It is a rare occurrence when we take swim training equipment into the ocean. Very rare.

But if the surf is up along the coast in Huntington Beach, California or down in Mexico, we have taken our training fins and a kickboard in the Pacific Ocean on occasion. Cutting down the face of the wave with fins pumping and the kickboard serving as a small bodyboard, we have simultaneously enjoyed a session in the waves while enduring an intense kick workout.

But FINIS Agility Paddles presents another exception to the rule.

With its strapless design in a mold that naturally fits our hands, we have taken the Agility Paddle in the ocean and had to work hard. While the Agility Paddles are not for everyone in the ocean, their shape absolutely demands that correct and efficient swim strokes. Any irregularities in our hand entry, catch or exit results in the paddle falling off. The paddles also tend to come off when we are hit by an errant wave or go through white caps.

However, with their bright yellow color, the paddles are easy to find but do not let them go too long or they can sink. Using the paddles can be a bit frustrating initially in rough water, but it forces us to remain completely focused and totally disciplined to maintain a proper technique.

Not only do the paddles enable – enforce – a different kind of workout in the open water, but they are also great as a substitute for a kickboard while bodysurfing back to shore.

Fun times in the open water, done differently.



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Before he came out of the water, Craig knew that a certain question had to be answered. It wasn’t a question about his middle name or anything like that. It was much more profound. It was a question posed by himself, a question that only he could answer for himself. When Craig was able to answer that question, Hank embraced him and congratulated him on finishing the 5K with dignity.

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