Before the 2008 Olympics, NASA tested over 70 different types of fabric in wind tunnels to help create top of the line suits. So why do our pace clocks still feature decades old technology sporting prices equivalent to 20 hours of pool time?
It’s time our pace clocks reflect the technologically diverse environment our athletes train in.
Swimming revolves around interval training, making the pace clock the focal point of swim practice. And we all know swim practice is at the heart of our sport.
We seek to improve swimming’s fundamental building block in three main ways:
1. Make pace clocks affordable. Swim teams aren’t made of money. We will provide real value by cutting out the middle man and selling them directly to you. From our American manufacturer to your pool deck.
2. Make pace clocks useful. After spending 3 hours failing to understand the 20 page manual for a 20+ button controller, we gave up on trying to program practice sets into our existing pace clock. We put a man on the moon in 1969 but we can’t connect our phone to our pace clocks? Our pace clocks will Bluetooth connect to your phone and control the clock through our Swim Practice mobile app.
3. Make pace clocks personal. You won’t need a clock to use the Swim Practice app at the end of your lane as your personal pace clock. We highly suggest a waterproof phone case, though. This is especially awesome for Master swimmers, triathletes, and fitness focus folks. Share your swim practices with your team, teammates, or the global network of swimnerds.
SWIMNERD PACE CLOCK Features:
• It can count up
• It can count down
• Bluetooth enabled, it will connect to our Swim Practice mobile app which allows you to program any set your heart desires
• 12” LED’s so everyone can see the clock no matter what lane you are in
• Ruggedly built to withstand outdoor conditions and splashy kids; water resistant but not submersible
• Easily transportable with a 6 hour battery life when not plugged into the wall
• Mountable or self-standing
• 23.5" x 15.5" x 3.5" (final clock size might change slightly)
• 9.3 lbs of pure awesomeness (weight may also change)
Progress thus far.
Initial bare-bones prototypes served as learning platforms for innovation. Vishal, our CTO, built the very first one on his bedroom floor. Vishal, a certified computer nerd, was in heaven.
We took his bare bones and began looking for manufacturers that could help us further design and develop our clock. After vetting several we decided on an American father-son team with a passion for creating quality products.
Working closely with our entire team, we upgraded the microcontroller with our Bluetooth protocols with much success. Our 2nd prototype arrived last week and we are integrating it with the iOS version of Swim Practice right this very minute.
Our first prototype went through several design and engineering iterations driven by our focus on precision timing, rugged quality, and cost effectiveness. Our final prototype will continue to refine the usability and aesthetics of our clock.
The addition of color changing LED's to the final prototype will be used to promote energy system training. We will add into Swim Practice the ability to choose a set's intensity, which will then automatically change the color for each given set.
We are also adding a USB port to allow users to keep their clock software up-to-date without having to purchase “the next generation”.
Lastly, we will be adding a buzzer to elicit send-offs.
We are in the last prototyping iteration, with the 3rd and final prototype presently being produced. This will be production grade!
Is Swim Practice for everyone?
Well, it’s certainly not for sissies. But if you swim back and forth in a pool at any level for any reason then you are going to find the Swim Practice mobile app incredibly useful.
Get a waterproof case and turn your phone into your personal pace clock at the end of your lane. You'll be able to write, run, and share your swim practices. Set goals. Be awesome.
Let's take a look at Swim Practice
Software development has begun on both iOS and Android. Now that we've finished the microcontroller software and got the Bluetooth protocols working perfectly, Jason and Mike have begun integrating, testing, and debugging.
Swim Practice will forever be improving -- here is our initial vision.
Swimmers will be able to keep track of how far they've swum, their calorie burn, total time spent swimming, and total number of swim practices completed.
The Goal setting feature will allow swimmers to enter goal times over all three courses (SCY, SCM, LCM) and set dates for when you want to accomplish them.
Your Practice Book keeps track of all your workouts.
Your top workout results will automatically flood into your Training Records. There will also be a place for you to enter your Personal Best times.
Creating a Practice is very intuitive -- simply enter the number of repetitions, distance, description, and your interval. Total Distance and Total Time are automatically calculated.
Everyone could use an extra Stopwatch.
Being able to keep track of the current set is fantastic. Being able to use your phone as your own personal pace clock is super fantastic.
Being able to write, run, and share your swim practices with the world is the mission. Together, we can break down the barriers of entry to get more people into the pool for survival, fitness, and competition.
We’ve been in discussions with our electronics manufacturer. We’ve received quotes and delivery terms. We are nearly ready to start the next stage of production!
