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We have noticed some trends in the swimming world recently that seem to reflect a broader movement of increased reliance on technology and data. Below is a high-level summary of new products and ideas that reflect these trends. It's always interesting for me to see what people are working on in the world of swimming and I thought you might enjoy it as well.

 

If you’d like to pick up DragSox while you are at the World Swimming Championship in Windsor, Canada, please email us at info@aquavolo.com. We’d be happy to deliver DragSox without international shipping charges to those who order them now. We will be meeting with various coaches during the event.

As of today, Sensory Mitts are available for purchase from the AquaVolo EU store: eu.aquavolo.com. If you are in Europe, you can order Sensory Mitts as well as DragSox. Your order will ship locally from the EU with EU shipping costs. Shipping costs and the delivery time will be significantly reduced.

About a year ago we launched the Try Before You Buy program which allows any US-based swim club to try DragSox® before buying them. Six months later we expanded the program to include VoloBlades in the US and Try Before You Buy DragSox Europe. Today, we are expanding the Try Before You Buy program yet again. As of today, any US-based swim club can try Sensory Mitts before buying them.

Today we are releasing a smaller sibling of AquaVolo Sensory Mitts: Sensory Mitts Jr. The smaller size was inspired by feedback from coaches. Sensory Mitts Jr. were designed for age group swimmers and college swimmers with smaller hands. To learn more about the idea behind Sensory Mitts, please read this article: Sensory Mitts - Feel the Water.

We received this tip from one of the coaches who uses TKicks:

Attach the TKick a little closer to the wall than normal and ask your swimmers to make a turn without touching the wall.

I came across the article, [The Art of Connected Swimming: Jonty Skinner and Kristian Gkolomeev](https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/the-art-of-connected-swimming...), today and it has some interesting things to say about the core and how our brains are wired. Skinner talks about the need to develop the core. As he says, "The solution is to rewire the brain to focus on the core. Connection is about the core and driving everything through the body and not through the hands."

I wrote a more extensive post on this in 2014 entitled Reason Not to Use a Pull Buoy. The post explains the paramount importance of the core in swimming: the transfer of power, base of support, and the kinetic link, to mention a few. I recommend the post to anyone who wants to better understand why core is important and the role it plays in creating efficiency and speed.

Check out this documentary with Missy Franklin training in Hawaii. There are some DragSox cameos—can you spot them?

At AquaVolo our goal is to design training tools that work with the body to create awareness, improve technique, and build strength. Our newest product—HeadLiner—does this by encouraging the swimmer to retain a stable head position throughout the stroke and develop quick and low—almost invisible— breaths by improving the timing of inhale.

 

For more information about DragSox rental, please read this first: DragSox Rental with Option to Buy.

In our ongoing effort to make our products more accessible, we are announcing a new program: DragSox Rental with Option to Buy. This program was designed for coaches who are new to DragSox and would like to have a longer period of time to evaluate the benefits of DragSox.

Do you want to get the ultimate leg workout with DragSox?

The videos and images below are from various teams around the world. We hope they inspire you to have even more fun with DragSox. They’re not just for kicking after all.

Today we are expanding our popular Try Before You Buy program to include VoloBlades. If you are a coach of a US based swimming team, you can now request up to 3 pairs of VoloBlades to try them with your team.

As part of our ongoing efforts to make AquaVolo products more accessible, we are introducing local EU shipping with AquaVolo Europe. If you are in Europe, you can now order DragSox® from our online store, have your order shipped locally from the EU and pay local EU shipping cost. As a result, the shipping cost and the delivery time will be significantly reduced.

Last summer we launched the Try Before You Buy program which allows any USA Swimming Club to try DragSox® before buying them. The program has been so popular that we are expanding it to Europe.

International shipping is expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost for those located in Australia. Australia Post’s ShopMate allows you to use a US address for shipping—the larger the order the bigger the savings. We recommend that you combine individual orders into one to save money on costs.

At AquaVolo we try keep prices low and fair. When we have savings in our costs, we pass them along to you and we rarely raise our prices. This new pricing structure allows us to maintain quality, continue manufacturing in the USA, and more accurately reflects the production costs.

Why Everyone Uses DragSox

Check out this recent post from Olivier Poirier-Leroy from YourSwimBook: 6 Gift Ideas for Competitive Swimmers. DragSox is the first item on the list among some interesting swimming gear. Olivier really understands what he writes and has a unique perspective on swimming.

International shipping is usually very expensive. To help international teams save on shipping, we offer “Ship to Your Hotel” service for teams coming to the US for training camps or meets.

Check out this amazing video of the Trojan Swim Club by Dominik Meichtry. He used a DJI Phantom Drone with GoPro 3 to achieve this aerial view of the team training with DragSox.

