Guide to Choosing Swim Paddles

Guide to Choosing Swim Paddles

Using the right training tools during swim practice is one of the best ways to see results and improve your technique. Swimming hand paddles are among the top training aids used in professional and athletic swim settings because they allow you to target specific areas and strengthen your overall form in the water.

What Are Swim Paddles?

Swim paddles are hand paddles swimmers attach or hold onto while swim training to help improve their strength and skill. Because the paddles prevent water from flowing through the fingers, swimmers can focus on their form while they pull the water and help establish better technique. There are several different sizes, types and uses for water paddles, but they are primarily used by professional swimmers, lifeguards and athletes in training.

The Benefits of Swim Paddles

The purpose of swim paddles and incorporating them into your training routine is to make your body stronger, decrease your overall swim time and help you target and master specific swim techniques.

  • Increases arm strength: Many swimmers use paddles as a way to target strength and muscle gain in a specific area. Swim paddles increase the resistance of the water, so as you propel through it, you increase the strength in your arms and upper torso.
  • Increases speed: Swim paddles decrease the amount of water that flows through your fingers and promote an ideal body opposition, which lends itself to faster swim times. They are a perfect training tool, because as your body strengthens while using them, you become more naturally and physically capable of swimming quickly on your own, without the paddles.
  • Improves technique: Generally, hand paddles improve your overall body position and in-water technique. You can invest in hand paddles that target specific techniques you want to improve, including your catch, stroke, water pull or freestyle form. 

Things to Consider When Choosing Swim Paddles

Things to Consider When Choosing Swim Paddles

Investing in training tools like swim paddles means you have a special interest in improving your performance. Reward that dedication by choosing the right equipment. Look for reputable manufacturers that create high-quality products in a variety of functions, sizes and colors. Choose hand paddles that are durable and will not bend or warp under constant exposure to the pool water. To choose a swim paddle that is right for you, investigate these three key areas:

1. Size

The most important factor to take into consideration when selecting your swimming hand paddles is the size. The size of the paddle is what determines the level of resistance you will create. Paddles are usually available in small, medium and large sizes with a list of corresponding measurements. For optimal performance, your paddle should be just slightly wider than the palm of your hand. 

If you buy paddles that are too large, you are less likely to develop proper technique and risk injuring your fingers or tendons. As you try your paddles on for the first time, check that they are comfortable and resist the urge to spread your fingers out as far as the paddle goes. Instead, relax your hands and keep them in a natural position.

2. Function

Some swim paddle models have holes, which allow some water to move through them. Holed paddles do not provide as much resistance, but enable you to focus on developing your stroke pattern and hand positioning. Paddles without holes are intended to focus more on strength building. You can also select swim paddles based on function. For example, some hand paddles have a unique pointed shape, which is intended for freestyle swimmers. 

3. Comfort

You can choose flat hand paddles, ergonomic hand paddles or webbed swim gloves. Choose your paddles based on the results you want to see and your level of experience. While flat hand paddles create stronger resistance, ergonomic paddles conform to the unique shape of your hand. Swim gloves fit directly over your hands, making them a comfortable and easy-to-use training tool that helps you focus on improving the way you catch the water, but often do not provide the same level of resistance. 

Find Swim Paddles at All American Swim

If you are ready to introduce swimming hand paddles into your training routine, look no further than All American Swim. We pride ourselves on offering an abundance of high-quality swim products from top brands — including swim paddles, swimwear, lifeguard gear and facility equipment — to fit any swimmer's want or need. Need help deciding which of our swim paddles are right for you? Here are some of our favorite models:

  • Rise Pulse Hand Paddles: Rise Pulse Hand Paddles are crafted to provide your wrists with a full range of motion, even on the lowest point of the paddle. They are made with ultra-durable material, including 100% latex tubing and smooth, comfortable edges. Read the full product description for tips on how to size your Rise Pulse Paddles for a perfect fit.
  • Speedo Clutch Paddle: Speedo Clutch Paddles are equipped with an innovative thumb garage that keeps your hand in the proper position, promoting good form and technique and improving your arm strength. The thumb garage also means you do not have to rely on the tubing straps for use if you do not want to. Additional features include Ecto Flex calves that promote water resistance and multiple holes that allow water to move through paddles quickly. The Speedo Clutch Paddles are available in a small/medium size and a large/extra-large size.
  • TYR Catalyst Stroke Training Paddle: TYR Catalyst Stroke Training Paddles are made from a form-fitting, transparent material. They contour to your palm and allow you to see your hand's position to maintain the correct form. Designed for both novice and expert swimmers, these paddles provide the perfect amount of resistance so you can practice putting more power into every stroke. Their gridded lacing and silicone tubing helps them maintain flexibility so you can stay perfectly balanced as you move through the water. They come in seven sizes, ranging from XXS to XXL, so you are sure to find a comfortable fit.

Find an All American Swim store near you or visit us online to learn more about how swim paddles can improve your technique and help you build strength. 

Find Swim Paddles at All American Swim