AquaGear Swim ShopPosted on 8.11.12
Upon returning to the States, I was greeted with a package from online swim shop AquaGear. Prior to leaving, I had spent some time on their site, impressed with the vast selection from so many brands, many of which I had never heard of! Their website was easy to navigate, and offered a selection that would keep most aquaphiles happy, from recreational water exercisers to competitive swim nuts. I was in need of a new pair of my favorite fins, FINIS Z2s.
The second item did not disappoint: an Aqua Sphere P2K Pull Buoy Kickboard Combo.
I brought them to a few SCAQ workouts and put them through the ringer. I knew I’d like the FINIS zoomers; they require minimal breaking-in time and the soft plastic fits my feet well. The shape of the Z2s encourage forward propulsion but require shorter and quicker bursts from the legs, great for developing and strengthening flutter kick, a weakness of mine.
Then I pulled the brightest and strangest-looking piece of equipment out of my gear bag ever. I’m sure I got a few looks, but I love the color and was curious about this strange piece of foam. I used it as a pull buoy first and was pleased that I could crank as fast as I can with my old buoy (I’m a faster puller than swimmer, so this is essential!). The length was a bit distracting on flip turns at first (at 5’2’‘, sadly, my calves just graze the end of the buoy when bent) but by the end of the set I was used to it. If it shifted, it was very easy to get back in place because most of your thighs are in contact with it. I also liked the more even distribution of flotation, which I’m sure would be even more helpful to those who suffer from sinking-leg syndrome. At this point, I wasn’t sure if this would replace my old buoy. I didn’t like it quite as much as my buoy, but the color was great. When I used the P2K as a kickboard, I began to come around. I like it much more than traditional kickboards because it’s compact, so you can’t really lean over it and let your posture slide, but is buoyant enough that there is plenty of lift. I loved that the middle thinner part of the board (necessary to make it a buoy) creates a groove for your arm as you pull into the wall and flip. Most of all, I fell in love with the fact that in the middle of a kick set, all it takes is one swift move of the P2K to your legs and all the sudden you’re pulling! Oops coach, just not sure how that happened!
Both items are in my gear bag to stay. While my old buoy may make a reappearance, it would be in addition to the P2K. I’d highly recommend taking a look at the AquaGear site, it’s easy to use plus they’re having a summer sale now!