We get a lot of questions from coaches and athletes about our products and how they compare to other things on the market. We are happy to answer these questions but we thought it might be helpful to share our process for evaluating ideas and products. This post specifically addresses our thought process for tools that claim to improve technique, balance, and body position.

"If you have never used DragSox before I couldn’t recommend them enough. The drag they add to your legs force them to work overtime in a form of resistance that is extremely swim-specific and hard to duplicate otherwise." (Olivier Poirier-Leroy, SwimSwam, September 15th, 2015)

Added a couple more videos with Sensory Mitts™: Backstroke and Backstroke Drill.

Experiencing the incredible effectiveness of DragSox® first-hand just got a lot easier thanks to our new Try Before You Buy program.

New video: Sculling with Sensory MItts™

New video: 25 free with Sensory Mitts™. To see more videos click "Videos" in the top nav bar.

In the last five years, DragSox have emerged as one of the most effective resistance training tools for competitive swimmers. The key factors that contributed to DragSox’ success are simplicity and effectiveness. DragSox are simple in that they work with the body’s natural movement, maintaining technique and creating drag. By overcoming the extra resistance created by DragSox, swimmers develop swimming-specific strength. This in turn results in a faster swim. It’s incredibly effective.

Feel for water is an essential component of fast swimming. It is also the least understood and least practiced focus area. We frequently hear that elite swimmers are born with natural feel for water, one of the reasons why they swim so fast. Although this might be true, it doesn't mean that those of us who were not born with “it” cannot develop the same acute feel for water. We can—and it’s easier than you might think.

At AquaVolo, we believe in providing our customers with the equipment they need to swim fast, to train hard but effectively. Historically, this has meant us designing and developing new tools. We identified a need in our own swimming, prototyped a tool that worked for us, and brought it to market. Our newest product, TKick, is a bit of a departure for us.

TKick is a simple do-it-yourself design that we heard about from other coaches. We did not design it or develop it, but we are bringing it to market in two ways: (1) you can view the DIY instructions and make it at home; or (2) you can buy our version. The two designs are identical. In the latter, we just followed the DIY instructions and did the work for you.

Impressed by Texas? Follow Eddie Reese’s advice and concentrate on the kick.

We often do things in the pool that might appear to have little, if anything, to do with actual swimming–like the photo shown here. It was taken last week while we were doing crazy experiments, just playing in the water. It looks almost unreal and it definitely doesn’t look like swimming. (Just for fun, try to figure out what’s going on in the photo.)

Today we are releasing a new size of VoloBlades: VoloBlades 30, the smallest paddles in our VoloBlades family.
We created this smaller size to meet three important criteria, explained in detail below. We wanted the swim paddles to fit swimmers with smaller hands, to be effective for breaststroke, and during sprint.

Weight and resistance during training have different impacts—both negative and positive—on swimming mechanics. It's important to be able to differentiate between the helpful benefits of added resistance and the potential negative impact of additional weight. There seems to be confusion about this in the swimming world, or perhaps just a sloppiness in use of terminology. This post outlines the differences between weight and resistance and highlights how resistance can be an effective tool in increasing muscle strength, stroke power, and ultimately speed.

You can now order our products in Japan and save on shipping and delivery time! We have partnered with Wonder Years Co., Ltd, a company founded by Ryosuke Imai.

"These paddles received great reviews, and testers felt a high elbow from the catch through the pull to the finish on the stroke" (Swimmer Magazine 2015)

VB AIRs are a great tool for drills.

Check out this podcast of Brett Hawke, head coach at Auburn University, talking about college swimming, starts, turns, nutrition and, best of all, DragSox! It gives some great insights from a coach who was trained multiple Olympians. It’s an honor to have him mention DragSox, our most popular product.

DragSox® make you faster. They create incredible amounts of resistance without introducing any drawbacks. They feel natural and encourage you to swim efficiently—without bulky hindrances. DragSox force you to find your most effective kick—which makes you swim faster.

Kick Hard Swim Fast!

If you haven’t tried DragSox in training yet, grab a pair today and find out for yourself why Swimswam said DragSox were #1 of the “

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the use of the pull buoy in training for quite some time now but, unfortunately, never got around to it until today.

Last weekend I had a chance to swim in the Russian River. After 11 miles of kayaking it was fun to jump in the water and swim a little.

AquaVolo Product Overview (full size image). 

AquaVolo Product Overview

USA Swimming recently posted a short article titled “The Key to Freestyle Balance: Breathing and Kick” in which the author, Matt Barbini, suggests that a lack of balance is the root of most common flaws in freestyle. The author finds that the key to balance is a “strong steady kick” and early breathing.

Snapshot of Evolution of Paddles and Snorkels.

Snapshot of Evolution of Paddles and Snorkels