Sunday, April 19, 2015

Swim tether

The main idea of putting a swimming pool in the backyard was to be able to swim for fitness. I had several ideas on how to swim in place. Some were a little wacky, some were just out of our budget. So, this post should be entitled "Swimming treadmill on a budget" or something like that.

The ideas that didn't make it went from a full blown endless pool or swim-spa, to a current generator (Exerswim), going through a trolling motor installed in a box that would redirect the flow of water towards me. The idea of having a finger chopped off kinda took that one off the table... only after much consideration, I must say.

The desired attributes of the system were:

- Affordability,
- It had to mimic actual swimming, and
- The pool had to be small to not take the whole backyard. (This was my wife's request)

I believe that we obtained the three with our swim tether system.

So, I started out with the simplest possible idea and it seems to work. I drove a 3/4" galvanized steel EMT conduit in the ground. Then, I drilled a hole on the top and attached a "climbing" hook from the dollar store. To it, I attached two old bike inner tubes (27" wheels). I tied a not at the end and attached another hook. This hook attaches to an old belt that goes around my waist and voilĂ .

So, how does it work? Very well, I have been able to swim for several hours now (not at a time). It does feel like swimming, except for the breathing. You definitely need a snorkel because of the lack of a bow wave. All in all, it fits my needs for fitness and convenience.

Here is a little video of me swimming: (don't judge the technique)

Happy building... and swimming :)