Best Swim Paddles: 2020 Top Picks and Buying Guide

12/30/2019

Being a better swimmer starts with the right training. From your strokes to your kicks, there are many things you have to learn.

To make things easier, you need to invest in swimming aids. Among others, some of the most important are the best swim paddles.

Whether it is for building strength, increasing endurance, and improving speed, swimming paddles can be beneficial in more ways than one.

Looking for the best swim paddles? Keep on reading and we’ll help you come up with the right choice.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Swim Paddles?

Need compelling reasons to incorporate paddles into your swimming training? Below are some benefits that can convince you to invest in one.

  • Promotes Proper Hand Position: The hand is one of the most important parts of your body when swimming. By wearing paddles, you are training your hand to maintain the optimal position in such a way that it can propel your speed.
  • Allows You to Grab Water Better: Another good thing about wearing swim paddles is that it allows you to grab more water. In turn, this improves your progress rate per stroke.
  • Builds Strength: You can also enjoy better strength-building when you wear swim paddles. The resistance is increased, and hence, your muscles are working double time. This can increase the strength of your upper body and arms.
  • Improves Technique: It improves the distribution of water pressure. In turn, it helps you build better swimming techniques. This can also be effective in adding variety to your swimming routine. This also improves your speed and efficiency.

Our Top Picks for the Best Swim Paddles

Clueless about the best product to buy?? Here are the best options that should be on your list! Let’s also look at their notable features.

1. Finis Agility Hand Paddles

Agility Hand Paddles

One of the most common problems you will encounter in swim paddles is that they have straps that can easily break. That won’t be the case with the Agility Hand Paddles as it comes with the strapless design.

It is designed to deliver an ergonomic fit. It follows the natural contour of the hand. With this, you can expect the highest level of comfort. Nonetheless, there are some complaints about how it exerts pressure on the thumb. This might make it quite painful to wear.

If you are not doing the proper technique, the paddles will fall off. This encourages swimmers to practice the right techniques so that the paddles stay in place.

With the concave shape of the paddle, it corrects your early vertical forearm position. This is also the one responsible for making your strokes more efficient.

With the use of these paddles, you can significantly improve your upper body strength. This is also effective for promoting proper catch position.

It is also a good thing that it is made using a floating material. This makes it easy to chase the paddle once it gets out of your hand.

Pros:

  • Comes with a low-resistance design
  • Paddle stays secure on the hand
  • Promotes proper hand placement

Cons:

  • Rigid plastic can easily break
  • Can be painful on the thumb

Overall

The strapless design of this swimming paddle promotes the proper position of your hand. It has a versatile design that makes it perfect for all swimming strokes.

2. Speedo Nemesis Contour Paddle

Speedo Nemesis Contour Paddle

The brand name itself is already a good reason to consider this over its competitors.

One of the best things about this swim paddle is the contoured design. This makes it stay on the hand regardless of the intensity of your stroke. Some users, however, revealed that the integrated wristband can make the paddle a bit uncomfortable.

It comes with tubercles, which increases the surface area around the edge. It allows you to push more water. This also makes your trajectory smoother.

Like the paddles mentioned above, plastic is the main material used. Unlike in its cheaper counterparts that are brittle, the plastic used in this product is durable.

For the best outcomes, the manufacturer recommends that you use this with the Nemesis Swim Fins.

Pros:

  • Made of durable materials
  • Effectively adds power in every stroke
  • Available in a variety of sizes

Cons:

  • The wristband can be quite uncomfortable
  • The grip could be better

Overall

This paddle features innovative tubercle technology for smoother trajectories and better control. It also has improved tubing straps and a contoured shape.

3. Synergy Hand Paddles for Swim Training

Synergy Hand Paddles for Swim Training

Available in small, medium, and large, this is suitable for all levels. There is a size that will fit your hand perfectly.

Even better, it also comes with an adjustable strap. You can tighten or loosen the fit depending on what you are most comfortable with.

However, there are some reviews about how the straps can cause too much pressure on the wrist. This can make it quite uncomfortable.

Some noted it is quite bulky. This is because it mimics the shape of a large hand. This improves adaption and performance.

It also comes with strategically positioned water channels. This makes your strokes smoother. This also improves your control when swimming.

Unhappy with the purchase? You don’t have to waste your money. Within 30 days, you can return it to the manufacturer and they will issue an unconditional refund.

Pros:

  • Suitable for all levels
  • Comes with adjustable straps
  • Designed with a broad blade

Cons:

  • Straps can cause too much pressure
  • Some might find it to be quite bulky

Overall

This paddle comes with an ergonomic shape and a wrist cutout, which will make it comfortable. It also has soft silicone straps, although, some people noted that it can exert too much pressure on the skin.