However, in order to make this happen, we need your help. The initial order requirements before setting up a manufacturing line at scale is expensive. Purchasing components in bulk will allow us to drive the price of the clocks down providing real value to swim teams all over the world.
Here’s a detailed project schedule:
We expect to release the first iOS version of Swim Practice on October 1st. It’s our goal to have its Android counterpart released by November 15.
You can expect your swimnerd pace clocks to be delivered before Christmas along with a full one year warranty on parts (battery not included) and workmanship.
Just in time for your training trip!
We need you. The sport of swimming needs you.
Has the quality and capabilities of your existing pace clock made you a better team? How about a better coach? The lack of innovation has certainly not helped our athletes.
Though still in its infancy our technology platform is already unparalleled, and our American made hardware provides superior quality and versatility at a substantially lower price point.
We as a team couldn’t be more excited about the future of swimming. Funding this Kickstarter will help the sport of swimming evolve. We promise to listen to your needs and wants so that together we can create proper solutions.
If you believe in our mission please show your support by backing this campaign and remember to share this Kickstarter with all your swim friends!
We've got something for everyone...
High quality clear, vinyl stickers for the carpool lane.
Caps for practice.
Shirts to bring out your inner swimnerd!
We've got some Early Bird Specials, as well. Be the first to get your hands on the first truly interactive digital, programmable pace clock.
Time to train!
We feel that Kickstarter is an outstanding platform for what we are doing. It's the best way to tell our story. By collectively bringing the swimming world together, we can drive down the cost of the clocks, and provide much needed innovation to help coaches, swimmers, and teams improve.
Our $38,000 funding goal is the minimum we need to order bulk quantities of components and cover large once-off costs such as:
• $10,000: Mobile app development
• $3,000: Legal/Insurance
• $25,000: Component costs/Reward fulfillment/Kickstarter fees
Together we can help swim teams all over the world!
Meet the team!
Water Monsters, LLC (d/b/a swimnerd) is an American product and software development company based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Started by two unabashed swimnerds (Nate Tschohl and George Rector), we couldn’t be more thankful to all the people that have inspired us, educated us, and believed in us.
Nate Tschohl, Chief Nerd
"Nate is proficient at identifying challenges before they become problems and he is a decisive decision-marker. He plans in detail, organizes with efficiency, executes with precision. Nate does what he needs to be done...and more." - John H. Admire, Major General, US Marine Corps (Retired)
Swam for... Seven Springs Serpents, Coast Guard Gators, Great Bridge Swim & Racquet Club, Tri City Aquatic Club, Hickory High School, Old Dominion Aquatic Club, and Old Dominion Universit.
Coached for... Cheshire Forest Flying Fish, Tidewater Aquatic Club, and Old Dominion University.
Volunteered for... Special Olympics, The Josh Project, Diversity in Aquatics, and International Water Safety Day.
Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to find what you love…your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Swimming is what I love and what I’m truly passionate about. Learning to swim is, unfortunately, a privilege. It's my goal to help change that.
We’ve put together an awe-inspiring team starting with our Chief Technology Officer.
Vishal Verma, CTO
An innovative software architect and developer with deep expertise in user-centered design and GUI interface development, I have a strong passion for making technology approachable and reachable to the layperson. I have a talent for identifying the needs of end users and the business of integrating those needs into solutions capable of gathering customer analytics and providing targeted advertising to support business objectives. With experience in programming professionally in Microsoft web languages since 1997 and with ASP.NET experience since 2002, I bring a depth of programming expertise to all projects I lead and contribute to. I thrive when there is often set of complex problems to solve and in extremely visible environments under aggressive timelines. I enjoy leading highly technical teams and focusing their strengths to deliver high quality products and services, achieve customer expectations, on schedule, and according to budget.
Lowell Singh, Chief Information Officer
Data analytics specialist with expertise in regression analysis and algorithm development. I have experience in process flow optimization using the newest programs such as Alteryx and Tableu. I have experience in modeling corporate transactions and tax optimization for large multinational corporations. I enjoy working on process improvement projects that allow clients to cut unnecessary hours out of their process by improving how data is analyzed and processed. In addition to my passion for data analytics I also have a JD and Masters in Taxation where I use my analytics skills to improve multinational corporation’s ability to identify tax incentive transactions.
Jason Brame, Software Engineer
A driven software engineer and app developer with a background in optimized software design and development. I thoroughly design my software for easy of use and efficiency. With a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering and a minor in Computer Science in 2013, I focused on embedded system design and software development. I have professional experience in working with multiple programming languages and understanding the necessity for certain languages in various settings. I have been a competitive swimmer since 1999, competing as a scholarship athlete at a Division I program, including being captain of the swim team in both my junior and senior years. With a technical background in software programming and thousands of swim practices under my belt , I am a great asset for app development in the swimming community.
