Well, I’ve used the Aqua Sphere Stationary Swimmer for about three weeks now. I think it is time for a review.
For twenty bucks, you can’t lose. This device can be used pretty much anywhere, as long as you have about two feet + your height. My pool is 12m long, so there is plenty of room for me, and my kids can swim at the same time.
So let’s unpack the bag. Separate the cardboard from the plastic bag. Here’s the cord and velcro ankle thingys.
The cardboard topper gives you all the instruction you need to use the device.
And there’s even instructions for my friend Niek!
You attach the velcro straps to your ankles, loop the stretchy part around a fixed point, then jump into the pool and swim. Thusly.
I’ve tried the Aqua Sphere in two places in my pool. The picture above is from the west end of the pool, with the cord wrapped around fence. After about a week, I noticed the nylon black covering over the surgical tubing started to rub off. The cord was rubbing on the pool deck edge, and I was afraid of the rubbing to start getting down to the tubing, and then one day I’d end up hitting my head on the east end of the pool!
So I switched to the east end, which also helped with my breathing (here is where I diverge from the review). I’m a right side breather, almost exclusively. I can breath bilaterally, when I want. But for the most part, I stick to the right side. When I was swimming West Side, I’d have to breath into the sun. Now however, I can breath to the north, where, also, there are more trees, and I can see the entrance to the pool and sauna, and therefore keep track of my kids.
On the east end I looped the cord around the opening of the skimmer basket, with the cord going through the skimmer into the pool, and the other end looping up and over. Using that method, one of my feet was higher than the other, the one whose cord end was above the skimmer basket. That tended to make me feel like I was rolling over to the lower-cord side. I needed a new way of doing this. And this would result in me starting to swim to the right or left, for no apparent reason.
So I got a nylon strap. And a carabiner. And now the cords are level. And I’m swimming better. But still drifting left or right. So it must be my stroke.
Anyway, here’s my current set-up.
The straps do not rub any skin off my feet or ankles. I did notice that my feet slightly ride low. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept swimming for weeks. Then I thought about how I attached the velcro to my feet. The strap coming from my feet would run along the bottom of my foot. So in freestyle form, the straps from the Aqua Sphere would “push” my feet down. So today I did an experiment.
On the left is how I normally wrap the velcro around my feet. See how the strap comes from under my feet? Today I set it up like my right foot above. Kinda annoying, to be honest. My toes kept getting caught in the strap. I finally managed to get it over to the outside of my foot, which was fine. But I felt like the straps were holding my feet up, almost like I was swimming with a pull buoy. I got through my 90 minutes, but I’ll probably not set them up like that again.
So now I’m set. I jump in every day or two, swim for an hour or 90 minutes, alternating breathing or doing “sprints” by increasing my stroke count for 100 strokes, then slow down for 100, then fast for 90, slow down for 90, and so on. Better than nothing.