Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy 2-Year Blog Anniversary To Me!

Two years of Kast-A-Way Blog! Whew! My first official blog post went up January 12, 2009. Since my Blogiversary happens to align with the calendar year, here are some highlights from 2010:

Most Viewed Posts

#1 – British Diver Tom Daley and Kate Moss In Italian Vogue
Tom Daley and Kate Moss Italian Vogue

#2 – First Look: 2010 Speedo LZR Racer Elite & LZR Racer Pro
Speedo LZR racer elite and lzr racer pro

#3 – Norwegian Scuba Divers Chase Down Google Earth Van

My Favorite Photoshopping

Swimming Hero Magazines

Most Fun To Write

Is The LZR Racer Elite Really Worth It

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!

Monday, October 4, 2010

LZR Dress Video: Speedo’s Collaboration With ‘From Somewhere’

I didn’t know there was a video about the LZR dress when I blogged about it two weeks ago. I found this on the17thman, and since it’s still relevant, I wanted to repost it.

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

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, August 5, 2010

Lochte Footwear Collection Official Press Release, Lochte Swimwear Coming Soon

U.S. Swim Star – And Style Icon – Ryan Lochte Designs Limited Edition Speedo

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ryan Lochte Shoe Only For Ryan Lochte, Flip Flops To The Rest

ryan lochte green speedo shoe

Dang! Apparently the exclusive Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo is a little too exclusive, because, as the Ryan Lochte Official Fan Page puts it:

“While the hi-tops are specially designed by me, for me, I’ve also worked with Speedo to design a special limited edition flip flip collection – inspired by my hi-top shoe design – that will be available for purchase!” (source).

ryan lochte speedo shoe collection

If you haven’t seen Ryan’s sequined-out green hi-tops, the photos are now online. I guess whether you like them or not is irrelevant, because they’re not for us. So much for the swim blog posts speculating about the shoe’s features, or a list of criteria for a Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo.

ryan lochte speedo shoe collection

It was an interesting marketing campaign though, and definitely got my attention. The Swimmers Circle even called the reveal at Nationals the “biggest mystery of the meet” (source).

The down side, however, is that I am left feeling inadequate. In a way, it makes Ryan’s celebrity persona more untouchable, rather than allowing him to connect to his fans on a footwear level. Why can’t we wear the same shoes, Ryan?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Speedo Shoe Technology Pre-Ryan Lochte Shoe Release

ryan lochte speedo shoe

Ryan Lochte is going to debut his own Speedo shoe collection at Nationals on August 3rd, and there has been a lot of buzz and speculation about the shoes. Were they built in a secret shoe lab? Will they employ waterproof fuzz technology? What no one seems to be talking about is the fact that Speedo has been making shoes for years, so we can probably guess what the shoes will be like!

In a post on Swim Network, Mike Gustafson wrote a list of criteria for a Ryan Lochte shoe from Speedo:
1) “Slip on. Slip off. That would be ideal.”
2) I’d like to see them employ a new technology called

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ryan Lochte Will Debut His Speedo Footwear Collection At Nationals, August 3rd

ryan lochte speedo shoe

Since Speedo doesn’t offer a line of Ryan Lochte-esque grills (grillz?), a Ryan Lochte Footwear Collection is the next best thing for this highly marketable swimming star to put his name on.

ryan lochte speedo shoe

A lot of buzz has been generated by Ryan’s immense fan base, and with the release of this teaser video, it seems everyone is anxiously waiting for the official debut during the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships in Irvine, California this August 3-7.

ryan lochte speedo shoe

The meet will be televised nationally on NBC, but that might not include the official shoe unveiling (assuming there will be some kind of a publicity event).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

LZR Racer Pavilion: Banned Suits Find New Life In Modern Art

speedo lzr racer modern art

Found via Speedo International

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