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THE REVIEW

Top Swim Products Tested and Reviewed by Gold Medalist Mark Gangloff

RECENT COMMENTS

U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Month - July (1)

Best looking team ever!

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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!

  • Aug

    U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Month - August

    Masters Swimming products from training accessories to swim gear. Each month, we look forward to highlighting some of the great swimming clubs across the U.S. that feature Masters teams for all types of swimmers. This months’ team comes from sunny California with the Mountain View Masters Swim & Social Club.

    SwimOutlet.com features a full-service team division that offers customization and bulk order discounts. We also have a team affiliate program that allows teams to set up their own online store to earn cash back for their team or club.

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  • Aug

    Open Water Swim Tips

    by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete & SwimOutlet.com expert contributor

     


    The growth in open water swimming in the past decade has been tremendous, whether for fitness, competition or multi-sport events like triathlons. Venues range from lakes to rivers to bays to oceans and each one presents different challenges. Most open water swimmers train for races exclusively in the pool and this can leave them unprepared for open water swimming. There are a few important techniques to think about when swimming open water, so I put them together with my tips: sighting, stroke efficiency, buoy turns and water entries and exits.

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  • Jul

    The Road to 70.3 - Race Day

    By Jordan Turner, SwimOutlet.com Social Media Coordinator


    “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” I will be the first to admit that I found a lot of excuses on the road to 70.3, most of which involved avoiding my bike. However eventually, after countless hours of training, endless support, a few meltdowns and some serious soul searching, I also found my way.

    On July 26, I completed my very-first 70.3 distance triathlon, Barb’s Race in Sonoma County. Crossing the finish line after a long 70 miles— a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run—is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, it was my biggest athletic accomplishment to date.

    I know what you’re thinking, who in their right mind would sign up to race 70 miles in the first place? Well, being that I am young and fairly active (and maybe a little bit crazy), I am constantly finding new ways to challenge myself. At first, after college, it was a 5k fun run here and there—emphasis on fun (often times a tutu and paint were involved). When I got bored with the local 3-mile courses, I graduated to half-marathons. After having a handful of half-marathons under my belt, I decided it was time to test the waters in a triathlon (you see where I am going with this?). A few races later, I found myself standing on the edge of the Russian River in Guerneville, CA anxiously awaiting the 10-second countdown to my first 70.3 triathlon.

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    Tagged with: #70.3 #half-ironman #triathlon #tri #training #barbsrace #swimoutlet
  • Jul

    The Gangloff Review: Mark Gangloff & Julie Stupp Break Down the Latest Swim Watches

    By Mark Gangloff, Olympic Gold Medalist

    For quite some time “land” athletes have benefitted from technology. Between watches, GPS devices, computers, and even shoes that provide key metrics, land athletes have been able to track their training, compare results, and set goals rather easily. In the pool, we are often left to our own devices (no pun intended): counting.

    Recently, there has been a transition to swimmer-friendly technology. Among them, Swim.com has launched in beta this summer, providing a swim tracking and workout platform that is compatible across multiple wearables, including some tech watches that I have reviewed here.

    Tech watches – some people call them smart watches – for swimmers provide key feedback and relieve the athlete of counting, tracking, and roping an innocent bystander into keep your pace.

    Over the last several weeks, I have tried many tech watches for swimmers. I am thrilled about these innovations and what they could do for our sport and our athletes so a brief overview follows.

     

     

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    Tagged with: #gangloffreview #markgangloff #juliestupp #swimwatches #swimoutlet #swim.com
  • Jul

    Get to Know Connor Jaeger

     

    A 2012 Olympian in the 1500m freestyle, Connor Jaeger shares his thoughts of the recent Santa Clara Grand Prix, his approach to setting goals, maintaining swim-life balance and even some recent workouts done in the pool with our exclusive Fitter & Faster Swim Tour presented by SwimOutlet.com Q&A!

    And don’t forget to enter the contest to win a “Swim Like a Champion” DVD by telling us your favorite dryland training exercise in the comments below by July 11.

    Q: You recently competed at the Arena Santa Clara Grand Prix, can you give us a recap of how the meet went for you, your best races and any good stories?

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    Tagged with: #connorjaegar #olympian #swimlikeachampion #DVDseries #fitterandfaster #swimtour #swimoutlet
  • Jun

    The Expert Review: Open Water Goggles

    By Julie Stupp, Olympic Trials finalist
     

    Tell us in the comments below where you will be doing your open water swimming this summer and you could win a pair of open water swimming goggles featured in our review!