Michael Peterson, Software Engineer
Started coding when I was 12 years old. Innovative software engineer with four years of experience in the design and development of complex real time systems. Ability to rapidly develop from prototype to fully functional system. I have experience in multiple different programming languages, and platforms including app development, embedded system development, and web development. I have a passion for developing quality, intuitive, and inventive products. Proud Old Dominion Alumni with a Bachelor's in Computer Science.
George Rector, Co-FounderSelf-proclaimed Most Electrifying Summer League Coach of All Time. King of making up nicknames.Proud Norfolk Collegiate Swimming Alumni.Former Hickory High School Assistant Coach under the illustrious Krissy Kirkman.
Our attitude is gratitude!
This wasn’t possible without the help of A LOT of amazing people.
To our family and friends: WAAAYYY UP WE FEEL BLESSED!
We never had more fun than the summers coaching the Cheshire Forest Flying Fish. It’s been over a decade since we crushed a 12 pack of Code Red on an early Saturday morning but we reminisce often. Like that one morning we convinced the 8 and unders that we scaled Mt. Everest and dug out a pool in order to achieve "maximum altitude training".
To all our friends on Twitter: You’ve inspired us to grow and to bring real value to the sport. We won't let you down!
Kristian “The Swedish Swim Nerd” Ramkvist
Always in the mood to talk about swimming, you bring a unique perspective and fresh voice to every conversation. You've been a proofreader, Swedish translator, camera man, and basically everything in between.
Sam “Swim Sam” Harris
There are few people that love the sport the way you love the sport. I’m consistently amazed with your historical swimming knowledge. You are the epitome of a swimnerd and inspire me daily. Backstroke really is the "Stroke of Freedom".
Our outstanding graphic designer, web design aficionado, and SEO specialist. You've been the easiest person to work with -- thank you for everything.
You taught me EVERYTHING about running a swim meet. You are greatly missed but your legacy of enthusiastically volunteering your time for the sport's youth will forever live on. Thank you for all that you did for me and our swimming community.
You opened my eyes to what is possible. Thank you for your true friendship. Keep doing what's right!
My summer league coach, my high school coach, my drivers ed teacher, my first boss, and fellow swimming Monarch. Your influence knows no boundaries.
It's THE BEST!
We've drank a lot of Diet Coke's together. Eaten a lot of sushi. You taught me the ropes and treated me like family.
Happy swimmers swim fast!
You've been a significant influence on how I hope my children act and represent themselves when they grow up. Few people have a heart bigger than yours.
Dedication and hard work are all a part of the recipe. You made me not want to miss swim practice. You made me accomplish things I never thought were humanly possible.
You helped expand my horizons by getting me out to the West Coast. It was an experience of a lifetime -- thanks again.
Thank you for teaching me not to say, "I can't." And not to fear the 200 Fly.
You were the first person we called when coming up with this crazy idea. Your insight into the world of triathlon and feedback on Swim Practice has been invaluable. You are an incredible role model and inspiration for young people in all sports.
You taught me how to run pools, fix pumps, manage a swim team, and hustle. Most importantly, "What it takes to be number one."
You sir are a gentleman and a scholar. GO NAVY BEAT ARMY!
You put many hours in helping with this campaign. You're the best.
Thanks for the copywriting, editing, proofreading, and PR expertise!
Never seen you without a smile -- you are thoroughly enjoyable to be around. Thanks for the email expertise.
Many thanks to the associations that heard us out, provided outstanding insight and even better questioning. We look forward to working with you all in the future on continuing to make swimming better.
Doug Fonder, President, International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA)
Steven Munatones, President, World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA)
Joel Shinofield, Executive Director, College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA)
Zack Miller, David Ritt, and the Hatch Team
In 2015, we became members of Hatch’s 1000 Four accelerator program. This helped us learn and connect with experts across many subjects. The fostering of a pro-entrepreneur community allows like-minded people to come together and solve problems. The on-demand video library featuring experts was incredibly useful. We suggest anyone looking to start their own business to find their nearest accelerator because it is totally worth it.
Outtakes, mishaps, and stuff that didn't make the cut...
Risks and challenges
After the project is successfully funded we hope that there aren't any bumps in the road but to think otherwise would be foolish.
We are confident in the team of experts we have put together to overcome those bumps as we drive over them -- exactly what we've been doing from the beginning. We are also confident in the timeline we've put together.
Our passion to improve swimming drives us. This has, and will continue to keep us, laser-focused on providing you with the very best, most technologically innovative products.
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