4. Aqua Sphere Ergoflex Hand Paddle

Aqua Sphere Ergoflex Hand Paddle

The highlight of this swim paddle is the innovative construction. It has stiff bones made of polypropylene. This is combined with a flexible frame made of rubber. This is responsible for the exceptional resistance while allowing you to feel the water.

With the contoured fit of the paddle, this can effectively mimic the proper position of the hand. This makes it an effective addition to your swim routine.

It also comes with a wide and adjustable strap. This allows you to easily customize the fit of the strap depending on your hand.

Lastly, it is available in two sizes – small and regular. Most of the options included in this guide, however, are available in three sizes – small, medium, and large.

Pros:

  • Comes with an adjustable rubber strap
  • Has a contoured design for proper hand position
  • Made using durable materials

Cons:

  • Resistance may not be suitable for beginners
  • Strap can easily snap

Overall

With a rubber frame and interconnected bones, this can provide a good feel of the water. This demonstrates excellent resistance on the water while promoting the proper position of your hand.

5. HEAD Contour Swim Paddle

HEAD Contour Swim Paddle

If simplicity and value for money are what you are looking for, you have one good reason to choose this over its competitors.

With the hydro-dynamic design of the paddle, this is effective in improving your swimming technique.

To customize the fit of the paddle depending on the size of your hand, it is also equipped with adjustable straps.

There are some reports about how the strap is inferior when it comes to durability. Worse, looking for a strap replacement can be quite a challenge.

Pros:

  • Contoured design for your comfort
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Impressive blade

Cons:

  • The straps can be flimsy
  • Fit can be quite awkward for people with large hands

Overall

This swim paddle has a hydro-dynamic design and a contoured fit. It is made of durable plastic, which is flexible enough to deliver exceptional resistance once you are in the water.

How to Choose the Best Swim Paddles

With too many options available, making the right decision is not an easy feat. To help you easily narrow down the possibilities, below are the most important things to consider.

Type of Swim Paddles

One of the first things you need to do is to research about the different types available and what they mean:

  • Stroke-Specific: As the name implies, this type of paddle is designed to be suitable only on a specific swimming stroke.
  • Flat: This is available in a variety of shapes, such as rectangle and triangle. They are known for having great resistance and a popular choice for strength training.
  • Ergonomic: It is built to follow the natural slope or contour of your hand as it goes against the water when you are swimming.

Size

Most products are available in three size options – small, medium, and large.

Aside from your comfort, the size is also crucial for determining resistance. The larger the paddle is, the greater will be the resistance and the harder it will move.

Most people will think that the most important consideration would be the size of your hand. However, that is not the case. Your resistance and strength levels will be the deciding factors.

If it is your first time buying swim paddles, the rule of thumb is to choose one that is just slightly larger than your hand size. Once you get more experienced, you can move to larger sizes.

Choosing the right size for swim paddles is important to avoid injury. If it is too large, there will be more resistance. In turn, you will be exerting more effort, and this can sprain your hand.

Material

This is an important consideration because it directly impacts the durability of the paddle and the comfort it provides to the users.

Most of the options in the market, including our recommendations above, are made of plastic. This is great material for the development of power and strength. If you want it to be more flexible, on the other hand, choose paddles made of rubber.

Design

When it comes to the design of the swimming paddle, you can choose from one that has a solid construction or paddle with holes.

If the paddle does not have holes, this means that it is designed to offer better resistance. Those that have holes will allow water to pass through the surface and hence, the resistance will also be lesser.

For those who are just starting with their swimming training, the best option is a paddle with holes. On the other hand, if you are an experienced swimmer looking for a more intense routine, choose one without holes.

Strap

This is another important component of the swim paddles. This will secure its position on your hand as you swim.

Rubber is the most common material for swim paddle straps. It should be soft and flexible. It should not exert too much pressure on your skin, which will make it more comfortable. More importantly, the strap should be adjustable so that you can customize it depending on the size of your hand.

Compatibility

It is also crucial that you choose swim paddles that are compatible with individual needs and preferences. For instance, you need to consider whether you are a beginner or an expert. As a newbie, do not force yourself into using paddles for advanced swimmers as this can cause injury or compromise your comfort. Once you gauge your skills, it will be easier to determine which one is most suitable for your needs.

The paddle should also be compatible with your swim stroke. Some models are suitable for those who swim breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle. There are others, however, that are designed only for a specific stroke.

Final Verdict

With the options mentioned above for the best swim paddles, which should you buy? This is one question that is hard to answer.

From our recommendations, our personal favorite is FINIS Agility Hand Paddle. From its material to its shape, this can help improve your swimming techniques. It promotes the proper position of your hand and is also crucial in promoting the best in terms of your comfort.

Is there anything else that you would like to add? Any tip you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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