    Competing in the open water can be very intimidating for many swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The conditions in open water can often be a challenge. The water can be cold, choppy, there may be a current and most of the time it is murky so you have no idea what is lurking beneath you. Not to mention in most races there is a high probability of getting hit in the face with an arm or a leg of a competitor.

    One of the few things you do have control of is what you are wearing and how well you react to the obstacles in the race. Having a great pair of open water goggles can relieve a lot of stress by helping you clearly see where you are going and what is going on around you.

    Open water goggles are quite different from pool goggles and unfortunately I learned this the hard way during my first triathlon. I realized there are four main components I need to have in a great open water goggle. 

     

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  • Jun

    Preparing for a Race - Traveling Stress Free

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Beijing Olympian


    A lot of you out there might be traveling to your first triathlons this summer. Traveling to races can be quite stressful; in my last review, I made a list of things to bring while traveling to a local race; however, traveling via plane, domestically or internationally, can be quite different. Here, I have put together some tips and thoughts about how to approach traveling longer distances to races, as you get ready for summer race season.


    Over my years as a pro triathlete, I have flown over 1 million miles and could tell you all sorts of stories from airports from Beijing to Sydney to Frankfurt to Chicago, but there are quite a few tips that I have learned that can make triathlon travel a lot less stressful.

    This year my first big trip was to New Zealand for the New Plymouth World Cup and Auckland World Series Race. I started looking at tickets in December and booked my flight in early January, ensuring that I got the connections that I wanted, and the dates I wanted. As my departure date got closer, I started to go over my list and begin to pre-pack. 

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    Tagged with: #shoemakerreview #traveltips #jarrodshoemaker #swimoutlet #triathlons
  • Apr

    3-Month Triathlon Training Plan

    Preparing for your first triathlon

    by Jarrod Shoemaker

    So, you’ve decided to give triathlons a shot? Or maybe thinking about “tri”ing it out? Well, let me tell you that triathlons are not as crazy of an event as some people make them out to be. Whether you are coming from a single sport background in swimming, biking or running, or coming from another sport entirely, the key is becoming comfortable enough in all three sports.

    The first step towards getting ready for your first triathlon is to pick a race! I would suggest starting with a small local sprint distance race, instead of a larger or longer race. By starting small you will be able to focus on enjoying the experience. I have seen many people pick longer distance races as their first races, not realizing the commitment they need to just complete an event like that. I would suggest a sprint distance race with legs under 750 meter swim, 13 mile bike and 4 mile run.

     

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    Tagged with: #shoemakerreview #triathlontrainingplan #triathletes #3monthplan #swim #swimoutlet
  • Mar

    Top 2014 Tech Suits Compared - The Gangloff Review

    TOP 2014 TECH SUITS REVIEWED:

    2014 Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1  - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Gangloff Review | Product Page 

    2014 Women's High End Technical Suits  - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Stupp Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Stupp Review | Product Page  

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    Tagged with: #technicalsuits #MarkGangloff #JulieStupp #techsuitreview #swimoutlet
  • Feb

    U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Month

    SwimOutlet.com is proud to renew its partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming and carry a full line of U.S. Masters Swimming products from training accessories to swim gear. Each month, we look forward to highlighting some of the great swimming clubs across the U.S. that feature Masters teams for all types of swimmers. This months’ team comes from the Sunshine State with the Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters.

    SwimOutlet.com features a full-service team division that offers customization and bulk order discounts. We also have a team affiliate program that allows teams to set up their own online store to earn cash back for their team or club.

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    Tagged with: #USMS #FortLauderdaleMasters #SwimTeam #STFL
  • Jan

    The Shoemaker Review: What to Look for in a Triathlon Wetsuit

    By Jarrod Shoemaker

    For most triathletes buying a wetsuit is an afterthought, coming up in the list of priorities after bikes, shoes, nutrition, race suit and goggles. Depending on where you live, you could use a wetsuit once a season or use one every single race. Thus, deciding on what wetsuit to buy is a choice that should take some time.

     

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    Tagged with: #jarrodshoemaker #review #expertadvice #olympian #triathlete #tri #wetsuits
  • Jan

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Claire Donahue

     

    The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Claire Donahue, who is also a regular on the Fitter & Faster Tour Presented by SwimOutlet.com and appears in the Swim Like a Champion DVD series.

