The Swimming Noodle

One of the best learn to swim aids

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One of the most popular buoyancy aids, the swimming noodle, is a simple polythene foam cylinder approximately 3 inches in diameter and about 58 inches long.  One of the most popular and widely used floats during swimming lessons. 

Sometimes called a 'woggle', it is cheap to make, cheap to buy and easy to use in large group swimming lessons.

The main advantage is that it provides a high level of support whilst as the same time allowing the swimmer movement of their arms and legs. The swimmer is able to learn and experience propulsion through the water from both the arms and the legs.

swimming noodle for learning to swim

The noodle is very versatile and as it is not a fixed aid, it can be used and removed with ease.  It can also add a sense of fun to swimming as it can be tucked under the arms on the front and the back as well as placed between the legs and used as a 'horse'.

The noodle is ideal for beginners learning breaststroke technique.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Swimming Noodle


  • Provides a high level of support for children of all sizes.
  • Gives a sense of independence in the water with the minimum of support.
  • Allows freedom of movement.
  • Boosts confidence in the nervous beginner.
  • Able to support adult beginners
  • Easy to fit and remove, so ideal for using in group swimming lessons.
  • Allows freedom of movement.


  • Limited or no use for advanced swimmers.
  • Nervous swimmers can 'clamp' it between their body and their arms, restricting their arm action.
  • Can cause very buoyant swimmers to tip forwards.
  • Tricky to pack into a suitcase, so not travel or vacation friendly.

Where To Buy One?

swimming noodle is one of the best swim aids
Click here for our recommendations.
UK visitors click here for our noodle suggestions.

Children using any swimming aids should be supervised at all times.  If in doubt get advice from a qualified swimming teacher.  Never leave a child unsupervised in a pool, even if they are wearing buoyancy aids. 

For some great exercises for teaching swimming technique and using the noodle as part of swimming lessons, download 'How To Be A Swimming Teacher'.  The definitive guide to becoming a successful swimming teacher and teaching swimming lessons that get results. Contains 82 separate exercises all with teaching points and clear illustrations.  Click here for more details