Best Pull Buoy 2019 | Buyer's Guide

If you are a serious swimmer, you know how competitive this demanding sport can be. To be a successful competitive swimmer you must also be a top-caliber athlete, able to swim with both impeccable technique and dizzying speed. Unsurprisingly, reaching this extraordinary level of physical fitness requires hours and hours of high intensity training. Just one of the many tools used by swimmers to enhance the effectiveness of training sessions is the pull buoy. Typically constructed of sturdy foam, this product forces the body to swim using only the strength of the upper body. Practicing with one of these tools can increase stamina, improve muscle tone, and promote proper form. This article is aimed to help you find the best pull buoy for you, detailing the different kinds of options available, offering important factors to consider before purchase, and providing reviews on five of the top products on the market. Whether you are a beginner just starting out or have been training at the pool for years, a pull buoy could be just the boost you need to take your swimming to the next level.

Best Pull Buoy 2019



Addl Feature

4 ounces

Smooth finish

5.6 ounces

Will not chafe or
irritate skin

5.6 ounces

soft and durable

12 ounces

soft and durable

0.3 ounces

chlorine resistant

As previously mentioned, there aren’t many differences between the majority of pull buoys currently for sale. However, between size, price, minor design details and customer reviews, there are a few factors to compare before selecting a product for purchase. Below are five of the most popular buoys available today.

1. TYR Unisex Pull Float USA Review - Best Pull Buoy 2019

The TYR Unisex Pull Float is an all-around excellent product for those that are looking for an high-quality product at an affordable price. The brand TYR has a stellar reputation as a leading name in the realm of athletic gear, with a focus on swimming and triathlon. TYR was conceived in 1985 by Steve Furniss and Joseph DiLorenzo. With their respective skills as an Olympic Bronze Medalist and a swimwear designer, Furniss and DiLorenzo created what has now become a global brand, providing leading edge sportswear and equipment to athletes of all levels across the world. It is no surprise that the TYR Pull Float is one of the most popular options available. Customers rave about this product’s comfortable feel in the water.

The TYR Unisex USA Pull Float advertises a universal fit with dimensions of 9.5 inches x 6 inches x 3 inches and a weight of 4 ounces. This size will accommodate a range of adult swimmers of any gender. Constructed of high-quality Eva foam, this buoy is designed to withstand long periods of use in chlorinated water, so it will last in top condition for years to come. Also, the foam material has a smooth finish that will not cause skin irritation or chafing, even after extended training sessions in the pool.

The TYR pull float has a contoured shape that will fit comfortably between the legs. The high buoyancy enables correct placement of the upper body and legs as you swim. This great design comes in three varieties: blue/white striped, black/blue striped, and red/navy to look like the American flag. This bestselling TYR buoy is one of the least expensive options on this list--an exceptional perk especially considering its quality and popularity among consumers. If you are searching for a standard size buoy with an outstanding reputation, look no further than the TYR Unisex USA Pull Float.

The Foam Buoy from FINIS comes in at a close second to the TYR product detailed above. Well-loved by consumers and sold at an affordable price, this product is undoubtedly a top pick in its category. Plus, California-based brand FINIS is a leader in the realm of swimming products. Established in 1993 by brothers John and Jerry Mix, in partnership with Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Pablo Morales, FINIS has been breaking boundaries in swim gear technology since its very first monofin design. The company has always set out to educate the swimming community, from Olympians to pure beginners, on the importance of good technique and how it can be achieved using their products. Today, FINIS continues to put out new, cutting-edge products from suits to goggles to buoys, and everything in between.

The FINIS swimming buoy is a highly popular product and the customers particularly appreciate that this buoy comes in two sizes, adult and junior, to accommodate a wide range of swimmers. The adult size should work well for most adult and teenage frames. For shorter individuals or swimmers under the age of 12, the junior size will fit nicely. The EVA foam material is built to stay in place, with a subtle grip that will prevent slipping but will not cause chafing or other skin discomfort. The yellow and black striped design is sure to set you apart at the pool.

The adult-sized FINIS buoy has dimensions of 13 x 7 x 4 inches and a weight of 5 ounces, while the junior size measures 11 x 6 x 4 inches and weighs just over 3 ounces. The two varieties are quite similar in price. The main, but minor, complaint amongst consumers about this product is that the wrong size was purchased for some people’s body types. So, it is a good idea to read through customer reviews before you select a size to ensure that you pick the best option for your body.

