A New Device To Help You Swim Straight

Could this new device solve your crooked swimming problem?

Could this new device solve your crooked swimming problem?

If only there were lane lines set up in every lake, ocean and river, there’d be no need to sight or worry about swimming straight. Since that’s an unrealistic notion, the Iolite GPS guidance system was invented to help you stay on course and swim as straight as possible. The device is about the size of a matchbook and clips to the strap of your goggles on the back of your head while a small strip of LED lights attaches to one lens of your goggles. Swim straight ahead and a green light in the center of the strip indicates you are on course. If you veer slightly to the right or left, a yellow light appears. Start swimming severely off course and a red light will come on. You can pre-load a swim course before you start your workout or use the device in freestyle mode.

In addition to helping you swim straight, there are lights you can pre-program to help you achieve a desired cadence and pace. Another light will blink at a specific distance interval so you can keep track of how far you’ve gone.

The navigation features of the Iolite are great, but it offers additional value in its ability to provide detailed analytics after you swim. Since it uses GPS, you can load your workout to Iolite’s online platform to analyze the exact route you swam.

Iolite has been well received by most triathletes looking to shave time off their swim splits and has been approved for use in any triathlon by USAT, but some think it offers an unfair advantage, claiming that swimming straight and sighting are part of racing and skills that should be developed. The counter argument is that every piece of gear at a triathlete’s disposal is designed to make the athlete faster in a race. Iolite’s designers were careful to leave out any feature that would make the device illegal and consulted USAT officials before making their product available to the public. There are certain open-water swims that have specific rules against such devices, but those rules vary from event to event.

Iolite $199, Swimiolite.com

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