    Leave a question or comment for Claire below, and you will be entered to win the Swim Like a Champion – Butterfly DVD featuring Claire.

     

     

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    Tagged with: #trainingarena #arena #fitterandfaster #olympian #clairedonahue
  • Jan

    Top Triathlon Shoes Compared: The Shoemaker Review

    The first thing to know about running shoes: picking running shoes is a very personal decision! What your friend or brother likes, does not mean it will work for you. Read More
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    Tagged with: #triathlon #shoemaker #olympian #shoereview
  • Dec

    SwimOutlet's Top Five Swim Moments of the Year

    As we wrap up 2013, we take you back to the top five most memorable moments in swim through the eyes of the SwimOutlet team. The #SwimOutletTop5 countdown is a recap of what we see to be the greatest swim stories of 2013. We want to know what you think the top swim moment was for the year. Submit your vote in the comments below with #1-5 or "other." All of the comments submitted by Jan 6. will be entered for a chance to win a $50 SwimOutlet.com gift card and SwimOutlet prize pack!

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    Tagged with: #SwimOutletTop5 #2013countdown #topswimmoments #top5 #newyearcountdown
  • Dec

    Swim Like a Champion DVDs: Behind-the-Scenes of the Production

    By Chloe Sutton

    When I work with the Fitter & Faster Team, I know that no matter what we do, we do it big! We take an idea and we do everything possible to make it the best thing out there. When you’re working with a group of Olympic Swimmers, you know that we’re competitive, disciplined, and we never settle for anything but an epic success. So when I was invited along with a group of my favorite fellow Olympic swimmers to San Jose, California for a secret project, I knew that something amazing was in the process. 

     

     

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    Tagged with: #swimlikeachampion #olympians #swim #dvd
  • Oct

    The Open Water Challenge of the RCP Tiburon Mile

    As the ferry neared the shores of Angel Island, the idea of lunging into the icy bay for a nautical-mile swim became a reality. Hundreds of people stripped down to their swimsuits and lined the beach waiting for the start of the race. Among us were a dozen Olympians, who chatted with one another as they anticipated the final countdown. They were the first to go -- at 9:10AM the elite division departed at the blast of a shotgun.

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    Tagged with: #Tiburon Mile # open water swim # RCP Tiburon Mile # swim
  • Sep

    Inspired to help others through Swimming!

    500 laps!

    When presented with the opportunity to raise money to help those with Multiple Sclerosis, Rachel Clift didn’t hesitate for a second.

    “My mom told me about Swim for MS,” explains Clift. “Swimming is what I love to do, so when I heard I could raise money by swimming, I said ‘how can I sign up?’”

    The Swim for MS initiative is a campaign run by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of American that challenges participants to take to the water with any sort of aquatic activity – diving, swimming, surfing, you name it – to raise funds to support programs for those with MS.

    SwimOutlet.com has been an official supporter of the swimming fundraiser since January 2013.

    “Missy Franklin supports Swim for MS and she’s totally my idol,” said Clift, from Scotts Valley, California. “So it was even more exciting to get involved.”

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  • Aug

    Swim Team: Celebrating Teammates

    With many swimmers wrapping up summer training and heading back to school, it’s a great time to remember one of our favorite aspects of our swim team: teammates! Best buddies. Family. Our weirdest friends. Whatever you call them, they are the people we see day in and out, sometimes for hours at a time.

    To on-lookers, it may appear that swimming is an individual sport with one person racing in their own lane, swimming for their personal best time. Behind the scenes, it's so much more than meets the eye.

    Teammates are with us doing our best sets, or when we false start at a meet. It's one of the aspects that make this sport so amazing. From playing cards between sessions to celebrating best times after a meet, teammates are there to make those little victories sweeter and pick us up on our toughest days.

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  • Aug

    5 Great Things We Loved About Summer Training

    Enough said. School has been out for the summer, but that also means double-practices. The good news? No homework, no studying and no tests. We get the summer to focus solely on practice, meets and of course, tanning. As a swimmer, taking naps is almost mandatory, even if it's for a few minutes. Between doubles, we now get to hibernate for more than 30 minutes. The added stress of school is gone, freeing up your time for summer adventures to the beach or spending the warm nights outside.

