Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Swimming Pool Lifts for New ADA Requirements

swimming pool lifts for ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. In July 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice released updates to the ADA that include accommodations for “accessible means of entry for pools.”

Larger pools (>300 linear feet) require at least two means of access and smaller pools (<300 linear feet) require at least one means of access (source). Means of access? We’re talking about ramps and lifts to provide access for anyone cannot use ladders or stairs to enter a public pool.

Your public pool must be compliant by March 2012! Check out this handy cheat-sheet from S.R. Smith:

swimming pool lifts for ADA

This handy PDF has all the details about how the new ADA requirements will affect your pool operation, and the options you have. Kast-A-Way Swimwear is now accepting orders for S.R. Smith lifts and other accessibility products. We anticipate demand to increase significantly as the deadline approaches, and I’d suggest pools get their orders in now with a later ship date.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rob Butcher Interviews Patti Kast During USMS Spring National Coverage

rob butcher patti kast usms spring nationals

Our very own Patti Kast was interviewed in a nice segment at the end of this video coverage of the 2011 USMS Spring Nationals meet.

rob butcher patti kast usms spring nationals

rob butcher patti kast usms spring nationals

rob butcher patti kast usms spring nationals

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

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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Limited Edition Winter Uglies Now Available

It’s never too early to do some winter shopping, just ask the guy who bought a Christmas tree at Wal-Mart in October (me). So if you’re planning ahead like me, you’re going to want to take a look at the limited edition Winter line of Uglies now in stock at Kast-A-Way Swimwear.

winter limited edition uglies

Choose between the delicious Candy Heart or playful Frosty prints.

limited edition winter uglies

Or try the wrapping-paper-eque Let It Snow or fun and funky Tye Dye Heart.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Is Goggle Rot? Visualizing Polymer Degradation

Have you heard the term goggle rot? It’s when the elasticity is sucked from your goggle straps and gaskets, and you’re left with crumbly, brittle, easy-to-snap goggles (scientifically speaking). Let’s take a closer look at goggle rot, its cousin polymer degradation, and how to avoid inviting these unwanted visitors to the goggle party.

goggle rot

Goggle rot was easy to find on this 9-year-old pair of Speedo Sprint goggles I found in an old swim bag. Look for goggle rot on the rubbery straps, it will appear as tiny imperfections or notches along the edge of the rubber. Goggle rot becomes even more apparent when you pull on the strap. Stretch it out, and you’ll notice the little tooth marks in the rubber get deeper. Also, look for brittle, stiff rubber that holds its shape – give this section a pull and it should snap cleanly in two.

goggle rot

Goggle rot is a form of polymer degradation, which is a change in the properties (tensile strength, colour, shape) of a polymer of polymer-based product (Wiki). It is caused by a variety of environmental factors such as heat (or rapid changes in heat), light (specifically exposure to ultraviolet light), or chemicals (acids, bases, salts, and gases).

Without knowing the specific composition of goggle straps, it is difficult to tell which factor of polymer degradation is to blame – ozonolysis, however, is a likely candidate. We can assume that goggle straps fall within the polymer classification of elastomers because they have viscoelasticity properties, and elastomers are particularly vulnerable to degradation by ozone naturally present in small amounts in the air.

Compare this image of natural rubber that has undergone ozonolysis to the photos I took of goggle rot:

ozonolysis goggle rot

According to Wikipedia, cracks in the rubber caused by ozonolysis always oriented at right angles to the strain axis. Notice how the “teeth mark” tears in the goggle strap always cut into the rubber perpendicular to the direction of the stretch.

