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Thread: Swim harness

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Swim harness

    One of our new members, wsettle, recently posted images of a swim harness he built in this thread. I had never heard of a swim harness but was immediately enamoured by the idea of being able to swim laps in my 33' pool without getting dizzy from the frequent turns. An Internet search produced a number of links to patents pending on a variety of such harnesses as well as an excellent site by a musher who designed something similar for his sled dogs. That page has become part of my permanent library, of course.

    The very expensive commercial version of a swim harness is here. Very pricey!

    We're going to try and build one for our pool using a tall graphite kite pole we have and the ski belt Bill uses in his construct but lo! I learned that ski belts are illegal in Pennsylvania. Can't buy them. Oh yeah, I love it when the government knows what's best for this little lady, you betcha! Yet another search produced a Website that sells them and they're available on eBay though the shipping there is a bit high.

    Thanks for the idea Bill!
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    Anna,

    Here you go...

    http://www.waterskiworld.com/vests/s.../ski_belt.html

    The site has the usual disclaimer that it may not be legal to be towed behind a boat in your state , but if you are not towing I can't imagine it would matter.

    Keep us posted on your design....I also am interested in having a swim harness but could never bring myself to spend the $200.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    Thanks Jim. I got one from here. It's a little narrower than Bills and the one in your link but I think it'll offer the right amount of buoyancy. We'll see.

    Uh . . . what happened to our spell check feature? Am I just not seeing it? I had to try a variety of combinations to get 'buoyancy' right
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    Ok, our construct:

    1 pool noodle
    1 length of 5/8 PVC pipe, about 6' long
    Rope
    zip ties

    Thread the rope through the noodle and tie it to form an approximate oval.
    Drill 2 holes through the top of the PVC pipe about 2" from one end.
    Attach the pipe to a fence post or any other stationary object near the pool with as many zip ties as you think you'll want/need.
    Thread the other end of the rope through the holes in the pipe.
    Slip noodle ring over your head and walk out into the pool to the place you want to swim.
    Knot the rope attached to the pipe.
    Swim.

    The pipe bends just enough to keep you from jerking, no bungee was needed. I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post them.

    This is a GREAT piece of equipment! In another life I was a competitive swimmer, won some medals even in national competitions. Although I'm an old lady now old habits die hard and this little home made harness can take my feeble butterfly stroke just fine. I am delighted, and thank you again, Bill, for showing me yours
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Swim harness

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK

    Uh . . . what happened to our spell check feature? Am I just not seeing it?
    Lost in the upgrade... it was pretty lame as spellcheckers go... try the one on the google tool bar... it checks all forms and forums and other fill-in type places.

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
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    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Swim harness

    I am delighted, and thank you again, Bill, for showing me yours
    Whoa... easy there Anna. Keep that up and folks are going to start talkin' bout us

    I had not seen the swim flex but it's the same basic principle where "something" flexes to reduce the shock while swimming. The PVC pipe is a good idea. Do tell us how it works out and pictures are a must

    Only one problem I can see with the PVC is that it gets brittle after being in the sun for months on end so if you can rig it so you can easily remove it after use, it will last a lot longer. But heck, it only cost a few bucks for a new PVC stick if it breaks so it probably won't matter.

    Keep us posted,
    Bill
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    Re: Swim harness

    Good Ideas!

    I made one of these a few seasons ago with elastic rope (bought at the hardware store) and a noodle threaded with the rope and tied in an oval. I just put a knot in the two end pieces of chord and ran them under one of the supports on my SPLASHER type AGP. It worked fairly well but I now realize that the noodle gave TOO much floatation (I should have just used a section that would go around my waist to keep the chord from cutting flesh and bathing suits!) AND we all had problems with our legs getting caught in the ropes. I see having the pole (or antenna) and cliping in higher would take care of that problem. I'm thinking that the elastic chord was had TOO much GIVE - maybe a combo of regular chord and bungee is the way to go. I'm going to try this again.

    dp
    9x17 AG Vinyl "SPLASHER" w/outside struts (7/04), thru the wall skimmer & return, C900 Hayward Cartridge Filter (3/08), 1 hp Hayward Power-Flo II pump (4/09), Wanda Whale auto cleaner (3/07), new Wanda shoes (6/09), VinylWorks A Frame Step Ladder Entry System w/Gate (5/06), 5-1gal gravel-filled jugs hung w/ zip ties under steps to stop steps from floating, 1-3" TAB FLOAT under stairs (empty), More noodles, floats, and toys than allowed in any 9x17 sized pool!

