Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Many inventions significantly changed the swimming world.

Ten inventions have played a significant role in getting many people to take up swimming, swim faster or swim further. Each influenced people of all ages to try or continue swimming, whether it is for the pool, the open water, or multi-sport events like triathlons:

1. Goggles
2. Swimming pools
3. Wetsuits
4. Fins
5. Lane lines
6. Kick boards
7. Pace clocks
8. Stop watches
9. Timing chips (transponders)
10. GPS

But things like Facebook, hand paddles, kayaks, swim caps, buoys have also helped to grow the sport of open water swimming in various ways.

Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu is a prolific inventor who comes up with ideas while in the water.

Specifically, Dr. Nakamatsu dives under the surface to create a self-imposed hypoxic condition as he jots down notes on his (patented) waterproof notepad. “One of my methods is to create [inventions] underwater. There’s too much oxygen inside the brain. The brain cannot produce new inventions. In other words, the lack of oxygen makes better creation from the brain. Therefore, I dive under the water. Then, finally before death, I create suddenly in the brain. I always dive under the water to create higher level of inventions.”

He balances death with inventiveness. “The brain reaches maximum activity 0.5 seconds before death, then I can suddenly create a breakthrough.”

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