Based on what I have gleaned from Wikipedia while writing this article, I would advise keeping goggles away from prolonged exposure to chlorine (however contradictory that is for swimmers), and keeping them out of cars that heat up during the summer (avoid extreme changes in temperature). But unless you plan to keep your goggles in an air-tight box, it’s impossible to avoid all types of polymer degradation occurring in goggle straps. Silicone is more resistant to Ozone and UV light, which is probably why manufacturers have switched to these materials for newer goggles like Speedo Vanquishers and TYR Tracer goggles.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swimsuit Packaging vs. Excessive Packaging Failures

Swimsuit packaging

It’s Earth Day, and that means taking time to reflect on humanity’s impact on our one-and-only planet. Because Kast-A-Way Swimwear accepts orders in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online, we have a large volume of items coming in an out on a regular basis. In the spirit of Earth Day, I wanted to assess where we stand on the eco-friendly spectrum in terms of swimsuit packaging for shipments. I also put my web surfing skills to use by rounding up some of the EPIC FAILures for excessive packaging that I could find online.

First, let’s talk swimsuits. Luckily, swimsuits don’t have any moving or fragile parts that might require additional insulation. That’s not to say swimsuits are carelessly shipped – the packaging must still protect against water damage, include a flat surface for a shipping label and tracking barcode, and prevent the suit from being torn or stretched when coming in contact with other packages.

Suits arrive in large boxes that contain small individual boxes for each suit. That may seem like a lot of boxes, but these suits are going to be individually sold and shipped so they need their own container. Packaging is reduced on the manufacturer’s end because little to no padding or insulation is needed to ship swimsuits. Each Speedo swimsuit box is made of 100% recycled paper products.

Next, shipping the box requires a light-weight, waterproof method that will protect the suit from being damaged in the process. The result: polyethylene mailing envelope. This envelope is durable and perfectly fits the dimensions of the box. The ‘poly’ mailer is made of LDPE (low density polyethylene) and can be recycled wherever plastic recycle code No. 4 is accepted.

Overall, I’d say the swimsuit package and shipping materials score fairly high on a hypothetical appropriate amount of packaging scale. Now let’s check out some of the worst examples of conservative packaging. The epic excessive package stories found online:

1. HP ships Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM)
HP DIMM Packing fail
Posted on theregister.co.uk, Hewlett Packard sent a large box filled with airbags to ship a small computer chip.

2. Office Basics ships one pen…
Pen package failure
Posted on badluckcity.wordpress.com, this office supply (singular) arrived courtesy of Office Basics.

3. Individually wrapped bananas
individually wrapped bananas
Posted by Son of Five Rivers Blog, these bananas are individually packed on a polystyrene plate covered in plastic wrap!

4. Camera memory card from Amazon.com
memory card excessive package
This picture, also from theregister.co.uk, shows how Amazon shipped a memory card for a digital camera.

5. Playbill and CD in a HUGE box
packing for CD and playbill excessive
There is actually a Flickr photostream just for over-packaged products. Here are the steps it took one user to unpack a CD and playbill from a huge box.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

FINIS Enters The Blogosphere

FINIS blog

A hearty welcome to our supplier of Zoomers, Center Mount Snorkels, and other wondrous aquatic equipment: FINIS has entered the blogosphere!

The FINIS Blog has three contributing authors: John Mix, the current CEO and President of FINIS; Paul Zaich, who works directly with teams and coaches for FINIS; and Mark Stephens, the FINIS Product Manager.

FINIS has been very active on Twitter and Facebook but had not made the jump to releasing an independent blog until today, April 13th (announcement). With just a few posts so far, it looks like the blog will go way beyond pushing swim gear – subscribe to the RSS feed for what is likely to be a great resource for swimming drills and technique analysis.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Swim Shop Cures My Drab Day

Here in Cincinnati, we’ve been having some unbelievable weather – but thanks to a cold front last night, we’re back to the chilly 50′s with full cloud cover. The drive to work was pretty drab, and my energy level was low.

But when I walked into the swim shop, I couldn’t help but get excited for summer!

It’s hard to feel down when you’re surrounded by tropical colors and prints.

Or even suits with glitter built right in!

And that’s the story of how the swim shop cured my drab day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring 2010 Catalog Is In The Mail!

swimsuit catalog

Spring has sprung, and that means this season’s catalog is in the mail. With an intuitive layout, index, and large product photos, we think it’s our best catalog yet! Click here to request a catalog if you’re not already on our mailing list.

Prefer to shop online? Visit kastawayswimwear.com

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