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Powerbreather is a sealed snorkel for swimmers

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May 3, 2012

A dual-valve system brings fresh air in and completely clears stale air out

A dual-valve system brings fresh air in and completely clears stale air out

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The Powerbreather is an advanced breathing system for swimmers, designed to decrease apprehension in beginners and increase focus and performance among advanced swimmers. Essentially a sealed, watertight snorkel, the device gives swimmers a more natural way of breathing.

The device is quite simple. It has an intake valve located on the back of the head that allows the swimmer to take in fresh air while a second valve pumps exhaled air completely out. The swimmer enjoys more natural breathing without the need to turn his nose and mouth out of the water. The device is designed to keep all water out, so that breathing remains unimpeded. It fits any head size thanks to its adjustable hardware.

The Powerbreather offers a few distinct advantages over the traditional forms of in-water breathing, as explained on its website. By eliminating the need to turn and breath, it reduces strain on the neck and shoulders. Since you don't have to turn your head, you can focus all your energy on developing proper form and technique. While the company doesn't come out and say it, it seems like the elimination of head movement and extra concentration on your stroke would also help you to swim faster and longer. Powerbreather is also billed as a way of quelling the apprehension of new swimmers, as it allows for more natural breathing without the worry of choking on water.

The Powerbreather adjusts to fit all head sizes

Despite how hard Powerbreather tries to sell us on the cool and fashionable aspect of the device, it's not-so-arguably pretty strange and geeky, and you're going to get some looks if you strut around the beach with it on your head ... but since when has anything in swimming (read: skintight trunks and swim caps) been about looking natural or stylish? Since never. Assuming it works, it could be a useful tool for the sport.

One aspect of the breather we do question is that it's billed as a useful training tool. We assume that such a device would be universally banned from all but the most casual swim meets and competitions, so it seems like training with a completely different motion (e.g. no head movement) than you're competing with could be harmful as opposed to helpful. Then again, we're not swim coaches, so maybe we're talking completely out of school.

Take an animated look in the video below.

Source: Powerbreather

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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17 Comments

One - their website is JUST HORRIBLE>>>>>>>>

Who are these marketing consultants and web site designers that just make INSANE animations and BS - I just want a clear coherent picture of the unit so I can see the whole device...

"The Powerbreather has the advantage that swimming can be learned on a methodically simplified basis / Fear free swimming for beginners (no more swallowing water)"

What????? Lots of mixed messages in that one - apprehension in the new swimmers..... Oh christ? where does the hand holding nanny state for the pant wetters end?

Who dreams this neurotic BS up?

If you don't want to inhale water, then don't open your gob under water - it's pretty simple and most people "get it" pretty damed quick - like not standing on nails, leaning on hot stoves or closing the car door on your fingers. Or are we supposed to call in the "Swimming and Water Related Accidental Inhalation Rescue and Trauma Unit?" (or the SWRAIRTU for short)

I call BS on this too:

"The Powerbreather eliminates orthopedic muscle imbalances.

The Powerbreather ensures balanced muscle development on the left and right side of the body."

Most olympic swimmers inhale on EACH stroke, so they get a balanced development - the stupid swimming coaches that teach only a one sided inhalation are just that.

Fashionable? What? "OH look at me! I am a fashionable trend setter...."

So what ever the technical merits of it actually ARE????? I think it's a better version of a flat water snorkel, but other than that, the stupid marketing helps release my inner cynic.

Mr Stiffy
3rd May, 2012 @ 06:24 pm PDT

I have a damaged disc in my neck which makes turning me head really painful when doing breathstroke. This has largely prevented me from swimming long distances. The power breather would be perfect for me. It looks awesome. I will buy one as soon as its available.

Hamish Robertson
3rd May, 2012 @ 07:45 pm PDT

I never had a problem with a regular snorkel unless the tube was the significantly the wrong diameter

Slowburn
3rd May, 2012 @ 11:34 pm PDT

Wonder how well it would work when snorkeling in the surf.

Need a product tester?

Brently Gill
4th May, 2012 @ 04:48 am PDT

Advancements aren't such a bad thing....give it a try before you condemn it.

Betty Wills
4th May, 2012 @ 08:02 am PDT

Looks great - nice idea, nice improvement on the traditional snorkle. If you are worried about inhalation of water, maybe an extension can be fitted at the back of the head.

I think I'd enjoy swimming with it.

Yep, I'd gladly give it a try.

Marke
4th May, 2012 @ 08:17 am PDT

Hello? Have these folks never seen the Finis snorkel, which is essentially the same thing (though perhaps slightly less stupid looking)?

The Finis (they sell them on Amazon) has been around for years; it's positioned in the middle of your face (less drag that way) with a valve at the mouthpiece to expel air and the intake tube extending above the back of your head, thus eliminating the need to turn your head (while swimming the crawl or other belly-down positions, obviously). So @Hamish, go to Amazon (or just Google) "Finis snorkel" and try one of those out. This seems like a far more complexificated version of the same thing, with no real value add.

