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  #1  
Old 03-04-2012
vol vol is offline
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vol
Default Making the "right" waves

From my experiences, especially from the fact that I still can't swim consistently--sometimes I'm good, sometimes bad--, I found that often when my swims were good, I benefited from the waves that were generated at the start of my strokes; and when I swam badly, very often at the start of the strokes the waves were not "moving to my advantage", so to speak. So, when the waves are "right", my swim was almost effortless, but when the waves were "not right", I just couldn't get going.

So my question is, how can I make sure every time I swim I can generate the "right waves" around me? Does anyone share my experience?
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Hi Vol,
I pasted this for you maybe it will offer some help for you

Wave drag. Just like a boat, you make waves and leave a wake while swimming. Wave drag is the resistance caused by the waves or turbulence you create. As Hines quips, "Making waves takes energy--all of it supplied by you." How much energy depends mainly on how big the waves are: Unlike form drag, which increases as the square of velocity, wave drag increases as its cube. So as you double your speed, energy spent on wavemaking increases eightfold.

The key factor in wave drag is how smoothly you stroke. A rough, choppy, or hurried stroke increases turbulence, and turbulent water increases resistance. That's one of the reasons a long stroke is such an advantage: It lets you use a slower, more-controlled turnover at any speed, which in turn means less turbulence, fewer waves--and less wave drag.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2012
vol vol is offline
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Grandall, thank you for the reply. It's very helpful. I'm trying to make my strokes smooth and avoid abrupt movements--I think that is crucial for reducing choppy water and "unwanted" waves.
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2013
myrecek myrecek is offline
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Hello, a slightly related topic (excuse my English):
I assume that the pull always makes some mass of water move backwards, i.e., create a backward flow somewhere under the swimmer.
When I try to make my stroke "shallow" and keep my legs horizontal, hidden behind the torso, at the end of the stroke I can feel a wake after my stroke, passing along my thighs and insteps.

Is this wake strong enough to help keeping my legs horizontal (I have to fight with leg sinking as I am quite long-legged)?
Is it OK that I feel the wake or should I try to avoid this feeling?
Maybe it means that the wake is too turbulent and I should try to make the stroke more smooth and fluent to make the flow pattern more laminar?
Or should I even try to drive the backflow downwards, away from the body?

Last edited by myrecek : 04-15-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Making myself more clear
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrecek View Post
Hello, a slightly related topic (excuse my English):
I assume that the pull always makes some mass of water move backwards, i.e., create a backward flow somewhere under the swimmer.
When I try to make my stroke "shallow" and keep my legs horizontal, hidden behind the torso, at the end of the stroke I can feel a wake after my stroke, passing along my thighs and insteps.

Is this wake strong enough to help keeping my legs horizontal (I have to fight with leg sinking as I am quite long-legged)?
Is it OK that I feel the wake or should I try to avoid this feeling?
Maybe it means that the wake is too turbulent and I should try to make the stroke more smooth and fluent to make the flow pattern more laminar?
Or should I even try to drive the backflow downwards, away from the body?
Compare your pace, SPL and effort both ways and see what you think? Don't try to drive the water anywhere...try to drive yoru body forward. (ie move the body, not the water)
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2013
myrecek myrecek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Compare your pace, SPL and effort both ways and see what you think? Don't try to drive the water anywhere...try to drive yoru body forward. (ie move the body, not the water)
Thank you, this sounds logical. However, what I meant was: are there any specific feelings I should experience when I do it right?
Pace, SPL and effort are good indicators, but I thought there could be a faster feedback which I can use to figure out how slippery I am - a feedback fast enough to tell me how my velocity develops within one stroke. But OK, I was just speculating, maybe the wake is not the right direction to look at.
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