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Ladyfish 04-20-2012 01:47 AM

Race-legal Swim It saftey device
I decided to repost this which was originally in the open water thread discussion of the Open Water Safety Device. The post really belongs here in the triathlon thread.

I have the SSD and it isn't bad, but the new Swim It is much less intrusive and it is race legal (USAT and WTC). It is a self-inflating (using a standard co2 cartridge like you use for your bike), reusable life preserver tucked into a small pouch that sits just under your rear, high on the thigh. It is attached to the leg with 2 wide velcro and neoprene straps so it stays on and it is virtually undetectible to the wearer when you have a wetsuit on.

It is not a stash bag so it is not identical to some models of the SSD.

You only deploy it if you need it, rather than the SSD which is inflated and drags behind you all the time. The Swim It is deployed by pulling a plastic tab (you have to pull hard enough that it is unlikely to deploy by accident).

I teach Open Water Courses for Triathletes and this device is wonderful. In fact it is required equipment for the Ocean Skills Course that I teach.
Here is a link to the site...

I personally think USAT and WTC should make it required equipment to given the plethora of swim deaths that have occurred in tris...but I digress.

jriley 04-20-2012 06:33 AM


I use a similar CO2-inflated device to meet the Coast Guard requirements while standup paddleboarding - the one I use is more like a skinny fanny pack, attaches around the waist. Just wondering if you have ever inflated the device to see if and how it works in real use?

Also, do you feel any drag or interference with the one you have attached to the thigh?


Ladyfish 04-20-2012 02:00 PM

Works well
Yes, I demonstrate it in class every time. It works very well. At first the class was concerned that it would deploy during a race if the pull tab got mangled/pulled in the starting melee of the race (which would be a funny sight I think). But no, you have to really pull on it.
Of course it must create some drag but it doesn't seem like much since it is tucked in under your rear..It is a cost/benefit thing. I personally wouldn't race with it because I am a very confident swimmer, but I wear it for open water practice all the time.

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