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    Tagged with: #competition swim # swimming # training # summer
  • Jun

    Top Self Massagers Compared - The Gangloff Review

     

    Hey guys! It’s Mark Gangloff and I am back with another product review. Let me start this post by thanking everyone who gave feedback on my last post. Your comments, questions, and general interest have gotten me even more excited about continuing to share my own experience and thoughts with you about the products that I choose and love. I hope you will enjoy this review just as much! 

    This review will be a little bit different from the last one, as it is not about equipment that I use in the pool. Instead, it is an out-of-water, out-of-practice piece of equipment.  Yet, it’s VITAL to my success. I have been swimming for the last 22 years and I have never had any major injuries. One of the most common questions that I am asked is, "How do you prevent injuries?" My answer is always, "I get regular massages." Most people think (and sometimes even say), "Oh he is an Olympian and is entitled to a fancy massage." I have to explain to them that while I do get a massage every two weeks, the majority of massages I do myself.  I give myself some sort of massage at least every other day – if not every day. 

    While this review is not intended to be a teaching session, I must say this: DO NOT WALK OFF DECK WITH TIGHT MUSCLES. IT MAKES TOMORROW MUCH HARDER. While stretching does help, I find a combination of stretching and massage is what really allows me to maintain high levels of performance day in and day out.

    During this review, I am going to be speaking specifically about three of the products that SwimOutlet carries:

    1. AeroMat Elite Foam Roller
    2. Tiger Tail Rolling Muscle Massager
    3. Moji 360 Massager

    There are 18 different foam rollers and massagers on Swimoutlet.com, but many of them are variations of the same product. So I will review these three categories and will do my best to make suggestions about the other products along the way. I will start this review with the most general type of massager and move onto massagers great for specific uses. 

    First and foremost: Why use a self-massager? The main reason for using a self-massager is for myofacial release, which is a fancy way of saying “relaxing tight muscles.” The other, less obvious reason to use a self-massager is to warm up before a workout. In fact, I use one kind of massager for warming up and another for muscle relaxation. I’ll explain my reasoning throughout the review.

    Here we go…

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    Tagged with: #selfmassager #Gangloff #swimming #recovery
  • May

    UPDATED: Global Market of Arena POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro Suits Waived of FINA Approval

    Arena Waiving FINA-Approval on the Global Market Supply of POWERSKIN Carbon Pro Technical Suits, Offering Replacement with New Generation Carbon-Pro Mark 2

    UPDATE (7/22): The new FINA-approved Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro MK2 has arrived in stock and is now available for purchase in limited quantities for both men and women.

    To order women's Carbon Pro MK2

    To order men's Carbon Pro MK2

    Dear Customers,

    Arena announced on Monday May 6, 2013, that it was waiving FINA-approval from all Arena POWERSKIN Carbon Pro suits, even those produced and sold prior to 2012. 

    This includes:
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Full Body Short Leg Closed Back (AR220994)
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Full Body Short Leg Open Back (AR220993)
    Arena Powerskin Carbon Pro Jammer (AR141364)

    Arena has stated suit problems arised due to manufacturing irregularities which caused an unintended - and unexpected - reduction of the permeability to air of some of the racing suits produced between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. While only part of their production has been affected, FINA is withdrawing the approval codes for all Carbon Pro models at Arena's request.

    We realize this is a major announcement and unfortunate to current owners of the suit, as the Arena Carbon Pro is considered to be one of the most popular technical suits for competitive swimmers on the market. As testament to Arena's unwavering commitment to its athletes and customers, Arena will provide a new generation, Carbon-Pro Mark 2 as an exchange to any customer with a current model Carbon Pro suit with proof of purchase.

    We will provide a replacement suit (FINA-approved POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro Mark 2) to all customers who have purchased Arena Carbon Pro suits from us in the past. Arena has alerted us that replacements suits will be available to the global market around the July 2013 time frame. We have already alerted current purchasers of this suit about this time frame in case they have any important competitive swim meets planned before that time period. 

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    Tagged with: #arena #powerskin #carbonpro #fina
  • Apr

    Final Training Weekend before Wildflower

    Less than a week to go to Wildflower, I spent this past weekend getting race ready. Saturday morning I slipped into my On Cloudracers and linked my Garmin Forerunner 210 to the satellite. Heading out on the trails I started at an easy pace and charged the hills like I was racing up San Antonio Drive. I spent the last mile of my run focusing on my form and pacing to dial in the right speed and comfort for race day.

