Dragging incidentals along when I swim in the ocean

VanMouVanMou Member
edited May 2012 in General Discussion
I'm going to be doing some ocean swimming at a local beach, and want to bring a few items with me in the water (keys, epi-pen, and a Franz Kafka novel). I have seen, advertised, dry bags that you can cart along behind you, for swimming at beaches where you fear someone might rip off your precious belongings while you are out swimming.
Has anyone had any experience with any of these products? What did you think of them?
Thanks,
Dave
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Comments

  • bcobbbcobb Member
    I have used the orange device that the Int'l Swimming Hall of Fame sells and like it. My shorter OW swims are in a protected area so the water is typically calm. In those conditions I can't tell that I am dragging it, but in a chop the device pulls slightly. I carry ID and my phone with a GPS app to track my swims and everything has stayed dry. The boaters like the extra visibility - I am known as the orange buoy guy.
  • I have one of the orange devices as well and think that the person that invented it should get a Nobel Prize at the very least. The best $30-ish I ever spent.
    A Kafka novel? My... if you read one of those before you swim you're likely to just decide to drown yourself instead of train. I had to read "Metamorphasis" in the original German and was afraid to go to sleep for a month. Kafka was just a barrel of laughs. Not.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Here is @AquaRob's review of the ISHOF Swim Safety Device:

    http://robaquatics.com/2011/03/review-swim-safety-device-ssd.html
  • AquaRobAquaRob Charter Member
    Dave - if you want to try out an SSD you can borrow mine... also if you need a swim buddy hit me up! I'm aiming for a 4ish hour Avila swim on the 3rd if you want to get in on that.
  • I needed to bring feeds with me on a long swim this weekend, so I bought a surf board leash and tied bottles and a mesh bag with some gel/sweet potato in it. The water was rough as hell and I barely noticed it. I need to start playing with adding an orange buoy for when I go out of my usual low-traffic area.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Great Salt Lake open water swimmer Josh Green was on Swimming World's Morning Swim Show today, discussing the Swim Safety Device (now called "Safe Swimmer Float," apparently?) and how it helped him during a recent scare in the lake.

    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/MorningSwimShow/30605.asp?q=<i>The-Morning-Swim-Show</i>,-May-23,-2012:-Josh-Green-Talks-About-Device-That-Saved-His-Life
  • I was wondering if the ISHOF Swim Safety Device might be better tethered to the ankle via a surf leash. The waist seems like it would be annoying. Any thoughts from those who have used one?
  • AquaRobAquaRob Charter Member
    @GarbageBarge the SSD is surprisingly unobtrusive tethered at the waist... unless the wind is blowing it forward up your back.
  • @AquaRob wouldn't that issue go away or be easier to deal with from an ankle tether? Your kick should keep it from blowing up your legs/back, and you could always flick it away.
  • I use one all the time and have no problem with it. Much of the time I don't even know it's there. Having it tied to my foot would drive me crazy. But there's nothing that says you can't tether it to you foot if that feels better to you.

    It's the greatest invention in the history of the world.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member
    I can't get my head around the appeal of the SSD. The extra visibility is great, but I still don't think I'd venture into a wake zone without an escort. I don't care about being able to hang on to it--I think that takes more energy than floating. And what do you do with your feeds when you're dragging the SSD? As far as I can tell the only storage is the dry bag.

    The SwimmerBuddy seems like overkill, but it definitely has a place for feeds.
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    I have towed my heavy "Shark Fin" with a floating rope which is attached to a bungy cord with plastic hooks at the waist and haven't had any chafing problems and the bungy flexes pulling through surf.
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • jendutjendut Member
    large orange/green physio ball from Marshalls ($10), bungee cords to form net around it (hardware store or basement), one more bungee and soft thera- band exercise cord tie around just below knee. The stretchy cords do well in chop and the ball adds a bit of drag in head wind but not too much. Accoutrements can be wedged between bungees and ball- I actually have a thermometer hanging off as well to take readings about 18" deep. Sounds odd, but actually works quite well when I am trying to be visible to silent/deadly crew teams and curious boaters! Keys go in waterproof phone bag tied to swimsuit strap and tucked in low back area of suit...
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    Towing Shark fin in the Napa River....swimmers liked it!!! observers on land were frightened!!!!
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • Sharko said:

    Towing Shark fin in the Napa River....swimmers liked it!!! observers on land were frightened!!!!

    Priceless!
    Just don't ever use that in Pennsylvania. I guarantee that some drunk hillbilly will whip out a 30-06 and start blasting holes in it and everything around it for 20 yards, you included. Still, building something like it just to see the reactions is almost an overwhelming temptation, even if it got me killed.

    Nice job!

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    A few years back we had our Tomales Bay swim near the small town Marshall and I had my fin out as a turn buoy and an old timer came marching down the road with his gun...he was going to get that White Shark...said in 1958 they netted a Great White near Marshall and he was going to protect those "dang" stupid swimmers...who should know that Tomales Bay is "the breeding ground of the Great White"...I wasn't planning on breeding any Sharks...
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • I have just received my SSD and I love it! I had fun just testing it out in the lake - I will plan to use it on my ocean swims this summer. My son will be kayaking with me but I will like the increased visibility.
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member
    Help! I've tried two different solutions for this. Both of them work pretty well, but they create way too much drag.