Bob Fately
4th May, 2012 @ 09:55 am PDT

I didn't get the price of the Powerbreather. Get a comfortable, good fitting snorkel. Your problem is solved and probably a lot cheaper.

Tylus
4th May, 2012 @ 10:32 am PDT

"Oh christ? where does the hand holding nanny state for the pant wetters end?"

This is a consumer product that you can, if you choose, buy for money. Where does the "nanny state" come into the discussion? And exactly who are "the pants wetters?"

ralph.dratman
4th May, 2012 @ 12:55 pm PDT

DITTO web page comment, are they totaly freaking nutz!

10 turds out of 10 for navigation menu.

10 turds out of 10 for clarity.

10 turds out of 10 for content.

Pefect score of 30 turds.

THIS is what the gadget has going for it per thier web page: "With the Powerbreather, air is inhaled through the upper section behind the head which is equipped with a check valve and is fully exhaled through a check valve located in the mouthpiece."

So How good is the check valve at keeping water out while letting air in, could be great , but I'll never know thanks to their absolutely inane web page. ("Global ... Communications" pfft, yeah right, As for where / how you can by one, would have been nice to have THAT on their web page) You want to ask? Here is their contact information from their web page, was pretty hard for me to catch, good luck with talking to them, might help if you can speak German, or maybe not:

CONTACT

Global Business & Communications B. V. Amsterdam

Contact:

Viktor Sless

Nesenstr.4

60322 Frankfurt am Main

Germany

T +49 69 95524190

F +49 69 95524192

M +49 171 2844253

v.sless[at]powerbreather.de

Dave B13
4th May, 2012 @ 02:59 pm PDT

Shhh Ralph. Leave it be. This is what happens when you listen to Rush for hours on end and then watch Fox for hours on end.

MK23666
4th May, 2012 @ 03:29 pm PDT

MK23666 is right Ralph and that's just the beginning, Stiffy actually used to be worse. As for the powerbreather, it looks like a brilliant idea for people who swim a lot for excersize.

The Hoff
4th May, 2012 @ 09:49 pm PDT

Sounds good as I have neck problems. If it makes sure I can't breath in water it is cool. I agree about the web page. It is artistic, but it sucks.

Elmer Fittery
4th May, 2012 @ 10:34 pm PDT

I'd love to have one of these, and one for hubby. I'm a weak swimmer with weak lungs, he can barely swim at all and is nervous in the water. But we live a few hours from the Pacific in Mexico and love to snorkel in the few sheltered areas where it is possible with our limited abilities. The amazing variety of fish, and the way you can almost touch them, it's magical.

We even got a 2-person sit-on-top kayak and snorkel vests so we could go a little further afield. But when we went on our first holiday with it, we discovered that launching it from the isolated beaches we love to stay at is nerve-wracking. If you don't get beyond the surf before lulls in the waves end, and have to get over a 4 or 5 foot wave, you are likely going for a tumble. And life-vests, snorkel masks, and all, that's still pretty scary for us. What if you hit a rock hidden under the surf? What if you get hit by the kayak itself? Plus, our new high-quality snorkels leaked slowly and constantly, purging them was a pain in the butt, and their water-stop inlets were less than impressive. Hubby inhaled water more than once, i give him great credit for not giving up on the endeavour. I don't know if we have bum snorkels, but it really eroded my confidence in snorkels in general. It didn't seem like you could have any confidence at all in waves over a foot or so that you weren't going to suddenly suck in water instead of air.

If these Powerbreathers work as advertised, it would be a load of worry off my mind and make time in the ocean so much more enjoyable. No matter how nerdy it may look, launching the kayak with these snorkels on would really reassure me neither one of us is going to inhale water, and that whatever happens, we'll have the air we need to get back to shore. Same goes for snorkeling in less than perfect conditions.

Kim Holder
5th May, 2012 @ 12:16 pm PDT

Hey, i wonder how hard it would be to make a model that incorporates a full face mask, since it already wraps around your head and has a fair bit of bulk.

Kim Holder
5th May, 2012 @ 01:33 pm PDT

Is anyone who actually swims, in competition, going to sacrifice training protocol to wear this?

It seems to allow breathing at any given time.

A ludicrous idea, if you are actually competitively swimming, which would be the target audience.

An idea that should never have been developed. I hope my competition uses it in training, regularly.

Thomas Noll
24th May, 2012 @ 03:26 pm PDT

Look nice, but I guess I first give a try to the Loop Snorkel.. :) So far I use frontal snorkel and the annoying thing is when water gets in while I'm taking a breath. Maybe I'll buy one of these if the Loop thing doesn't work.



@ 3:04..

Considered that the video was posted 2 years ago I wonder where the idea for powerbreath came from.. :)

Mick Vrana
17th January, 2013 @ 04:54 am PST
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