Hi Folks,


Recently I bought some swimming toys since I got rewarded a gift card valued at about 200 bucks :) . Everyone thinks I am crazy. I could have spent it on an expensive dinner, some electronic gadgets or just buy some nice fashionable shirts. Instead I went to buy some worhtless piece of plastics ? :) Yeah I am crazy about swimming! After swimming and testing with all of the paddles, I decided to do a review. Note that these are just my personal opinion/views and I am not endorsed by any company.


So the test objects are:





From left to right :



Strokemaker, TYR Catalyst, Speedo Training Paddles and Finis finger paddles.



Test subject :)



Results :


StrokeMaker paddles:



Opinion : This paddles are extremely light , which I think it is good because during the recovery , it doesn't strain so much of your shoulders, and also I can have a better feel of my arms and better control. It is like using a thinner glove compare to a thicker glove during dishwashing ( sigh, i hate dishwashing) . The many tiny holes in the paddles also let you "feel" the water through the palms. The design(shape) of the paddles allows you to 'grab' the water for an early vertical forearm(EVF) catch. I can totally feel my forearm straining which is good!



Pros : Light weight, good feel of water , assist in vertical forearm , emphasize catch phase if properly done.


Cons : Tubes easily come off


Notes: Center tube holds 1 finger.



TYR Catalyst Paddles:



Opinion : Stylish looking paddles but this is a heavy paddles which in my opinion is not very good the recovery. Recovery phase of the freestlye is supposed to be relaxed but because of the weight of the paddles, i have to use a little bit more to lift the paddles. Since it is heavier, during the pull phase, it is harder to feel the water as well ( as if you are holding some paper weights ) One good thing is the tubes fits nicely to your hands and it doesn't come out.


Pros : Stylish looking , hands fits nicely and the tubes make sure your hands doesnt slip out of the paddles


Cons : Heavy , lack of water feel , the pinky finger out of the way when fitting to hands


Notes: Center tube holds 3 fingers.


Speedo Paddles





Opinions: These are classic Speedo paddles, probably the first paddles I have used since 20 years ago. They are light weight and the design is simple( A square shape). Feels a little bit rigid though during the catch and pull phase but I would recommend this for beginners who are first timers in trying paddles. It doesn't strain as much as the TYR and Strokemaker paddles cause the paddles is smaller and it is good for beginners to try out.


Pros : Right size for beginners. They are smaller Speedo paddles than this one shown in this blog


Cons : No holes in the paddles, water feel is less.


Notes: Center tube holds 1 finger



Finis Sculling Finger Paddles




Opinions : For a start , this is a different category of paddles, it is called finger paddles and for sculling purposes and also you can use it to swim in all four strokes ! It is one of the breakthrough me thinks. It heighten your senses/feel of the water when it comes to the catch and pull phase. It is extremely light so you won't feel like there are paddles sticking to your hands. Recommended for all levels of swimmers (from beginners to season swimmers )Try it with all of the strokes and you can really feel your arm 'catching' the water right at the beginning of the entry phase to the catch and pull phase. For me , this really improves my back stroke arm entry



Backstroke with Finis Finger Paddles


Butterfly with Finis Finger Paddles ( My fly is my worst stroke :( )


Breaststroke with Finis Finger Paddles

(Extremely good training for the underwater pull out ! )



Pros : Light weight, good for sculling and all strokes. Improves catch phase.


Cons : Easily come off , It came off during my breaststroke swim (in the video)


Notes: Center tubes holds two fingers. Also, Since this is a different category of paddles, this paddles does not improve your strength but rather improve your 'catch' phase of the water in all strokes.




- Best paddle for strength : StrokeMakers

- Best paddle for strokes : Finis Sculling Finger Paddles

- Best paddle for beginners : Speedo ( Strengh ) , Finger Paddles (Feel)


One last point, please note that one shall not solely train with paddles all the time, you will lose your natural water feel of your arms , I think one should only use it maximum 30% of the time during your workout. Same goes with pull buoy. I seen many swimmers who runs a lot uses pull buoy all the time and they completely lose their kicking . They become very slow once they take out their pull buoy and this is not good, not good :)


Finally, have a great swim !

One of my favourite freestyle video ! 







Trick your kids to teach your kids !

How to trick your kid (Age 3 - 10 ) ? :)

Submerging head into water

Many parents do struggle to get their kids head submerge into the water . So how do you do that? 

I have always find this method to work .
1) get your kid to pretend to wash his/her face in the pool . Stating that while doing that , he/she is already holding her breath naturally. 
2) ask him/her to hold her breath and submerge only him/her mouth in the water. If she is able to do that just a while. Quiclkly reward him/her with a high five !
3) ask her to submerge but hold her breath longer ( ask him/her to count silently in the head 1 to 5 , 1 to 10 ) 
4) When he/she is very comfortable. Then now you ask her to submerge her mouth and nose as well . Repeat (Step 2 and 3 )
5) Finally when she is comfortable with his/her nose being submerge, Now you may try to ask him/her to submerge his/her eyes as well ( with goggles or eyes closed ) .( REpeat Step 2 and 3)
6) now drop his/her goggles in to a shallow floorbed of the swimming pool and challenge her/him to pick it up , not forgetting to reward him/her of course !

Blowing bubbles

In the meantime, you can also teach him/her how to blow bubble .

1) Ask them whether they had try blowing bubble with a straw into their drinks . Most probably they have done it .
2) Ask them to repeat the same thing in the water with their mouth (submerging their entire body upright and the mouth only ). Quickly reward them with high five once they done it eventhough it is a small and brief bubble
3) Ask them to try to blow a longer bubble , you can challenge them yourself to see who can endure a longer period of blowing bubble ( pretend to lose to them to boost their confidence :) ) 

Tell me whether it works! :)

Hi East Meadows Residents, 

If you realised, there is 1 place you can actually do laps (I think it is about 30 meters) . You can see the video below to find out where it is.

In the video below, I did a normal pace freestyle swim with 15 strokes in a 30m pool under 25 secs :)
The secret to a good freestyle is not fast movement , but technique and elegance of the stroke which I am trying to achieve

If you feel your leg is sinking somehow, having problem breathing properly , feel that you are struggling in the water , feel free to contact me for a complimentary 45 minutes lesson  ! I promise it is non obligatory ! 

or if you catch me swimming sometimes, feel free to approach me and I will try my best to share with you !


Hi everyone !

My name is Darren , and I am a part time swimming instructor . I specialised in stroke corrections and adult swim lessons, particularly adults who are water-phobic :)

I was a competitive swimmer . having represented swimming and life savings at international levels . Although I am not a competitive swimmer now , I am still very much passionate about swimming and you might catch me swimming in the east meadows condominium pool !

I look forward to share my knowledge with you and Happy 2013 !