The “one size fits all” tethers now on the market are not comfortable because friction and pressure points restrict body movement. Custom fit creates a manufacturing and inventory issue but nearly all high-functioning athletic equipment requires custom fitting.
It is the nature of any tether to pull you further underwater the harder you swim against it. Others have tried spring poles and elevated attachments, etc. to offset this. The simple solution is a line float on the “out” end of the tether. This keeps the line tension at the surface of the water, thereby creating neutral vertical forces allowing the swimmer to maintain his natural body position.
It was mandatory to find a way to attach the tether to the swimmer that totally eliminated interference between the line and the swimmer. It seemed obvious that the soles of the feet were the only part of the body that would allow attachment without interfering with any of the four competitive swim strokes.
In considering portability, machine-like concepts that are typically heavy, large, or complex were eliminated. I looked to readily available materials that could be arranged or modified in a way to satisfy the design requirements.
Riptide is a 3/8” diameter, 8-foot long, marine-grade stretch cord with a line float fixed at one end and stainless steel carabiners on both ends. Rugged water shoes, sized to fit, with 2 feet of 400-pound test monofilament line attached to the sole of each shoe by way of brass grommets for reinforcement. The monofilament line from the shoe clip into the float end carabiner.
So there you have it. Sweet and simple! Riptide is a stationary swim tether that is comfortable, allows for proper body position, has no line interference, and is portable. In use, it will accommodate your stroke technique while providing varied resistive forces to increase endurance and build upper and lower body strength.