Monday, May 20, 2013

Finis Fulcrum Paddles

A few weeks ago, I was presented with the opportunity to wear test something from the Aqua Gear Swim Shop (  The company has a great website with a feature that asks if you need help right upon logging on. You can choose to live chat with a representative, or just click no. There are many educated people that can help you choose the correct paddles, bouys, or any other accessories.

The accessory I needed was paddles.  I choose the Finis Fulcrum paddles, which have 5- sizes based on body stature.  I have the large, white paddles.
My initial impression of the paddles was that they allowed you to control their motion better than paddles with no cut out at the bottom. The problem with many paddles is that they allow swimmers to navigate with poor form leading to shoulder injuries. When using paddles, it's very important to get an early catch in the first quadrant of your stroke.  These help promote this "early vertical catch" and do not allow you to drop your elbow.  The early vertical catch became widely publicized in the late 90's when the Aussies started swimming very fast, and the "EVC" has stood the test of time.  I, personally, have always had a wide catch that is a big stroke flaw.  No paddles will "fix" your stroke, but these really allow you to feel if your catch is too wide.  This attribute has been a huge help to me.

Another aspect I love about the paddles is that they are good for all strokes. When swim coaches are having a bad morning, and they assign a butterfly set with some paddle work (or IM), I do not mind using these paddles for any stroke. Using other style paddles has made my shoulders scream in agony! Being a triathlete, I never truly enjoy a butterfly set, but when paddles are added, I think the lifeguards become on edge.

One other note about Aqua Gear is the awesome customer service they provide.  As internet shopping becomes more popular, internet- customer service will become paramount.  I cannot express how easy and helpful they made the process.

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