The May issue of Aquatics International featured a striking cover photo by Brian Cripe of three underwater hockey players charging toward a puck on the bottom of a pool. We gave the sport a brief mention as an emerging trend that you may want incorporate into your pool programing.
Readers, understandably nervous about breath-holding activities, suggested we should look into it further.
That’s how I found myself on the bottom of a community pool in suburban Los Angeles getting coached on the finer points of flicking a 3-pound puck into a goal.
I can’t say I’m any good at the game, but I’m told newbies never are. Here’s a sport that requires agility and a brain trained to remain calm when oxygen levels run low. After a few seconds of subaquatic game play, my instinct was to breach the surface like a whale, spit out my snorkel and start gasping for air.
“No, no, no,” I was told. “You’re doing it all wrong.”
I was instructed to calmly rise to the surface, draw in air through my snorkel, while keeping my goggled eyes on the action below.
It’s not easy.
Did I get dizzy, lightheaded or lose consciousness at any point? No. But I did get frustrated because my left fin kept coming off and my goggles kept fogging up.
While it may sound fun, many facility operators have serious reservations. That’s why we decided to explore this growing sport in-depth with a multimedia-rich digital edition.
We hope you enjoy the tablet-optimized issue.
In the meantime, I’ll be practicing my slap shot.