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2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Water Toys

We’ve got everything from race-day gear to swim aids in this year’s swimming gear guide

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

The last two years have been a struggle for Canadian triathletes when it comes to swimming, but as pools have opened over the last six months, you’ll no-doubt be popular with your favourite multi-sport athlete by setting them up with one of these fun gifts this holiday season. 

Deboer Fjord 2.0


The latest version of Deboer’s high-end Fjord wetsuit is even faster than the original. The “zero-resistance” shoulder design offers you incredible movement – the super-thin 0.3 mm material in the arms and shoulders of the suit offers impressive warmth and durability, while the 5 mm WhaleSkin neoprene throughout the body and legs is every bit as flexible while providing lots of buoyancy. The new Ocellus pattern, similar to what we saw in last year’s Ocean 1.0 suit improves visibility, so you’ll be safer during your open-water efforts. 

There’s a reason these suits are the most expensive on the market – Deboer pulls out all the stops including the highest-end super-light neoprene and liners, 5 mm stability panels, GlideSkin Surface coating to lower water-friction a YKK Stainless Steel zipper to ensure you get the most in comfort and performance.  

Phelps Technique Paddle


It should be no surprise that the Technique Paddle from Michael Phelps’s swimming brand is a great product. The paddle was designed in part by Bob Bowman, who coached Phelps throughout his swimming career, from his first days in the pool up to his final swim at the Olympic Games (a race in which he won his 23rd Olympic gold medal). 

The Phelps Technique Paddle will be a great addition to every triathlete’s gear bag, as it will help swimmers of all levels with their pulling technique. Its shape is a bit different than others that triathletes might be used to using, and that was recommended by Bowman himself, who says it makes for a more natural stroke, stopping swimmers from bending their wrists and dropping their elbows. 

Dare2Tri Super Stroke Buddyswim Dryland Cords


With the Super Stroke Buddyswim Dryland Cords you don’t have to watch your swimming fitness suffer the next time you can’t get to the pool. The cords come with one set of paddles and another set of handles that you can use to pull and, once you hook it up (whether on a door or other type of anchor point), you’re ready to get to swimming (kind of). 

The setup’s paddles are ideal for swim simulation training, as they force you to use the same hand position that you would in the water. The handles can also be used for general exercises, which will only help you even more when you eventually get back in the water. Whether you’re pulling away, performing arm curls and other exercises, or using the cords for mobility and stretching, you’ll be better off thanks to these cords. 

Orca fins


Orca is a well-known and trusted brand in the world of triathlon, and these fins will be a great piece of gear to add to your swim bag. They will not only help you fly through the pool when you wear them (which they will), but they will also improve your kicking technique and ankle movement, working to give you ideal form even when you’re not wearing them. The Orca fins will help with your stamina and strength, which, of course, will positively impact your performance in the water. 

Zoot Women’s Elite Tri Aero FZ Racesuit Elite


The Zoot Women’s Elite Tri Aero FZ Racesuit provides everything you want in a trisuit. The suit is designed using Italian fabrics that are dyed black, making for a sleek and fast look. It doesn’t just look fast, though — this suit is a quick one, with ribbed areas across the design that will reduce drag. Less drag means more energy saved, which will help you get to the finish line faster than ever before. 

The suit was also created with comfort in mind, which can be just as important as performance when it comes to longer races. It breathes well and features a design that will prevent chafing, so you can hammer your way through the swim, bike and run without ever having to worry about discomfort caused by your suit.

Form Smart Swim Goggles


If you’re going to spend $260 on a pair of goggles, they had better be pretty good, right? Far beyond being extremely comfortable, the Form goggles offer an augmented reality display that provides lots of workout data while you’re swimming – everything from time to distance to pace to heart-rate. When we first reviewed the Form goggles with their augmented reality display, we suggested that while the goggles were helpful in a pool, but where they would really shine would be in open water. Not long after that the company expanded the goggles capabilities to work with certain GPS watches to provide real-time data in open water, a game-changing experience for open-water swims. Now Form has launched another interesting innovation for Form’s Smart Swim Goggles – guided workouts. This feature will guide swimmers through workouts in real time using the heads-up display.