It's probably because swimming is my weakest discipline, but I get much more excited about new bike gear than I do about new swim gear. But hey, gear is gear, and new stuff always makes your workouts a little more interesting, right?
Here are a couple of my newest purchases. On top are Zoomers swim fins. The blade is just a few inches longer than your toes, which makes it a lot easier to move around with the fins on and doesn't create such a huge effect as very long-bladed fins. The short length also makes them a lot easier to fit inside of a gym bag. But they still work! In this morning's workout I found that they tended to rub the tops of my toes too much. I won't be wearing them for great distances, probably 500m max, so they're a good addition despite that little annoyance.
My second new purchase was a pair of these hand paddles. Again, I'm not going to use them for very long distances - I've heard too many horror stories of people messing up their shoulders quite badly with paddles! I'm just going to use them for 200-400m here and there to work on technique, helping to correct my hand entry and pull in the water. Today it felt like I was wearing dinnerplates on my hands, but I could definitely feel that my anterior deltoids were getting a workout! I'm going to have shoulders like cannonballs!