1902 Encyclopedia > Swimming and Diving > Learning to Swim (cont'd). Touching and Turning. Ocean Swimming.

Swimming and Diving
(Part 8)

Touching and Turning. -- The methods of "touch and turn" were brought into vogue by the now numerous swimming races in baths. Whether the baths be long or short, from 10 to 15 feet in the push-off is gained at each end of every length by all competitors.

Assuming that the swimmer is using the side or over-hand stroke and going on the right side, the method to be adopted is a follows. When within 3 feet of the end wall of the bath the left or upper hand quits its propelling movement, and reaches in front of the head till it touches the wall just above water-mark. The palm of the hand is then placed horizontally on the wall, the fingers to the right, which is the direction to which one is turning; the little finger is uppermost and thumb undermost.

The knees are bent, and the body, now close to the wall, is turned to the right on its own axis by the left hand, after which the feet press against the wall under the hand. As in diving and plunging, the body, arms, and hands are in a straight line, and the head between the biceps, all under water. The thighs are doubled up under the loins, the calves of the legs touching the back of the thighs, and the soles of the feet pressing hard against the wall. A strong push-off is made by the feet and legs, and the swimmer resumes his ordinary stroke and course for a new length.

Ocean Swimming. -- Persons having from any cause to swim in the heavy rolling breakers of mid ocean should use the side stroke when available. No attempt should be made to breast or mount the waves. By taking their direction a side-stroke swimmer is carried an unexpectedly long-distance. The large dangerous rollers come almost in regular succession after an interval of small waves. The swimmer soon notices them, fills his lungs, swims into them, ducking the head, and quickly emerges when the wave has passed. Then a fresh supply of breath is inhaled.

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