Monday, January 3, 2011

Power Balance Quietly Admits To Misleading Claims

power balance fraud

What’s the difference between a Power Balance bracelet, and a rubber band? Not much, according to the corrective notice published by Power Balance Australia.

I came across the court-enforced statement through a Facebook post by my high school teammate and fellow swim blogger, John Mullen, of SwimmingScience.net.

power balance bracelet

From powerbalance.com/australia/ca:

“In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility.

We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund…”

The corrective notice is a result of an undertaking issued on December 22, 2010 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which intervened in response to consumer complaints. The Power Balance bracelet has failed to produce scientifically-sound results, and appears to be no better than a placebo when tested by double-blind methods.

As a result, the company (in Australia only) is no longer allowed to use the term “Performance Technology” in its branding, and can no longer claim that their holograms are designed to work positively with your body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.

This is good news for Australian consumers, who are now entitled to a full refund of their magic rubber bands. However, the deceptive Power Balance bracelets are still being promoted in the United States.

This should be a lesson that extraordinary claims must be supported by extraordinary evidence. I’ve shared my skepticism of several other products over the years, including mouthpieces for swimmers, Kinesio tape, and unregulated dietary supplements. The burden of proof lies with the companies claiming that huge gains in performance result from using their products. Please convince me with well-designed double-blind studies, not celebrity endorsements.

Be sure to check out 5 Things To Do With Your Power Balance Bracelet Now That It

Friday, December 31, 2010

Trailer for Extreme Winter Swimming Film

Winter Swimming is a 30 minute documentary about extreme winter swimming. Picture icy rivers and snow banks, plus you in a wet swimsuit – you got it!

From the website extremewinterswimming.com:

In this 30 minute documentary film we meet the members of 1.PKO, a swimming club based on the banks of the Vltava river in Prague and specialising in swimming outside through the winter. We come across various characters including Tomas and Tania who prove that the power of ice cold water is the power of life itself.

Check out the trailer:

The creator, Jack Bright, also runs a nice blog that will leave you shivering in search of a sauna! That’s where I swiped these photos:

extreme winter swimming

extreme winter swimming

Visit extremewinterswimming.com for more awesomeness!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Link Exchange Results: Get Clicking!

swim blog

Two weeks ago I posted a call for swim blog link exchange submissions, and here’s what I got in response:

Le Plaisir De Nager – A French website specifically about swimming technique. You can read the latest stroke analysis from your villa in France, or just use Google Translate. C’est la vie!

Enjoy Swimming – This web site will allow you to become a better swimmer while having fun and enjoying yourself. It’s a great overall resource that looks like it’s gaining popularity. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the link exchange!

Extreme Winter Swimming – A website and blog about ridiculously cold open-water swims. See also: Trailer for Extreme Winter Swimming Film.

If you want to exchange links with me, just add a link to Kast-A-Way Blog in your Blogroll or Links section, and post a link to your blog in the comments section on this post. I’ll check to see if your link is up and add you to my sidebar!

Note: Extreme Winter Swimming still hasn’t added me to their Links section, so they’re not “officially” in my side bar, but I’m giving them props because it’s just so “cool” (ha!).

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tom Daley Steps Out On London 2012 Diving Platform For The First Time

tom daley visits london 2012 boards

The London 2012 Summer Olympics is more than a year and a half away, but Tom Daley has already visited the Aquatics Centre construction site numerous times, and even stepped out onto the diving platform. I love the headline from the London 2012 press release: Tom Daley steps out on London 2012 dive board for first time, because it sounds like he’s getting an early practice in – you know, a year and a half out, before the crowds.

tom daley visits london 2012 boards

Aside from the headline, I also love that all the images are free for media use (here’s where I got the images for this post).

As you can see, Tom is far from suiting up for an actual practice session. However, it’s great to see a shot of the diving platforms under construction.

tom daley visits london 2012 boards

The boards were designed by Zaha Hadid, the Aquatics Centre architect, so that they will match the building’s overall design. Here’s what the diving well will look like when it’s completed:

london 2012 dive well olympic diving

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nose Piece Lineup & Pick a Swimmer’s Nose Quiz

pick a swimmer nose quiz and goggle nose piece

Let’s see how much you’ve learned from my last post: Fitting Goggles for a

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fitting Goggles for a “Roman” Nose: Women’s Vanquishers vs. Speed Socket

roman nose goggles speedo women's vanquishers and speed socket

Last weekend I was working the retail booth in Bowling Green, OH. After successfully fitting a few swimmers with new goggles, I got something of a reputation at the meet. Yep, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then a swim mom came up to me complaining about her “trouble child” when it comes to finding goggles that fit right. I laughed with confidence, no face is too troublesome for me to fit!

Her daughter came over with a red mark on the bridge of her nose where her goggles had been rubbing. She didn’t have a particularly large nose, but she definitely had a high bridge typical of a “roman” nose. I was taken aback by the fact that the Women’s Vanquishers (Wo Vanq’s for short) weren’t working out, because those are the universal go-to pair for most teen girls.

women's vanquisher and socket rocket speedo goggles

I looked through the rack for a pair of goggles that would fit a “roman” nose, and found the Speed Sockets. A side-by-side comparison revealed a major difference in the nose piece.

speedo women's vanquisher goggles

Notice how the nose piece on the Women’s Vanquishers curves away from the nose but draws a straight line between the lenses.

speedo speed socket goggles

The nose piece on the Speed Socket goggles curves away from the nose, but also curves vertically up and over the high bridge of a “roman” nose. Success!

The lesson? If your goggles dig into the bridge of your nose, the Speed Sockets are definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Swim Smooth’s Swim Types Parody: Alternative Swim Types

swim smooth swim types

SwimTypes.com is a smaller site from the makers of Swim Smooth. The franchise is basically a “coach yourself” model, with a ton of information online for stroke analysis, and tips for each “swim type.”

I think the swim types are dead on, and I definitely know someone who would fit into each category! But, I know some other swimmers who wouldn’t fit in so easily.

That’s why I’ve come up with some alternative swim types:

swim types

For your consideration, I present the Suit Swimmer, the Bodybuilder “Doing Cardio”, the Diver (swimming to the wall), and the Freak of Nature.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Calling All Swim Blogs: Link Exchange

swim blog

Do you write a swim blog? Let’s do a link exchange! Yaaa!

Just include a link to your blog in the comment section of this post. I’ll read your blog, and if you have Kast-A-Way Blog listed in your ‘Links’ section, I’ll add you to my ‘Blogs I Like’ section!

It’s a win-win-win!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What Do Synchronized Swimming, a Hoola Hoop, and Metallica Have In Common?

Beatrice Adelizzi synchronized swimming to metallica

They were all featured in Beatrice Adelizzi’s Solo Exhibition at the FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy taking place in Moscow, Russia. For the first time, the exhibitions were not judged.

According to the report from FINA.org, Beatrice swam to the song “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, and used a Hoola Hoop sized ring in her event. She “swam with intensity and careful details such as a half-painted dark face and a black-covered leg accentuated her theme.”

This is the only photo (here) that I could find! I can’t wait to see the video of this performance, I hope it gets posted soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Student Swimmer Sucked Through Fractured Underwater Viewing Window

student swimmer underwater viewing window

My friend Mitch just Facebooked me this piece of news! A story from Channel 3000 reports that a 17-year-old Wisconsin student and physical education teacher were injured when an underwater viewing window shattered while students were in the pool.

According to the story, the gushing water pulled the student through the fractured window and into a mechanical room. Read the full story on Channel3000.com.

This is shocking news! What a frightening scenario, I can’t imagine what it must have been like.

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