Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learn How To Swim 101: Water Discovery Float Devices Compared

Is your child's flotation device any good?

There are a number of swimming assistance products on the market often erroneously referred to as learn to swim devices. All of which have their advantages and disadvantages.

I thought that I'd do an assessment of some of them.

The noodle 
Along noodle shaped piece of polystyrene.

Advantages:
  • Very flexible. 
  • Excellent teaching aid. 
  • Plenty of fun and games and drills that can be used with it.
  • Good for: learning to kick,  drills for breaststroke, drills for butterfly and torpedo  

Disadvantages:
  • Gets in the way when learning freestyle and backstroke
  • Some new swimmers become dependent on it and have to be weaned off it.
  • Is not a Safety device and should never be used unsupervised. 
Kick Board
Advantages:
  • Excellent teaching aid. 
  • Plenty of fun and games and drills that can be used with it.
  • Good for: Almost all drills
Disadvantages:
  • Unstable used incorrectly
  • Difficult to use for dog paddle and building confidence.
  • Is not a Safety device and should never be used unsupervised.
Pros and Cons of types of floaties / Water Wings
 Let me say that only double chamber floaties are considered here. I do not consider single chamber floaties at all. In fact I am unlikely to ever consider them as I believe them to be too risky. If the single chamber springs a leak or worse pops, you may be faced with a life threatening situation.


Arm Band Floaties, Round Circle Arm Band Bubble Type


Advantages:
  • Slips over the arm easily, quick to put on, take off
  • One size fits all 
  • Can't be inflated so hard that they cut of circulation 
  • Easiest for swimming lessons 
  • Great for assisting with dog paddle and kicking not to mention building confidence.


Disadvantages:
  • Slips over the arm easily, quick to come off. Easily removed by student.
  • Some little arms are too little for them (one size doesn't really fit all). Thus they do not always hold the students head above water.
  • Young children will insist on chewing them.
  • Is not a Safety device and should never be used unsupervised. 

Arm band floaties square
Advantages:
  • Do not slip off easily  
  • Come in different sizes for different size arms 
  • Great for assisting with dog paddle and kicking not to mention building confidence.

Disadvantages:
  • Most difficult for swimming lessons because they are time consuming to put on.
  • Can be inflated so hard that they cut of circulation
  • Is not a Safety device and should never be used unsupervised.
Enjoy
Richard

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