    Depending on how much feed I need to take with me (1-2 20-oz bottles), the extra drag slows me down at least 4-8 minutes per mile. My long training swims are taking FOREVER.

    Here's what I've tried:
    1.) I tied a string to my feed bottle and clipped it to my swimsuit bottom. (Thanks to @loneswimmer for the suggestion. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Loneswimmer/~3/ZTirBPNCbLM/)

    I didn't like the feeling of the string brushing/tangling against my legs, especially when I turned. Other than that, it wasn't bad.

    2.) I tried @rosemarymint's suggestion of a surf leash tied to the bottles (no mesh bag).

    The surf leash hurt my ankle, but it was okay attached to my leg above the calf. I can kick just fine with the surf leash, but it feels like I won't be able to. I have to remind myself to keep kicking.

    These are my ideas
    1.) Shell out the $$$ for the SwimmerBuddy. It seems like overkill, but I'll do it if I have to. I don't need the dry bag or the visibility.

    2.) Attach a strip of neoprene to the bottom of my feed bottles so they float horizontally when full. As it is, they float vertically.

    I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    You might try filling bottles 3/4 and let the air pocket float them...hydrated 16 oz just before and have your steel cut oats about 1 1/2 before jump...feeding bottles should last about 3-4 hours..you can also tape goo to the bottles with duct tape so you don't run out of energy...
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • WaterGirl said:

    Help! I've tried two different solutions for this. Both of them work pretty well, but they create way too much drag.

    I saw this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Intex-Mega-Chill-Floating-Cooler/19336114 in Walmart for about $13.00 and bought it as a solution to needing more feedings and this would be able to accomodate 12 hours of feedings every half hour. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I will probably attach it to my SSD belt/cable and then attach the SSD to it. Will let you know how it goes when I do.

    -LBJ

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member
    OMG, I broke down and ordered the Swimmer Buddy. It came today. That thing is HUGE!

    I got it mainly for towing feeds. I usually swim in a no boat area. I had an idea for making my own out of a kickboard, but I thought I'd be better off with the real deal. For those few times that I would like to venture out further.

    EVERYONE is going to notice me out there. Even without the flag and the pool noodle. Not sure if that's the kind of fame I'm looking for...
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
  • GordsGords Charter Member
    Yay Watergirl! Safest thing out there next to a kayaker, and you'll never have to fumble around for a feed. You're gonna love it!
  • I have used the orange SSD for taking feeds and the first time I used it, I had the belt adjusted slightly wrong and got a bad chafe/burn just above suit line. Have since readjusted and generally can't tell it's there. Can fit a bike bottle and some gu's/clif bars or two bike bottles if needed. Only use it for the carrying capacity.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    So tell me, those of you who use this thing. The feeds are inside, right? So you wrangle that bad-boy to get the feed out, feed yourself, put the bottle back in, then have to close it all up again?
  • GordsGords Charter Member
    Yes, with the Safe Swimmer (SSD), you have to tread while unlatching it, unrolling, digging it out, drinking it and putting it back in, all while trying not to get water inside. It is doable but not very convenient.
  • @IronMike, yep it is a bit of a "P-i-t-A" but until reading some of the other ideas here, seemed like the best solution. Not as bad in salt water as freshwater due to extra buoyancy though.
  • NiekNiek Member
    Gords said:

    Yes, with the Safe Swimmer (SSD), you have to tread while unlatching it, unrolling, digging it out, drinking it and putting it back in, all while trying not to get water inside. It is doable but not very convenient.

    Why not attach a mesh bag alongside the SSD? Inside you can put your drinks and food without the need to open the device?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Why not use a feed platform? Put a bucket in a life-ring, drop a line with weights through the bottom, put a flag on top.
  • NiekNiek Member
    Hydrodynamics and weight maybe?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited July 2012
    Niek said:


    Why not attach a mesh bag alongside the SSD? Inside you can put your drinks and food without the need to open the device?

    I've done this and while it is doable, you need to be sure the bottles have more air than liquid, otherwise it drags quite a bit. It is kind of fun that way, because as the bottles start to get empty, you feel stronger and faster.

    -LBJ

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member

    Pictures, please, @WaterGirl!

    I swam with the Swimmer Buddy today. I felt very safe. I swam in a wake zone of a very busy lake, and I never had a moment of worry. I actually felt safer than I feel in a no boat zone--sometimes boaters and jetskiers don't know what they're doing and wander in behind the buoys. I was out there for 6 hours (in the HEAT. Oh Dear God.) It was great to be able to carry extra water.

    On the down side, it slowed me down a LOT. I did not intend to be out there for 6 hours. I am a bit of an over-glider, and I could feel it tugging. I tried to over-correct by getting rid of the glide, but I think that just shortened my stroke. I was unbelievably slow.

