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Orca Community Blog

Swimrun

August 14, 2018

SWIMRUN SERIES| Equipment | Swim Paddles

Orca is back with more on Swimrun, which we have been focusing on for the last few weeks. This time we will be discussing equipment and one of the items that is used most by swimrunners.

As you know from our previous posts, in swimrun races you are allowed to use support materials that help you to swim faster and counteract the use of shoes which slow you down, but it is important to know which accessories to carry with you and of which ones you can do without, to avoid having to carry unnecessary items during the race.

In this post, with the help of the Orca Swimrun Team, we will give you three tips for using swim paddles that may make you faster or lighten your load during the race.

TIP 1 | Using Swim Paddles to Propel Your Body

Swim paddles are the most popular piece of equipment for swimrunners, because they are one of the most beneficial accessories in the water that are not a disadvantage during the race. Also, in cold water, when your hands are weaker, you will still be able to hold the same amount of water, without being affected by the cold. You should be careful to choose the right size in order to move as much water as possible without experiencing excessive fatigue and without injuring yourself.

Using swim paddles requires good technique, so you do need to train with them before trying them out, either in the pool, in the ocean or in a lake. If you have enough time before the competition, you can start training with small swim paddles and, as you gain more skill in the water, switch to larger swim paddles.

Large swim paddles make it easier to propel forward in the water, but they also cause more fatigue, especially in the shoulders and back. Training in advance will help you to get in good shape to reach your goal and enjoy the race more.

TIP 2 | Carrying Swim Paddles During the Race

There are some swimrunners who prefer to store their swim paddles in their wetsuits while others flip them over to get a better grip on rocks.

If you use large, flat paddles, you can flip them around as you are exiting the water in order to grip the stones and keep running without wasting time.

If you have another type of swim paddle, with a smaller or more ergonomic design, you will be able to store them in the pockets of your wetsuit or hang them from your belt, which is most practical and least annoying during the race.

TIP3 | Choosing the Right Type of Swim Paddles

If you do not have much experience with swimming, swim paddles with an ergonomic design would be the best option for you. These will help you to get a better grip in the water, even though you will be moving less water.

Whether the Swimrun race has very long swimming segments or you are not used to swimming long distances with paddles, using a smaller size will prevent fatigue and injuries.

Large, flat swim paddles are the best option for the most advanced swimrunners, because they offer you greater propulsion but require a higher level of training and technique.