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    You're right about the noodle giving too much boyuancy. I have to position it directly under my arms which is ok in the short term but does get in the way of serious swimming. I expect the ski belt to arrive today which is why I haven't cut the noodle. If the ski belt doesn't work out, i.e., if it, too, is too 'floaty', I'll start whittling away at the noodle length.

    @Bill:
    You're of course right about the PVC pipe eventually degrading from the sun. I have this image of myself swimming for all I'm worth when it does break, me shooting forward and smacking into the pool steps PVC pipe is cheap. Free, in fact - we have a pile of it from when our 450' well was rewired. That's quite a few swim seasons at 6' per setup.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Swim harness

    Ya! let me know how the ski belt thing works. I think since noodles are so cheap ($1) right now I could get away with just trying that. I know that without the noodle I went straight to the bottom and with the noodle (full length) I felt I could 'walk on water' ! HA!

    I never thought about placement under the arms but I could see how that would hinder ones stroke movement. I was able to keep it around my waist but some of the younglings had trouble with 'swimming' out of the loop - I think now I would customize the noodles based on weight and width.

    I've also realize that I don't have a HIGH spot that I can clip into by the side of the pool I want to do this. There's a fence - but I don't want to be accused of weaking the support posts. There is a tree - which I think I'll end up shaking out all the baby bird nests ... so ... I do have an old UMBRELLA stand I'm not using. It's the kind you put water in it's base and then put the umbrella post in to keep the umbrella upright. So, I'm wondering if I put the PVC pipe (I might have to go taller like 9' or 12' because I have an AGP and 6 feet is just two feet above the water line) into the base of the umbrellastand?

    How do you clip or tie into the top of the PVC pipe.???

    Thanks

    dp
    9x17 AG Vinyl "SPLASHER" w/outside struts (7/04), thru the wall skimmer & return, C900 Hayward Cartridge Filter (3/08), 1 hp Hayward Power-Flo II pump (4/09), Wanda Whale auto cleaner (3/07), new Wanda shoes (6/09), VinylWorks A Frame Step Ladder Entry System w/Gate (5/06), 5-1gal gravel-filled jugs hung w/ zip ties under steps to stop steps from floating, 1-3" TAB FLOAT under stairs (empty), More noodles, floats, and toys than allowed in any 9x17 sized pool!

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    Quote Originally Posted by dpool
    Ya! let me know how the ski belt thing works. I think since noodles are so cheap ($1) right now I could get away with just trying that. I know that without the noodle I went straight to the bottom and with the noodle (full length) I felt I could 'walk on water' ! HA!


    You do need some sort of flotation aid to give buoyancy because you're swimming in place. If you were swimming normally in a forward motion the vectors would be different which is why we don't sink when we swim.


    I never thought about placement under the arms but I could see how that would hinder ones stroke movement. I was able to keep it around my waist but some of the younglings had trouble with 'swimming' out of the loop - I think now I would customize the noodles based on weight and width.


    Uh, younglings? Shouldn't that be spelled 'Yuengling'? Oh, wait, no. That's my favourite beer. Not rug rats


    ... so ... I do have an old UMBRELLA stand I'm not using. It's the kind you put water in it's base and then put the umbrella post in to keep the umbrella upright. So, I'm wondering if I put the PVC pipe (I might have to go taller like 9' or 12' because I have an AGP and 6 feet is just two feet above the water line) into the base of the umbrella stand?


    That depends. I put a lot of drag on the PVC pipe because I'm a strong swimmer. Never mind my previous 'little old lady' comment. If you have no deck around the pool, see if you can pound a length of rebar into the ground up close to the pool, then insert the pipe over that. Put another section of noodle between the pipe and where it will touch (and bend over) the top rail.


    How do you clip or tie into the top of the PVC pipe.???


    You mean the rope? We drilled a hole through the PVC, threaded the rope through it, and knotted it.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    The ski belt arrived from Overton's yesterday. It is superior to the pool noodle, definitely worth the $23 cost incl. shipping.

    I have to wear it around my upper chest for proper flotation. Wearing it around my waist raises my hips and legs too much for normal swimming. If I put some power into my strokes and do high energy bursts it's better around my waist.

    Works great for the dog as well! I slip the belt over his head so he pulls against it with his chest and put a section of pool noodle under his belly to raise his hips - otherwise his front is too high and he 'walks' with his rear feet. Not good for the liner. I stand in front of him holding his orange bumper and he swims for all he's worth - in place. I give him 5 minutes of controlled swimming, then unhook him and let him play.

    The PVC post is holding up very well so far.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Swim harness

    Just a thought, you could probably paint the PVC so the sun wouldn't deteriorate it as quickly, like they do with PVC pipes on Inground pools.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
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