Beginner triathletes are often anxious about the swim leg.
That’s completely natural.
If anything should happen while on the run or bike, you simply sit on the side of the road and wait for help. But being in open water is different.
There are several ways to overcome this fear, including developing a relaxed swim stroke and wearing an extra-buoyant wetsuit. But a Restube can add an extra level of safety and confidence to the swim.
What’s a Restube?
Restube is a personal flotation device for paddlers, kayakers, swimmers, and any other water sport participant.
The device is good for beginner triathlete who want an extra level of safety during the swim. The swimmer wears the Restube around their waist. Should they need it, they can inflate the tube to provide buoyancy and help the wearer stay afloat.
It is small, lightweight, and easy to use. For triathletes, it adds a little drag, but many anxious swimmers are willing to sacrifice a little extra drag for the peace of mind.
Why should someone use a Restube?
There are several reasons why a beginner triathlete might choose to use a Restube. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Safety: Restube provides an extra level of safety during the swim leg of a triathlon. If the swimmer feels as though they are in trouble, they can inflate the tube and stay afloat and stay safe.
- Convenience: Restube is small and lightweight enough to make it easy to wear during your swim.
- Versatility: There are several Restube models available, but most triathletes opt for the Restube Active. This model is recommended for use in a variety of water sports, such as stand-up paddling, kayaking, and swimming.
- Confidence: Most triathletes never inflate the Restube. But simply wearing it gives more confidence in the water. Being mentally prepared for your race is important.
There are several different models of Restube available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Some of the main models include:
Restube Beach: This model is designed for families in mind. Perhaps the family is snorkeling or paddle boarding. It provides enough buoyancy (50N) for an adult or child who is close to land. It weighs 160g, can be inflated 50 times and is 50cm long and 13cm diameter when inflated.
Restube Active: As mentioned earlier, this is the model recommended for triathlons and other open water swimming. It’s slightly heavier than the Beach model, at 195g, but is longer at 65cm and 13cm when inflated. This model includes a small non-waterproof compartment in the pouch and the trigger that you pull to inflate the Restube is also a whistle. One of the features that makes this model a favorite with triathletes is that the belt includes a positioning bar to keep it snug to the swimmer, plus it can be mounted vertically of horizontally. It’s comfortable and you may even forget that you are wearing it. The Restube Active can be inflated 100 times.
Restube Extreme: This model is recommended for extreme water sports, including windsurfing, surfing, etc. It has the same inflated dimensions as the Active model, but the tube is made from a more robust material to handle the waves and extreme activity. This adds a little extra weight (225g) and the Extreme can be inflated 200 times. This model doesn’t come with the positioning bar that comes standard with the Active version, but if you plan on open water swimming with the Extreme, you can add it. The whistle and small compartment are also included with this model and it, too, can be mounted horizontally or vertically. This model, with the positioning bar added, is an option for triathletes, especially if they also participate in extreme water sports.
How Does the Restube Work?
The Restube is a pouch on a belt. The belt is worn around the waist and triathletes typically position the pouch horizontally on the lower back. Wearing the pouch on the side can interfere with the freestyle stroke.
The Restube has a small CO2 cartridge inserted into the tube and tucked into the pouch. A “trigger” is left outside the pouch. The tube inflates in seconds when the trigger is pulled. You can then drape your arms over the tube and lift your head out of the water.
If you are able, you can continue swimming, using the tube as a tow float.
New CO2 cartridges can be purchased from Restube and the instructions show to the refold the tube for reuse.
You can learn more and buy one from here.