Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA
Over the last few years since wedges were introduced, a number of different devices have become available. Different pools offer different brands and styles, but most in-season meets in our area don’t have wedges. Thus we seldom got to use a wedge. I have two Junior-National caliber backstrokers on my team, and several more who are close. It was frustrating to me that we would get to a big meet and have to fiddle with a new device that we were unfamiliar with and practice a start that we have never done before, all to avoid the catastrophic “back flop.”
In steps the FINIS Backstroke Start Wedge to solve that problem. The FINIS wedge straps on to any kind of starting block and is easy to set up. It is very durably constructed and performs its function well. The straps allow for manual adjustment of the height of the ledge and can quickly be moved to suit a swimmer’s preference. The first day we used it, the straps stretched a bit upon first getting wet, but since then they have not stretched at all.
The price point ($249.99) is still a bit high, but it is much more affordable than other devices — some cost 2-3+ times more, and because the FINIS wedge doesn’t have many moving parts that can malfunction or get jammed up, I think it will last many years. Like the other products, the FINIS wedge CAN be used in competition.
We now use the FINIS Backstroke Wedge on an almost daily basis. The walls in our pool are particularly slippery, and my swimmers insist on using it whenever possible. If you value being able to practice the way you want to compete, this will make your backstroke starts better.
Here’s a video from GoSwim with a demonstration of how easy it is to set up.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review other than being provided a sample product and I receive no commission for sales of this product.