… buy small hand paddles. The Speedo Tech Paddles in size “S” to be exact.
Finally found a set of hand paddles that didn’t look like baseball gloves at Stadium (Ngee Ann City) for $32.90. You don’t see many stores selling these things to begin with, and when they are in stock, they’re usually in larger sizes. I don’t have very big fore-flippers like Michael Phelps, so finding a pair that fit took some time. Also, the lack of a definitive guide to the fitting didn’t help. I’ve read that the paddles should only be about 10% larger than your hand. (Read: “Should you swim with hand paddles?”)
For the uninitiated, these things are meant to help build power and feel through the water, though you might also overwork/injure your shoulders if you try to clock too many laps with them. Rough guide is no more than 10 – 25% of your total workout.
One of the reasons you might not see these on sale in many places is because there aren’t many pools that will
allow you to use not stop you from using hand paddles. Most public pools are pretty strict about not allowing them and the smart money is on the lifeguard catching you before your second lap. Why cannot? Apparently you might injure other swimmers by slashing them across the face or poking their eyes out.
In my first swim with the paddles today, I had to avoid several oncoming swimmers who were going at it with their heads down – technically correct, just not very practical when you’re not swimming in dedicated lanes. Doing the front crawl with the hand paddles feels great, like I’ve grown webbed hands that generate a lot more power. Stroke speed is slower, but more deliberate. Pull out too early and you’ll feel the paddle try to separate from your hand.
I can see why some people get too reliant on these things and can’t swim without them. Subsequent laps without the paddles felt as if my hands had suddenly turned into puny little paws. 😦 Next purchase might be a pull buoy (tucked between the thighs so you don’t have to kick) to focus completely on the arms, although it might be one toy too many to lug around.
If you have Takashimaya vouchers to burn and/or slightly larger hands. there are the Speedo Training Power Paddles available in M at Takashimaya on the 4th floor. These are a lot flatter in comparison and are supposed to be designed for more power than feel/technique. They are cheaper at about $20+ I think.
If you have huge hands, these Speedo Biofuse Power Paddles should work nicely. I saw a set in L at Stadium (Ngee Ann City, Basement 2). About $22.90 if I remember correctly.