Speedo’s new Hydralign goggles are endorsed by his coach with the promise to “increase efficiency”. They were an easy sale as I’m trying once again to find a reason to wear my Speedo to the beach.
Hydraligns are different from any goggles I’ve seen. The lenses are split nearly in the middle and bent at at 25 degree angle. The top half is clear, while the bottom half is cloudy. It must be similar to wearing bifocals with a bad prescription.
The premise at play is quite simple: you are going to look though the clear lens and stop trying to look at through the cloudy bit to the bottom of the pool. To do this, you need to adjust your head down. When you do, you will have a better alignment as your butt and legs will rise higher in the water.
The first thing to note about these goggles is that they are not particularly comfortable. Wearing them, I imagine I swim with an over-Botoxed look on my face as they seem to pull my eyes up and apart. The nose piece seems fragile and I’m not sure if mine is already broken or it is supposed to be “flexible”.
Do they work? It’s been a while since I’ve been in the fast lane. That’s not about to change in the next three or four months without hard work, but here’s something I noticed wearing these: I’ve not missed a flip turn or misplaced the wall once since I’ve had them on. I also feel that I’m stretching my stroke a bit further as I can see my hand engage the water, something I’ve not been use to seeing.
I watch people in the pool. There is plenty of bad technique, most of which stems from a poor alignment or balance. Sometimes, I’ll get chatting with folks, and recommend easy drills. I’m going to start recommending these goggles as well. They appear to do what they are meant to, and even though I worry much more about my left-right balance than my dorsal position, I’ve certainly enjoyed the new views.