If youíre a competitive person the answer is that itís a lot faster.
You must have seen that people doing tumble turns take meters out of
people who canít. Even a wobbly learner doing a tumble turn is faster than
a hand touch.
If youíre not competitive but just want some exercise the answer is doing a tumble turn
stops you having too much rest and enables you to work harder. You donít
stop every 20-30 seconds for a rest when you go out for a jog or a bike
ride so why should you do it in the pool.
So, youíve never done a tumble turn before?
Start with a few somersaults away from the
wall using your hands to paddle yourself around if you need to. Then move
closer to the wall but donít worry about planting your feet just yet, the
first thing you need to do is prove to yourself is just how close you can
go without banging your head.
You can actually go closer than you probably think when doing a tumble turn, particularly if you
are somersaulting very slowly and cautiously. This is because when a
somersault is done slowly the body and feet tend to sink and drift away
from the wall whilst the head is down, thus you have to go very close to
the wall to plant your feet onto it. If you turn a bit faster, you have
less time to drift so you can start the tumble turn earlier and still get your
feet on the wall.
Itís a bit like learning to parallel turn in skiing. When you know how
to do it you can force it slowly but when youíre learning you just have to
point yourself down hill to get some speed up and that makes it a lot easier.
So to get more speed, so that you can learn the
correct distance, stand a couple of meters away from the wall and plunge
forwards keeping both arms out in front of you. When you get as close to
the wall as you are willing to go for your tumble turn pull yourself down into a somersault by
pulling with both arms downwards at the same time. This double arm pull is
very strong and will take you over surprisingly quickly. Try a few away
from the wall first if it helps.
When youíve worked out a distance that suits you the final thing you
need to sort out is the fact that when you push off youíll be on your back.
After youíve practiced for a while youíll want to twist slightly as you
turn over so that you plant your feet at ten or two oíclock. That way
youíre half way to turning on to your front before youíve even pushed off
the wall; but when youíre new to it and feel a bit lost upside down in the
water the easiest thing to do is to just push off on your back and then be
ready to twist around on to your front before you surface. Itís not ideal,
but this kind of tumble turn still a lot quicker than a touching turn with the hand.