3. Speedo Team Pull Buoy Training Aid Review

As the most well-known name in the swim gear industry, Speedo is sure to deliver on quality and customer satisfaction in its training buoy product. Speedo was founded in 1928 out of Australia and is now the leading swimwear company in the world, providing its products to more Olympic Gold Medalists than any other brand. Speedo isn’t just for world-class athletes, however; you will find this brand’s renowned products being enjoyed at neighborhood pools and public beaches. Speedo strives to achieve a perfect combination of efficiency and style with all of their innovative products, bringing top-of-the-line technology and materials to each design.The Speedo Pull Buoy helps swimmers at all levels build strength, stamina, and correct alignment.

The Speedo Team Buoy comes in two colors: blue and black. It has dimensions of 9.5” x 6.3” x 4.3”; a standard size that will be a great fit for adults and teenagers. While both of the aforementioned TYR and FINIS buoys feature a symmetrical hourglass shape that is the same on both ends, this product from Speedo has one larger end and one smaller end. This design is intended for the larger end to be positioned downward, with the smaller end facing upward out of the water. This will help to keep the buoy in place for long swimming sessions.

This Speedo pull buoy is made of EVA foam that is both soft for comfort and sturdy to withstand chlorine, sunlight, and hours of extensive use. Customers praise its great fit as well as the amazing progress they experienced after using the product. This buoy is highly affordable. So, you too can feel just like an Olympic Gold Medalist, improving your swimming skills with Speedo.

4. Speedo Mix-A-Lot Pull Buoy Training Aid Review

If you’re looking for a bit more fun in a buoy design, look no further than the Speedo Pull Buoy Mix-A-Lot Training Aid. For a bit more flair that the solid-color buoy offered above, this pick features a multi-colored design that will be loved by teenagers and adults alike. The camouflage pattern comes in two varieties: red/white/blue and black/white. From the leading name Speedo, which distributes more of its products globally than any other swimwear brand, this buoy stands apart from the rest for its playful pattern and top-quality functionality.

Besides its striking visual design, the Speedo Mix-A-Lot Buoy includes basically identical specifications to the Speedo Team Buoy featured above. Constructed of durable EVA foam, the buoy will not irritate skin or cause chafing, allowing you to use it throughout hours of practice. Its 9.5” x 6.3” x 4.3” dimensions will fit a wide range of swimmers, from adolescent ages through adulthood. The figure-8 shape is smaller on one end and larger on the other, which will make it easier to keep in place without gripping your leg muscles. With the lower half of your body lifted out of the water, you can focus more on the placement of the upper body and achieve precision in each stroke.

While significantly fewer consumers have reviewed this product than the items detailed above, this Speedo buoy is very well-loved by swimmers who have purchased it. Customers rave that it stays in place, dries quickly, and is a great color. This product from Speedo is slightly more expensive than the Team Buoy from the same brand. However, after reading reviews from many, many highly satisfied customers, it is fair to say that this buoy is worth the few extra dollars.

The TYR SPORT Junior Pull Float is the smaller alternative the the adult-sized buoy from TYR listed above. This brand is committed to creating excellent products held to the highest standards of technology for swimmers of all levels. The company promises to accommodate all sizes with their market-leading buoys, from an adult Olympian to a child at their first swim lesson. For those seeking the quality, style, and innovation of a TYR product but are too small for the regular-sized buoy, this is a great choice for you. You no longer have the struggle with the inconvenience of using a too-big buoy; TYR has developed a wonderful product with people just like you in mind.

When it comes to petite-sized buoys, the TYR SPORT Junior Pull Float is among the most popular products available. It measures 5 inches high and 9 inches wide, and features 4.75 inch EVA foam. These dimensions will provide a great fit for children, smaller teenagers, and petite adults. The high-quality EVA foam is designed to stay in exceptional shape throughout long periods of intensive use; it is resistant to chlorine, ensuring that the structure will not break down, even after hours and hours in the pool. So, you can trust that this fantastic buoy will stay a regular part of your training routine for years to come.

The TYR SPORT Junior Pull Float comes in two different styles: black/blue and blue/white. The sporty design is sure to please swimmers of all ages and genders. Fewer people have reviewed this product than some of the other options on this list, but considering its specialized size, that is to be expected. Customers love that this buoy is the perfect fit for children--it is an awesome addition to any kids’ swim team. There’s no reason not to give the TYR SPORT Junior Pull Float a go.

Pull Buoy Buying Guide

Many different types of people enjoy the training benefits that buoys provide. Beginners, underdeveloped individuals, and even triathletes find this tool incredibly useful. This section will provide some quick tips to keep in mind for some of the many training buoy applications.

