Industry News: SwimmerBuddy Sets Eyes on Giving Every Swimmer a Buddy to Swim With
Published:December 5, 2012
An avid long-distance swimmer, Jim Zinger seeks to keep swimmers safe and confident out in the open water even when going solo. After several trials he has perfected SwimmerBuddy, a device that keeps swimmers visible to all watercraft and lifeguards.
Jim Zinger conceived SwimmerBuddy after he participated in the Annual Alcatraz Swim. In the flurry of this event, he found himself unable to distinguish between each swimmer. He realized that once swimmers are in the open water they become invisible to watercraft and lifeguards, completely alone and surrounded by the elements. With SwimmerBuddy those worries are diminished, "when [people] see me getting out of the water...they say they can spot that thing forever," says Jim.
Shannon Swartz, a relay team swimmer who crossed the English Channel in a 2-person relay with nephew Todd Miller enthusiastically shared, "Having the swimmer buddy to train with is so perfect...boats, body boards, canoes, water jets, all see me....very very calming."
Swimmers' visibility is SwimmerBuddy's main focus, but like a swimming buddy SwimmerBuddy is there always ready to support a fatigued swimmer. "If you get tired, you can hold on to it," says Jim, "and because of its size it's easy to get on top of and catch your breath. An advantage that SwimmerBuddy has over a fellow swimmer is that even if the user panics and quickly grabs on to SwimmerBuddy it keeps them above the water."
Refreshments and equipment are within an arm's reach with SwimmerBuddy's huge storage area.
"[This] device provided the most visibility and storage of any of the three products tested... The consensus was that the SwimmerBuddy is perfect for adventure swimming and hopping barrier islands or sandbars, especially in areas with traffic from boats and other watercraft...For the solo swimmer training for long swims...SwimmerBuddy offers good visibility, some safety and a way to carry supplies." - USMS's review of Swimmer Buddy in their March-April 2012 magazine issue
"...feeds are MUCH quicker with the Swimmer Buddy. I can get it down to less than 30 seconds quite easily." -- Gordon Gridley, co-race director of the Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon Swim and who swam across the English Channel in 11 hours and 30 minutes
"This would probably be my first choice for a long unsupported swim where I need to cart my own feeds." -- Rob Dumouchel, blogger for RobAquatics and an open water marathon swimmer
"In the channel harbor it allowed me to feel safe and hold my liquids so I didn't have to stop and go to shore......best training tool ever!!!!!"- Shannon Swartz
More information about SwimmerBuddy is available online at www.SwimmerBuddy.com
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