africa, Stephanie tweeted: “Suck on that faggots. Probs the best game I’ve ever seen!! Well done boys.” This was probs not the best choice of words, a lesson @ItsStephRice realized after a media storm made her life hell for a few days.

The tweet was taken down, and Stephanie thoroughly apologized for the comment. After being called a homophobic, ignorant, idiot, Stephanie got some backup from openly gay Australian diver, Matthew Mitcham who tweeted in her defense: “She’s not a homophobe. She luvs gays but used very ill-chosen language.”

You can also check out her public apology video here.

nick d'arcy and stephanie rice trouble down unda

Nick D’Arcy also got himself into a bit of trouble on Sunday, when he tested positive for a banned substance (formoterol) only a month before the Commonwealth Games (source). Apparently, the drug is from Nick’s asthma medication that he has been using for the past five years. The drug acts as an anabolic agent, increasing oxygen uptake, and is permitted as long as swimmers have filed the appropriate Therapeutic Use Exemption forms.

The confusion seems to be in the paperwork, but Swimming Australia is confident that Nick will have no problem being cleared. Nick stated that he is not worried (source).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Social Sports Inc. Introduces ‘Podium Pursuit’ Fantasy Swimming

podium pursuit fantasy swimming

Fantasy Swimming has been a huge topic among swim bloggers, coaches, and fans. Now, it seems, Social Sports Inc. has beaten everybody to the punch by introducing their Podium Pursuit platform.

According to the website:

“Podium Pursuit is made up of a number of fantasy sports games. Each sport has its own scoring system and virtual storefront, but shares the basic functionality with each of the other sports. Each sport consists of unique competitions, which can include a number of distinct events. For each competition you can draft your own teams by picking the athletes in each event within that competition that you believe will win Gold, Silver and Bronze. You can then buy products in the store that can be assigned to the athletes on your team, which in turn enhances each athlete’s value” (source).

So you can select your picks in each event for each meet, use your Pursuit Bucks to make your athletes worth bonus points if they win, and use your winnings to get even better gear.

Just like so many online games these days, if you don’t feel like earning Pursuit Bucks, you can just use your real-life money to purchase fake money in the game (it still blows my mind, but I can’t say I haven’t done it before).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pool Aeration With Watercannons

pool aeration with watercannons

I was surfing around Twitter the other day, when I saw the name @Watercannons with a curious looking thumbnail picture. Watercannons? Well, there really is no other way to describe these cannons shooting jets of water high above swimming pools. But I had never seen such a thing before! What are they, and what do they do?

pool aeration with watercannons

I contacted Chris Ostling, the owner of Living Waters Aeration, to get some more information on what these things are and why people use them.

Watercannons are portable swimming pool aerators, and basically the jets of water simulate what naturally occurs in ocean waves, waterfalls, and raindrops. The surface area of the water is increased when it is sprayed into two streams of droplets. The increased surface area allows for more UV light penetration, oxygenation, and evaporation through contact with the air.

pool aeration with watercannons

Evaporation will decrease the pool temperature (the same way sweating cools you off), and the increased UV light penetration and oxygenation have additional benefits that Chris explained in an email to me:

“The aeration process will reduce disease causing bacteria. Many bacteria are strict anaerobes and require a nutrient broth for survival and practically all pathogens are killed by ultraviolet light, which the sun emits. Also aerobic bacteria feed on pathogenic bacteria. Oxygenating the water body, creates an environment where aerobic bacteria thrive raising the pH and exposing pathogenic bacteria to sunlight then these pathogens are weakened or killed.”

Watercannons have been used by the U.S. Olympic Committee at training pools in Greece and Beijing, and even on military bases (especially in places where stagnant water gets uncomfortably warm).

Below is the rest of my email interview with the owner of Living Waters Aeration, Chris Ostling:

What are some other ways people have tried to aerate their pools, and why is the Watercannon a better method?

Some pools have built in aeration systems. Sometimes it will be something as simple as a PVC pipe drilled full of holes along the edge or gutter. Other times, it is some type of homemade pumping device that barely spits out any water. There are also chillers and reverse heat pumps on the market, but they are not portable and are expensive. Any type of fountain or waterfall will help reduce temperatures. Our units are both portable. They can be set up at night and stored out of sight before the pool opens the next day.

I read on your website “It reduces undesirable 92-96 degree temperatures to a more refreshing and controlled 80-82. Prepare for those important swim meets. . .” How long does it take to drop the temperature like this before a swim meet?

Most facilities use the Watercannon at night, running it 6-8 hours every night. It is not really something you just use when you need it the day before a swim meet. On average it will cool a commercial pool 10-12 degrees.

We do have some pools that use it in the daytime though. The kids will even boo when the lifeguard turns it off.

Is it safe for kids to play around, or are the water jets too powerful?

We only sell to commercial supervised pools. Lifeguards or pool managers operate the Watercannon.

It has a triple suction, using VGB approved inlets. The force of the water coming out is 110-160 gallons per minute. We need that force to get the water as high as we can above the pool.

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