Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Certain inventions significantly changed the world of aquatic sports.

We believe these ten inventions played a significant role in getting the most number of people to swim faster and further than ever. 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 or Dr. NakaMats is a prolific inventor [described as having 3,357 patents to his name]. How he has remained so inventive from the early age of 5 to his advanced age of 84 is highly unusual – and involves water.

Specifically, he 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 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.”

So if you are doing hypoxic training, think of something…new.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association