    Sunday I was eager to get on my bike and test out my new Giro Air Attack Aero Helmet. I headed out on a flatter course so I could stay in the aerobars as much as possible. The helmet was incredibly comfortable and felt fairly lightweight. My test on a local Strava segment proved it would help my speed on race day. The remainder of the week my workouts will taper down as my excitement grows for Sunday’s race.

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    Tagged with: #Wildflower #Triathlon #Trianing
  • Feb

    What to Look for When Choosing a Women's Tech Suit - The Julie Stupp Guide

    This month, SwimOutlet.com has brought in Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff and former US Olympic Trials finalist Julie Stupp to do independent reviews of some of the top tech suits on the market. Those reviews will come later in Februaryclick here to checkout those reviews and here's a quick "what to look for in a tech suit" written by Julie for women's suits. You can also check this handy reference guide from SwimOutlet.com on women's tech suits here.

    Choosing a Women's Tech Suit

    By Julie Stupp

    When choosing a racing suit, each individual athlete has their own likes, dislikes and style preference. You can compare choosing a suit to differing stroke techniques. Every swimmer's stroke is built from the basic technique, but every swimmer has their own flair. Just like every suit has a basic cut, but each suit has its own differing high-tech qualities that makes it stand out.

    While one particular stroke technique or suit brand works for swimmer A, it may not work for swimmer B. When I choose a suit I look for five main components including: 1.) ease to get in; 2.) fit; 3.) comfort while swimming all four disciplines; 4.) compression and; 5.) durability.

    1) Ease to get in
    When I am at a major competition I don’t want the suit to take me too long (more than 8-10 minutes) to get on and I definitely don’t want it to wear me out in the process. If I get too tired while putting on a suit or it becomes a struggle, it is not worth the trouble.

    2) Fit
    The fit of the suit is very important in competition. For me, the suit must not be too tight in the shoulders and it must be long enough in the legs. If the suit is too tight in the shoulders then I know my muscles will easily fatigue in a race, because of all the tension the suit is causing. The suit’s length in the legs is also important to me, because if the suit is too short then it will most likely be too tight around my quads and hamstrings. This tightness can cause a loss of circulation throughout my body, which can cause fatigue and hinder my race performance.

    3) Comfort while swimming all four strokes
    Because I swim the Individual Medley, I must have a suit that functions very well in all four of the strokes. If the suit is comfortable for only a few of the strokes, it does me no good. I want a suit that will stay in place for the breaststroke, create compression in my core and legs for butterfly and freestyle and one that will resist water in the chest for backstroke. This is a tall order but there are definitely suits that have all of these qualities.

    4) Compression
    Finding the perfect balance of compression is tricky. If a suit is too tight you can lose sensation and fatigue quickly but if a suit is too loose you run the risk of trapping water in your chest, torso or legs, which causes major drag. I like my suit to be on the tighter side of compression throughout my core and legs, but I don’t want it to be too t Read More

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    Tagged with: #Julie Stupp # Tech Suits # Technical Suits
  • Jul

    Omaha Trip Contest Winner: Inspirational and a Hero

    From April to June, we held our Omaha Video Contest. The videos were aimed at promoting a positive message about the sport of swimming. It was a success! Contestants were asked to submit a video responding to the question: "How has swimming inspired you?" The grand prize winner received an all-expenses paid trip to Omaha for Swim Trials (a $6,000 value including flight, hotel, 2 tickets to the meets, and $150 spending cash per day)! We received a lot of video entries. Our judges had a tough decision to make, but finally came to a verdict. Continue Reading...

     

     

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    Tagged with: #omaha # contest # video
  • Jun

    Top Training Fins Compared - The Gangloff Review

    TRAINING FINS REVIEWED:
    FINIS Zoomers Gold Swim Fins
    Speedo Biofuse Training Fin
    TYR CrossBlade Training Fin
    Sporti Training Swim Fins
    HEAD Swimming Energy Swim Fin
    Arena Tech Fin

    Hi guys, Mark Gangloff here! Welcome to my first product comparison post! I thought hard about which review I would like to do first, and decided to start with fins for several reasons. My primary reason is that fins are probably my favorite piece of equipment. It is very difficult to create high speeds during training and putting on fins instantly gives you that speed you are looking for. Also, during longer swims, I believe it helps you maintain better form throughout the course of a set or workout.  Continue Reading...

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