Triathletes are a group for which swim pull buoys are a major asset. Since triathletes do not focus solely on swimming, but must also be proficient in running and cycling, their swimming technique often has room for improvement. Also, triathletes typically initiate their swim training at an older age than competitive swimmers, so a buoy can help speed up the process of gaining speed and strength in the water. What’s more, the buoy can reduce the level of cardio in your workout, allowing you to train more in the pool after you have already been running and biking that day. Triathletes should be careful to not become dependent on using a pull buoy during training, however. This can happen because the buoy improves body placement in the water, thus enabling the swimmer to have better “glide” while swimming. But, gliding in the water leads to a lessened number of strokes, and developing this habit will work against you when it comes time to compete. So how should triathletes use buoys? Triathlon coaching specialist Sergio Borges suggests tracking your stroke number without the buoy, then recreating that number when you do use the buoy. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of the buoy without sabotaging your racing capability.

Pull buoys are highly beneficial for beginning swimmers and swimmers who want to considerably build strength. This is because, when used correctly, the buoy restrains the legs from working by keeping them together in a fixed position. This puts all of your work into the upper body and will improve the muscle tone of your arms, shoulders and back very effectively. Buoys also improve technique by drawing focus to the rotation of the body and the efficiency of each stroke. To get the most out of using the buoy, do your best to refrain from kicking. Also, try not to point your toes, as doing so could lead to painful calf cramps.

One important piece of advice that all training swim buoy users should adhere to is this: use in moderation. The buoy has a specific set of benefits that are mainly geared toward the upper body. It is important to maintain balance in order to be a strong and well-rounded swimmer; the overdevelopment of certain muscles while neglecting to work on others will lead to an imbalance that will work against you. The buoy should supplement, not dominate, your workout.

Need a visual on the correct use of a swim pull buoy? Check out this video:​

The Different Types Of Pull Buoys

When it comes to buoys for swim training, most of the products you will find are quite similar. Nearly every popular option available offers the same shape and a comparable foam construction. The main difference between the training buoy products currently on the market is size. While the majority of products come in a standard size for adults, some choices are made in smaller sizes to accommodate petite bodies.

Large Size

As you search for the best pull buoy for you, most products you will find are built for an average adult frame. Generally, this size will fit well for both men and women. Since a swim pull buoy is built to make the swimmer’s legs and hips float in the water, people with larger or more muscular legs should look for a design that is somewhat bigger than the average. Larger swimmers may struggle with their hips and legs sinking in the water when swimming with a standard size buoy. If you find yourself with this issue, first make sure that the sinking is not due to an error in swimming technique. If you are sure that the problem is with your training buoy, shop around for a larger size. The dimensions of a standard swimming pull buoy are roughly 10” by 6” by 4”; you can usually find the dimensions of a swim buoy on the website of the manufacturer or the seller.

Small Size

Since buoys are a great way to enforce correct swimming technique, young or beginning swimmers will benefit from the use of this excellent training tool. For swimming students, or even adult swimmers with petite frames, the use of a swimming pull buoy in a smaller size is ideal. Using a buoy that is too large isn’t as difficult as using one that is too small, but nonetheless will cause a body imbalance in the water and may decrease the swimmer’s rotation. Luckily, swimmers of a compact size do not have to compromise on fit or settle for a too-big buoy. Many of the top swimming gear brands, namely Speedo and TYR, make versions of their top selling buoys in a junior size. This makes it simple for small swimmers to find the perfect fit, maximizing the benefit of their training sessions. These junior products are also typically around the same price as their regular-sized counterparts, as well as equally easy to obtain from a variety of sellers.

When purchasing a swim buoy, it doesn’t have to be one size fits all. Pay attention to dimensions and weight while surveying products to make sure you get the best possible fit.

Pull Buoy Wrap Up

It takes a great deal of physical strength, stamina, and coordination to be a superb swimmer. While simply putting in the hours at the pool will go a long way in honing your swimming skills, training tools are a popular way to speed up the process of reaching advanced swimming technique. Swimming pull buoys are an effective way to gain muscle memory of proper alignment as well as to add variety to your workout, which will test your body’s capabilities and eventually build strength. Pull buoys are affordable and widely sold both online and in sporting goods stores. While the products detailed above present few major differences between them, individualized needs including size and budget will help in determining the best pull buoy for you. The next time you hit the pool for an intense swimming workout, bring along a top-notch buoy—it just might make all the difference to your swimming success.

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