Having just described the virtues of reducing the surface area of the hands, we’re going to look at the value of increasing the surface area of the hands.
While it may seem counterintuitive to artificially increase surface area as it contradicts all of the reasons for reducing surface area, increasing surface area is useful for a simple reason.
Expanding surface area allows you to experience a spectrum of sensations from small surface areas to large surface areas.
If you just stick to your hands, you’re going to be limited in what you feel.
Paddles can help to expand what you feel, thereby allowing you more opportunity to learn and enhance your sensory awareness.
As you’ll see in the next section, using paddles can be very useful from a sensory exploration perspective.
In contrast to various hand configurations, paddles tend to work very well at higher intensities. They certainly work along the entire spectrum of intensities and velocities.
However, I have found that paddles are best used intermittently rather continuously.
They can cause an overreliance on the hands when used extensively.
Instead, I’ve found that they work really well when used as a contrast to other strategies.
We’ll take a look at the value of contrast in the next section.
Now what type of paddles should you use?
It really doesn’t matter.
Remember the purpose of using paddles here, it’s to create a different sensation, and any type of paddle is going to serve that purpose.
If there is a specific type you like, that’s great. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.
If possible, it can be great to have multiple types of paddles.
If you don’t want to spend the money or lug around the extra gear, if you have a swimming buddy that has different paddles, that will serve your purpose and you can swap them as desired.
That can be really useful when looking for contrast and variation.
If you don’t have more than one type of paddle, you still have options.
You can change HOW you wear the paddle. For starters, you can wear the paddle like you normally would.
A second option is to hold the paddle upside down, gripping the bottom of the paddle and having the rest of the paddle travel up the inside of your forearm.
Lastly, you can hold the paddle in a pinch grip, and you hold them the long way or the short way.
You know have four options with the same set of paddles.
Tune in next time to learn the importance of contrasting surface area, and how to do it.
Faster. Easier. Better.