We try the innovative INCUS NOVA swimming wearable, designed to improve your technique and performance with detailed swim metrics.
If you’re a swimmer or triathlete, you might’ve already heard of INCUS or seen the small, glowing NOVA device being road-tested by pro athletes.
Did you know you can get your hands on this revolutionary tool too?
The INCUS NOVA blows all other fitness trackers out of the water. (Primarily when it comes to swimming analytics but running is coming very soon.)
That’s because it doesn’t just cover basic data points, like distance and average pace; it also gives you detailed and accurate swim metrics, like body roll and stroke rate.
Armed with these insights inside the INCUS CLOUD app, you can start to improve your technique and ultimately how fast you’re moving in the water. It’s a swimming first!
Where the INCUS NOVA is different to a typical fitness tracker (like your trusty Garmin wristwatch) is its placement. It’s worn on the top of the spine inside a custom-made vest, so it’s not limited to measuring movement on one side of the body like a watch is.
So far, the INCUS NOVA has proven particularly helpful to athletes over lockdown, where real-life coached sessions weren’t allowed.
There hasn’t been much in the way of swimming tech up to now. Whereas cycling and running are way ahead in terms of the metrics on hand, swimming has been somewhat left in the dark.
An old pull buoy and paddles and some drills scribbled down on a piece of paper are about as technical as my swim sessions get. So I was excited to try out a new training tool in the water.
As a triathlete in the midst of a busy Ironman training regime, I found introducing another piece of tech to my training plan a little daunting. I needn’t have worried, the INCUS NOVA was so easy to use, and it didn’t get in the way of my time in the pool.
Using it is as easy as turning on the NOVA device until it flashes blue and slipping it inside the specially designed swim vest. The vest is designed to be unobtrusive, so if you find it causes any drag, you’ll likely need a different size. The NOVA device itself weighs almost nothing.
After training, you can sync your data to the CLOUD app at the touch of a button. After a few minutes, you’ll have a detailed picture of your swimming form and an idea of where you can make some gains.
The swim metrics you can see are:
- Swim Economy – a ratio of speed gained to speed lost where you’ll want to aim for 50% or more.
- Stroke Rate, also known as ‘cadence’, where a good score varies depending on whether you’re a pool swimmer or swimming in open water.
- Body Angles including Roll (40-70 degrees rotation is most common) and Pitch, where anything below 20 degrees is a good score.
The concept is continuing to be developed alongside professional triathletes and coaches, and take it from us; there’s more revolutionary tech on the way from INCUS.
As well as updates to the swimming side of things, the NOVA device will soon work across running and cycling too. So watch this space!
The wearable floats making it more difficult to lose.
The INCUS NOVA – Where & How?
The INCUS NOVA swim bundle costs £199.99 and is available to pre-order now for August delivery. It comes with the INCUS swim vest, the NOVA device and accessories, and an account to access the app, so everything you need to get started.
Find out more or pre-order yours at: www.incusperformance.com.
In the summer of 2020, Leanne met up with the team from Zone3 and the British Olympic swimmer and two-time open water world champion Keri-Anne Payne to learn and swap tips and ideas. You can read how the day went here.