One of the most common questions I am asked when it comes to gear is which paddles should I buy? My general rule is they shouldn't be much bigger than your hands. This goes against what I often see at Masters swim practices, where many swimmers strap on paddles the size of mini garbage can lids! Realize that large paddles increase the surface area of the hand, thus increasing the pressure placed on the shoulders. It is a recipe for injury.
Two paddles that I use and recommend are the Freestyler Paddle and the Agility Paddle. Both paddles are made by Finis and designed to give the swimmer instant technical feedback.
The Freestyler paddle has a one finger strap and a skeg under the paddle. The paddle is designed to assist in proper alignment upon entry.
If a swimmer's hand enters the water with a thumb first entry or has excessive lateral movement the paddle with twist sending instant information to the swimmer that her hand is not in the right position.
The Agility paddle has a hole for your thumb and no strap. The award winning design gives the swimmer a slightly unstable feel and can be used for all four swim strokes.
It is especially useful for swimmers who drops their elbow before their catch.
Give these paddles a try. If you struggle with your new equipment, , it’s a sign that your technique needs some work. Consistently use these paddles and you’ll be swimming faster in no time!