I had high hopes for the Swimsense, I really did.
Unfortunately, in the 2+ years since I bought the watch I’ve had two major issues that remain unresolved. With worthy competitors now available from Garmin – the 910xt and the Garmin Swim – these nagging issues are a deal-breaker. Absent any major product revisions by FINIS, I must retract my original recommendation of the Swimsense.
The deal-breaking issues are:
1. Build quality.
I’m now on my fourth Swimsense. The first three all became unusable after half a year of infrequent use, each time for a different reason. To FINIS’ credit, each was replaced free of charge.
My first Swimsense lost the ability to connect to my computer via the dock (and thus the ability to re-charge the battery).…
Beginning with the catch, and continuing through the finish of your pull:
- Keep your fingers pointed straight down toward the bottom of the pool,
- palm facing directly behind you,
- elbows high.
This is a distilled version of the “paddle stroke,” which has been taught in elite USA Swimming programs since the mid-1990s, but has only recently been widely taught in adult Masters programs.
I like this stroke tip for several reasons:
- It’s simple and easy to understand, even for new swimmers.
- It’s high-leverage, meaning it can produce large gains in speed.
- It’s useful for swimmers of all abilities.
I use this “stroke thought” almost every time I swim these days. If I’m feeling fatigued or unfocused, it’s surprisingly easy to fall back on an “S” pull pattern (an unconscious but ineffective attempt to gain more purchase on the water), or to let my elbows slip.…
Note: I wrote a follow-up review of the Swimsense in May 2013.
The FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor is a watch that, through various marvels of technology, monitors your pace, lap count, and stroke count as you swim.
I still maintain that for interval training, nothing beats a pace clock. Doc Counsilman’s ’50s-era invention will never go out of style. For long steady-state training, though, a watch that monitors laps, strokes, and pace might be nice. Personally, I can’t keep a good count after about 40-50 (more if the pace clock is large and digital).
In my case, it’s no idle question: I’m doing some long swims this year, and steady-state training is a regular part of the training diet.
But with niche products like this, one inevitably asks: Does it work?…