Every triathlete needs a good pair of hand paddles. They build strength, help refine technique, and provide some variety when you’re putting in the long yards for your big race. The biggest issue facing most triathletes when it comes to hand paddles is which kind to choose: Do you go for smaller paddles designed to correct stroke flaws and improve feel for the water, or do you go for the giant “trash can lids”? Depending on how much swim gear you want to accumulate, multiple pairs of paddles may be a good solution. If you’re looking for one solid, all around paddle, or if you have several pairs and you’re looking for a good versatile paddle for daily use, the Sporti Hand Paddles II are a great choice.
I’ve been swimming with these Sporti paddles for the past week and have found them to be ideal for triathlon training. They fit securely, are easy to get on and off, and are very comfortable to wear. I remember the old paddles I swam with in high school that would leave marks on my hands and wrists after a long pull set, but those days are long gone with the new paddles like these. The adjustable silicon rubber straps let your hand slip right in and hold the paddles in place without uncomfortable pressure. The contoured shape of the paddle also helped improve my feel for the water. The best part for me was how the paddles really made me focus on a clean entry. Despite my best efforts, I have an awkward entry that my training partners dubbed “The Claw” years ago. The feel of these paddles encourages a smooth, clean entry which I found very helpful. Even after taking the paddles off I still found myself focusing on entering the water cleanly. I also tried swimming with these paddles at various speeds and found that they work well for long, steady state sets as well as fast sprint efforts.
Overall, the Sporti Hand Paddles II are a great choice for triathletes and swimmers looking for a solid, all around hand paddle, and at $8.95 you can’t beat the price. Thanks for reading, now get out there and work out!
Train hard and have fun,
As a life long swimmer, and triathlete and swim coach for 15 years, I’d thought I’d seen pretty much every possible variation on hand paddles, but the Finis Agility Paddle is something entirely new. So what makes it so different? As you can quite easily see, they have no straps. Instead, there’s a hole in the paddle which you put your thumb through, and then apply light pressure to hold the paddle in place. This strapless design has two main benefits. First, there are no straps to degrade and eventually break. Second, you must use the pressure of the water to keep the paddles on your hands. As a coach, the second is what makes these paddles so exciting. I’m constantly telling my swimmers that their hands should enter the water cleanly, catch early and with a high elbow, and to strive for an early vertical forearm. These hand paddles encourage all of these traits; you don’t even have to think about it, you just feel it. And if you have faulty technique you get immediate feedback because the paddles will just fall off!
The first time I tried these paddles out, I was a little unsure about how well they would perform, and they did feel different from a conventional paddle. However, I didn’t have any problems keeping the paddles on, and after a few laps they began to feel completely comfortable and natural. I experimented a little and tried to lead with my elbow for a few strokes, and as expected the paddles immediately came off. Another great thing about these paddles is that they can be used for all four strokes. They are equally comfortable for butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
I would find these paddles suitable for all swimmers, especially younger age groupers and triathletes who constantly need to focus on form and technique. Beginners will find them valuable because of the constant demand for an early vertical forearm, and advanced swimmers can benefit from using them for long sets where technique can sometimes falter. If you’re looking for a great new paddle to help you perfect your swim technique and improve your swim splits at the races, I’d highly recommend giving Finis Agility Paddles a try. Thanks for reading my triathlon tips, please check back soon for lots more information on triathlon and swim training!