It's amazing when something comes along that is so simple in design and concept you have to wonder how no one had thought of this yet. For the past two years during swims, especially prior to the upgrade to the Garmin 910xt, there was always a problem of keeping track of the laps in order to gauge distance, strokes, and pace when trying to maintain a specific workout goal or plan. A friend of mine at one point suggested using pennies, ten of them, that you set on the edge of the pool and you moved to one side at each lap. This worked great, and came in handy those times when I forgot my watch at home.
So, out of the blue, here comes this product that solves the issue. Aqua Tally. Based on an abacus design, it features suction cups on the bottom so you can stick it to the edge of the pool securely, and 25 beads, with each 5th bead a different color. The main premise is that at each lap you move the bead to the other side, then, if it's a long swim, just reverse them. The inventor was kind enough to send me one to try out and I have to say that it was very useful. As someone that tends to "zone out" during a pool swim, it comes in handy to have something to think about at each lap.
I used it in two ways. As any owner of a 910xt know, the pools swims can be a bit wonky at times. One slight shift of a hand position can add laps to your total. When used in conjunction with the Aqua Tally it allowed me to compare the count on the watch to the count on the device. In my case they matched. The other way I used it was I removed my watch, started it as a stopwatch, then just left it on the pool side and used the Aqua Tally to count my laps. As a device geek, I have to admit that it was a bit "freeing" to have no electronics on me while swimming. It's akin to going for a run without a watch, or a bike ride without the monitor, and just go for the fun of going.
Relatively inexpensive as far as Triathlon toys go, listing at $19.99, it's a good tool box item to just throw in your swim bag and have available for those spur of the moment swims that we all love so much.
Give the video above a viewing and visit their website at http://www.aquatally.com and then pick one up. Tell the the Fat Slow Triathlete sent you. :-)