Swam after work today. Air, 61. Water, 60. There was another swimmer getting in as I started, he said his name was Peter. We chatted about swimming through the winter. I told him how to find me on this blog. Perhaps we will have some swim dates. Seemed like a nice guy-- crazy to be swimming tonight, but so was I, so perhaps we will get along.
Tried out the new "Swim Safety Device" (SSD) tonight. A few people recommended it to me, one in the comments on this blog, and others in person. The SSD is part dry bag, part buoy. You can put your wallet and keys in it, so you have them on you while you swim. This is the dry bag part. You roll the top over three times, and click it closed with a plastic clip. The buoy part is an inflatable chamber. The swimmer wears the whole thing on a belt around the waist.
It comes in a flat package like this:
That's the belt and the cord that attaches the device to the belt.
I'll have to get someone to take pictures of it on me for a future post.
The devise has three potential uses.
1- to keep your gear safe and dry while you swim. You can fit quite a bit in it, probably shorts and a t-shirt as well as valuables and flip flops.
2- to improve visibility for you as a swimmer in the water. You look a bit like a crab-pot this way, but at least the boaters have something larger than a swim cap to look out for.
3- to provide a small flotation device if needed. The packaging explicitly says that it's not for life-saving. It probably has to, as legally, I don't think inflatables can claim life-saving capabilities, as they have potential to deflate. However, the marketing video does show swimmers using it for flotation. Although my wetsuit provides a lot of flotation, my family has been requesting I carry something with me for emergencies. This seems a viable option. I was able to float holding it, without sinking it. In a scenario where I was tired or injured but conscious this would provide valuable support.
So what was it like to swim with? With a wetsuit on, I didn't even notice it. When I'd flip onto my back for a rest, I'd see it there, but otherwise it was invisible to me. I couldn't feel it either. I'm sure in a suit, especially for men who's suits don't cover as much of their waist as women's (one piece) ones do, it could chafe or rub. But in a wetsuit it wasn't even there.
The price is 35-40 dollars. And seems worth it to keep valuables safe and provide some visibility.
I'll get better shots in coming weeks. And add additional reviews as I try it more.
Here's a promotional video, to tide you over.