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Swim

Spring 2021 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Swim Training Tools

Find the right gear to enhance your swimming with our guide to the best training tools.

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Red plastic Techpaddle swim paddles

Tech Paddles | $35

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Basics

Not your ordinary swim paddles, these are designed to help improve your early vertical forearm position. Swimmers hold these paddles with a clenched fist, which is certainly unorthodox, but they’re innovative and intelligently designed.

Pros

  • Once mastered, they help perfect catch, feel for water, and hand and elbow position
  • Easy addition to improve technique and stroke mechanics

Cons

  • Very tricky to get used to and learn technique
  • Novice swimmers may find them hard to use
Blue and pink Eney Buoy swim buoy

Eney Buoy | $33

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

A pull buoy comprised of two plastic chambers that can be filled with water to add weight—up to seven pounds—and resistance. When the chambers are empty, the buoy helps lift your body position in the water.

Pros

  • Super smart training device that can build swim-specific strength and speed
  • Simple and easy to use

Cons

  • Introduce into your training gently

Read the extended review

Blue palm Speedo Bullet Head Snorkel

Speedo Bullet Head Snorkel | $30

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

A front-mounted head snorkel that’s a great training device for swim technique and fitness.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use; low profile and hydrodynamic
  • Durable, with a headband that allows for optimal fit and comfort
  • Stays in place even with speed changes

Cons

  • The mouthpiece/tube opening is smaller than others we’ve tested, which could mean less air flow
Bright orange floating BlueSeventy Buddy Bag

BlueSeventy Buddy Bag | $30

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

A highly visible inflatable bag you tow behind you when open-water swimming. Enables boat traffic to easily spot swimmers and also allows you to store small valuables.

Pros

  • Improves safety and visibility while open-water swimming
  • Easy to stow small valuables inside
  • Adjustable waist and connecting strap for optimal fit and comfort

Cons

  • Some swimmers might not enjoy towing this behind them during a workout
Black Roka SIM Pro II Buoyancy Shorts with pink accents

Roka SIM Pro II Buoyancy Shorts | $120

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

Neoprene buoyancy shorts help elevate your body position in the water and make swimming feel a little easier after a hard run or bike workout.

Pros

  • Hips and legs are noticeably higher in the water, aiding rotation and ease of movement
  • Superb fit, extremely comfortable and durable

Cons

  • Can become too dependent on them as a swim aid