Whirlpool Drill is one of my very favorite swimming drills - yet when I’ve shown or told people about it, I’ve been surprised how few have heard of it. It’s so much fun it almost seems like it shouldn’t be a drill. So here I am, sharing the wealth.
The other day I was doing a filming session off Santa Cruz Island (more on that later), and Whirlpool Drill was accidentally caught on tape! I was treading water, talking to one of the filmmakers, and a little whirlpool started to form near one of my hands. I got my interlocutor’s attention and made the whirlpool bigger for a few seconds while he kept the GoPro running. At one point, a stray piece of kelp was drawn into the vortex. Here’s the clip:
Basically, you scull your hand back and forth a few inches under water - rapidly, trying to maintain constant pressure against the water. If you’re doing it right, you’ll make a whirlpool! Bonus points for big and/or long-lasting whirlpools. Extra bonus points for keeping two of them going - both hands, at the same time!
Whirlpool Drill is basically a more focused, intense form of the various sculling drills, which are intended to reinforce a solid catch and “feel for the water.”
How big is your whirlpool?