Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hug A Swimmer Day Grows In Popularity

hug a swimmer day hug a diver day

One year ago today I posted a blog entry about the astonishing attendance of a Facebook event called Hug A Swimmer Day. At the time of the post, the event had an impressive 34,280 confirmed guests (Hug A Swimmer Day 2009 would eventually top out at 51,178 virtual guests). That’s a lot of hugs!

As with any internet phenomenon, the future of such an event could only go one of two ways: it could wither into obscurity, or it could explode way out of proportion. Lucky for swimmers, the day of hugging is on target for a record-breaking performance. Already, more than 163,000 Facebook users are listed as attending this global celebration.

Hug A Swimmer Day 2010 is so popular, a spin-off event for Hug A Diver Day has even been created – which reinforces the sibling rivalry between the two sports. Unfortunately there are only 3,781 people attending Hug A Diver Day…

But maybe…

Maybe if I get a jump-start on next year, divers can pull ahead! Show your support for swimmers and divers in the new year with two hot-off-the-press Facebook events:
Hug A Swimmer Day 2011 and Hug A Diver Day 2011!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Interview with Ralph Brodbeck, Inventor of the Aquastic

aquastic lane line swim training aid

Aquastic? Did you mean: acoustic? No, Google, it’s the Aquastic swimming training aid, developed by Ralph Brodbeck. The Aquastic is a product of Philosophics Inc, creators of the “original” Bungee Strap for goggles.

aquastic lane line swim training aid

The Aquastic attaches to lane lines with a bungee strap, and provides a distance target for swimmers during starts and coming off the wall from a turn. Check out the video below to see the Aquastic in action. Because it is attached with a bungee strap, it can swing back and forth between lanes. The stick itself is also flexible, so it will not hurt swimmers who swim into it. The assembly guide is posted here on YouTube.

aquastic lane line swim training aid

How did you come up with the idea for the Aquastic?

The AquaStic was created out of frustration with the swimmers coming up too early off the walls (starts and turns). After all, starts, turns and finishes win races.

How long did it take to go from an idea, to a prototype, to an actual product?

I started thinking about the “idea” of the AquaStic in the late 90′s; However, I did not start the actual development of the idea until 2004. I went through many prototypes along the way. The Aquastic as we know it today was introduced in 2009.

Were there any design failures or set-backs along the way?

Absolutely, there are always going to be setbacks and design changes to overcome with any new product development… For example, the longevity of the lane lines, swimming pool chemicals, the safety of the swimmers, etc. were all factors that had to be considered in the initial design stages. Finding parts and manufacturers also became an issue.

Does the Aquastic damage the lane-lines in any way? Do pool managers seem to be OK with coaches attaching something to the lane-line?

No, the AquaStic was designed to be lane-line friendly. Pool managers have no problem with the AquaStic being attached to the lane-lines.

How difficult is it to attach the Aquastic to the lane lines? Is there a lot of set-up time involved?

Attachment of the Aquastic to the lane-line is a very simple process. It only takes 20-30 seconds to attach one; it is easier than tying your shoe!

The Aquastic is available from Kast-A-Way Swimwear, click here to browse more training aids.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ryan Lochte Rope Drill Training Video

ryan lochte rope drill training video

Purepowerathlete.com, the same site that posted a video of Ryan Lochte flipping tires and training like a World’s Strongest Man contender, recently posted another video of Ryan doing resistance training with ropes.

It’s a little like twirling the ropes for a school-yard game of double-dutch – except the jump ropes are replaced with a ship’s mooring lines! Watch the video below.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Logo Documentary: Synchronized Swimming, Now Available Online

logo documentary synchronized swimming

Logo TV aired a full 1-hour documentary simply called “Synchronized Swimming” over the weekend. I missed the original showing, but I just found out the entire documentary is available online (here).

logo documentary synchronized swimming

Here’s part of the email I got from Shawn at Logo TV:

Go below the surface and join the dazzling divers of Synchronized Swimming. Two teams of hopeful girls-and one ambitious boy-battle it out in a stunning display of grace, beauty, and fabulousness. Following the team’s preparation for their climactic U.S. open performance, the documentary explores the training, team bonding, and adversity encountered by the athletes. With all its breathtaking splendor and ferocious competition, Synchronized Swimming is sure to make a splash.

I haven’t watched the entire show yet, but I already love the tone and cinematography! You really get a taste of the culture behind the sport, not just the Olympic media package highlights.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jetlev Flyer: Water Jetpack Adds New Dimension To Watersports

jetlev flyer water jetpack

I just saw the Jetlev Flyer (aka water jetpack) on the Discovery Channel. This thing looks like a lot of fun! It works just like you think it should, pushing the pilot airborne with huge jets of water.

jetlev flyer water jetpack

Each stream of water has a lifting force of 400-500 pounds, which is enough to lift this dude sky high. The only problem: you need to stay attached to a rubber hose that supplies the water to the pack. You can fly anywhere as long as you keep your pump raft in tow.

jetlev flyer water jetpack

The promotional video (below) has everything: fast music, dynamic camera movements, and a chick in a bikini who doesn’t actually ride the jetpack in the video.

jetlev flyer water jetpack

The Jetlev Flyer can be yours for the low low MSRP of 129,000 euro ($179,000).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Michael Phelps’ New Sponsor: Master Spas

master spa michael phelps

On Wednesday, November 3rd, Gold Medal Mel posted that Michael Phelps was about to unveil a new sponsor that he hoped would increase swimming’s popularity. “Is Phelps starting a swimming channel? A new pro league?” (GMM). Nope, better! Phelps is teaming up to sell hot tubs, err, swim spas.

The press release, found via the17thman, makes the new Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas sound pretty impressive.

The “patented Wave Propulsion

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