When Paul Pisani, owner of PK’s Bike Shop, and I started talking about offering more triathlon specific equipment, we knew we could put together solid bike options. There is also an awesome running store, Current Running, on the Island which is fully dedicated to customer satisfaction. The available swimming gear, however, was an apparent speed bump. This was hard to believe considering the number of pools in the area and, by the way, it is Florida. Anywhere you turn, there is water. We found the closest store that carried swimming equipment was on Airport Road and the selection was less than impressive. In fact, it was awful.
Organizing PK’s “Tri Corner”, we realized that if we were going to offer a solid option to triathletes, the time had come to s
tock swimming gear. Spending my entire life around or in water, usually chlorinated, resulted in a strong opinion about swimming products. I went through the standard companies such as Speedo, Tyr, and Nike but, was left uninspired. Then, I remembered a company representative that I was introduced to during one of my many American Swimming Coaches Association Annual Meeting experiences.
This company is Finis and the products are simply awesome. Founded in 1993 in Northern California, the company was cofounded by John Mix and Olympic Gold Medalist Pablo Morales. Their objective was to design innovative swimming tools that focused on technique. In October 2016, they announced partnership with triathlete star Dave Scott. Scott is a six-time Ironman World Champion and the first triathlete inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame.
Scott’s remarkable run of Ironman World Championships through the 1980’s was attributed simply to his intense training regimens. If you were fortunate enough to get off the bike ahead of Scott, it was only a matter of time before he hunted you down before passing you with a friendly acknowledgement. Scott is a fan of Finis because of the consistency in creating tools that improve technique and build strength for a faster swim.
Swimming gear can be a bit of a mine field. I’ve personally worked with all the gear stocked at PK’s Bike Shop and found most of it to be a challenge. I had to keep telling myself that it wasn’t so easy to correct technique but, either is winning a triathlon or even accomplishing a PR. You have to hang on to the fact that racing isn’t an individual making a promise to do well, it’s a commitment.
The range of gear at PK’s goes from the basics of quality UV protection goggles and caps to uniquely designed hand paddles, kick boards, and pull bouys. Our next blog will focus on the specific design advantages of Finis equipment. As always, ride on and swim fast—there may be a shark behind you!