    I love the freedom of towing my feeds and swimming a scenic out-and-back, but tethering them (a la @loneswimmer) and looping, looping, looping is really the best training option.

    Why not attach a mesh bag alongside the SSD? Inside you can put your drinks and food without the need to open the device?

    I've done this and while it is doable, you need to be sure the bottles have more air than liquid, otherwise it drags quite a bit. It is kind of fun that way, because as the bottles start to get empty, you feel stronger and faster.

    There's a lot of drag until they're empty because the liquid sinks to the bottom, making them float vertically. I've thought of getting those neoprene cup cooler things on the bottom of the bottle (maybe they call it a cozy?), but I haven't tried it yet. That should make them float horizontally because the cap is buoyant.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited July 2012
    I've drawn how I thought the elastic net should be positioned .
    This way there is no extra drag and the drinks are easy to get and the bottles could be filled 100%
    image
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • I really like my SSD and so do those who have seen me use them = several friends have tried mine and ordered one - I have one of each size - I like this idea of the netting to secure drink outside the device - but not sure how to find the right net.
    I am vacationing at the beach now and have used the device while ocean swimming - my husband likes that I am very visible from the beach.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited July 2012
    I've contacted the CEO of the factory that makes the SSD and mentioned this tread and gave him above drawing.
    His answer is:

    "Hi Niek,
    Thank you very much for your enthusiasm for presenting me with your valuable idea about how to hold the drink bottles and others on outer surface of SSD. It’s not too hard for us to realize your idea and we promise to advise you once it’ll be available.
    Greetings,
    XX"

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @Niek -- On the Marathon Swimmers Forum (and hopefully elsewhere), that's called a "win." Have you contacted the patent office ;-)
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited July 2012
    Wait! So WaterGirl, you have the swimmer buddy, is that what the picture is? Did you make it or did you buy it like that?
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member
    I bought it like that. It has a flag too, but I didn't put it on. It's visible enough without it.
  • One thing though with the netting idea as presented above... Won't it tend to rotate the SSD so that the bottles go underwater and end up dragging? I would suspect this to be especially true if one of the bottles was more full than the other one.

    Just sayin'...

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    I think Leonard's right. Unless you place a fair amount of balast in theSSD it will roll over.
  • As long as there is "significant" tension on the cord attached to it and enough resistance from the water, it may not. However, the instant said tension lets up, with the center of mass higher than the axis of rotation, the thing will rotate to go to a lower potential energy state. Net result is that you would be constantly fighting the water by partially rotating the thing and then having it rotate back. I suspect it would be especially true in the ocean.

    Time to see if Sea World would be interested in training dolphins to act as pack animals.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Charter Member
    What you'd really want is a zipper that lets you stash things inside the bag. Still not perfect because it adds mass and a little drag, but better than anything else I can think of.
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    My fellow Sharks, Giant Squid, Mad Jellies...

    Check out this short video of a swim in Tomales Bay today...I towed a large plastic bottle attached to the neck with wire to ski rope and attached to surgical tubing around my waist....a good long swim with tugging or chafing bottle was filled about 60% feed to start....so for swims from one hour to four hours this method works (i could envision a longer swim like this but some may not want to be on their own that long??? I was swimming by yourself along the Tomales Bay shoreline without having to double back (breeding ground of the Great White Shark).



    Sharko
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • Keys I narrow down to one key and I put it on my watch band, but I would like a better method. Some day my watch band will break and I'll be standing on the beach with only my swimsuit.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Chris_OD said:

    Keys I narrow down to one key and I put it on my watch band, but I would like a better method. Some day my watch band will break and I'll be standing on the beach with only my swimsuit.

    Thread it through the string of your swimsuit?
  • Yep.
  • WarmWaterWarmWater Member
    edited August 18

    Can anyone say whether the large buoy is significantly more visible than the medium buoy and whether the drag differential is noticeable? in Principle it's only 2" by 2" bigger than the medium.

    Any updated opinions as to whether it's still a worthwhile product or if anything better had come onto the market? Thanks.
  • FrancoFranco Member
    @WarmWater
    I have both. I wouldn't say significantly more visible but I will use the larger one if I am concerned with boat traffic.

    I don't think drag is noticeable between the two although I will probably use smaller one when I am not concerned with boats.

    I don't usually carry anything in them but drag is pretty insignificant with either one. The only time I really notice wearing it is if I stop to tread water.

    I think they are worthwhile and I even have extras in case a friend wants to use.

    I haven't seen anything better yet.
  • @warmwater I have the large, no experience with small. I've put in at least 200 miles with it and the drag is nearly imperceptible. I could not go smaller, as I need the space for all the stuff I drag around: water, food, money, ID, credit card, strobe light (in low viz), phone. I've even stuffed a pair of shoes in a couple of times. Even with heavy cargo (where the buoy sits lower in the water), very little noticeable drag.
  • WarmWaterWarmWater Member
    edited August 18
    Thanks the quick responses gents, very helpful. @spacemanspiff.... your load must weigh 1kg/2lbs at least...
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