by Jeannie on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM



 Oh, the days of my youth, spent as a lifeguard at our local pool.  It was a great experience.  I learned so much by being a lifeguard.  But…things have changed, as they always do.  Of course, as most adults think, being a guard now, is so much easier than when I was teenager.  I’m sure I had to walk 10 miles to the pool, both ways, in knee deep snow!  Even in Arkansas summer! 

I grew up in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  It was such a great place to be a kid.  Small enough to know everyone in town, but close to Little Rock and the Air Force Base, so we had everything we needed close by.  I loved it.  And, like many other kids, my favorite place in the summer was the local municipal pool.  We spent the whole summer there, swimming, visiting with friends and idolizing the lifeguards.  They were gods and goddesses to me!  I wanted to be one of them!  So, when I turned 15, I decided it was time to make that dream a reality.  I was a good swimmer, so I thought it was going to be a piece of cake……

I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Back then, in the early 70’s, lifeguards didn’t use rescue tubes.  We depended on our swimming ability, physical strength and knowledge of the rescue skills.  Taking the class was rigorous and difficult.  Our instructors told us on the first day that their job was to flunk us out of the class.  I guess that makes sense, since we were going to be responsible for people’s lives…..we needed to be GREAT lifeguards.  And, as he predicted, I did flunk the swim portion of the first class I took, just as everyone else in the class did.  It was brutal!  For our final exam, we had a long written test to complete, which was okay.  I passed that…but the rescue part was almost impossible to pass.  Our rather large male instructor was the victim we rescued.   He tried to drown each and every one of us, and he could have.  It was a rough day, to say the least! 

But, I took the class again and knowing what to expect, I passed with no problems. 

So, on to my three years as a lifeguard at Jacksonville Municipal Pool. 

Being a lifeguard, I saw the pool from a completely different view.  It was no longer just the place to hang out with my friends and wile away the hot summer days.  No, now it was my job.  I enjoyed being there, but the weight of the responsibilities I held was daunting.  It was never far from my mind.  Even when the lifeguards would have contests, like how many kids we could sit out around our lifeguard stand, we knew what we were doing there was serious.  We were there to save lives, and we all had to put our skills to use. 

Luckily, we never had a serious injury in my years there.  I guess that impossible guard training was exactly what we needed!  We were great lifeguards!


So, it’s that time of year again.  Now, when lifeguard season rolls around, I let the memories wash over me and smile…but what I really focus on is helping my customers with their guard supplies and lifeguard suits!  When I was lifeguarding, we wore whatever we wanted, but most pools now have a uniform, or at least a color they like.  Splashwear can help you will all of your guard needs.  We have lots of styles of guard suits, both male and female.  We can do custom suits for your pool, or just off the rack.  Our guard suit prices range from $20.00 up to $80.00. We also have all the equipment you will need; from rescue tubes and visors to backboards and umbrellas.  If your pool needs it, we’ll find it for you! 






If you want your guards to buy their suits individually, I can set up a page on my website with your pool’s required items there and your guards can log in and purchase exactly what you want them to have at your discount!  We try to make as easy for you as possible!

Okay…so here we go….summer is on the way…..time for YOUR great lifeguard season!



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by Jeannie on Apr 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

What are RANGS, you ask?  Well, I’ll get to that in a minute….first, lets talk about famous customers!  Being the only competitive swim shop in Arkansas, I occasionally get a local celebrity come in the door and it’s always a treat for me!  Today, a retired Arkansas politician came in to pick up his RANGS.  He had been waiting for them for about a month….I finally got my shipment in and he was excited to get them!

You know, you watch these important figures on TV and they are always serious and business-like and bigger than life.  Especially, those that make decisions that impact all of us.  But…when they are here, they are just regular people….Often they show up on their way home from the pool and they may have on workout clothes or have wet hair.  They may need help choosing their goggles or swimsuit and they often want advice on equipment or even stroke technique or workouts.  All of sudden, I feel pretty important! 

Not bad for a small business owner!

Most of these celebrities are pretty down to earth, but I do have one customer who insists on being called by his title.  He is a nationally recognized politician and when he calls the store he always refers to himself by his title and complete name.  In this day of casualness, it sounds so odd!  But, he is a really nice guy and I love visiting with him.  Occasionally, he will send his assistant to pick things up for him and it ALWAYS freaks them out when I hand them a Speedo brief.  They are obviously not swimmers!  I guess they just can’t imagine their boss in a teeny tiny Speedo!  

Seeing these local political figures, I often wonder if I should just keep the conversation to swimming, or can I ask about the issues?  I usually, just keep it to swimming…..I assume they need time off too.  It must be hard to live in a fishbowl all of the time.


Okay, so I said I would tell you about RANGS.  They are a great American made product!  They are pull buoys that you attach to your leg instead of holding a pull buoy between your legs.  The inventor, Steve Freiderang (hence the name RANGS) is a coach and swim product inventor in California.  He is constantly looking for ways to make swimmers work better and go faster.  He has tons of inventions and Splashwear is his premier dealer….not bad for a little tiny swim shop in Arkansas!  Anyway, here is a brief description of his RANGS in his words:

“This is a new type of pull buoy system that is easy to use and does not fall off.  They are great for all strokes and fasten with Velcro.  You can develop upper body strength without worrying about sacrificing rhythm or your technique.  You can focus on pulling and not on keeping your legs squeezed together.  They encourage long-axis rotation and develop proper swimming angles and balance of stroke.”

Steve also has many other swimming inventions and is dedicated to helping all swimmers perform at their peak.  Working with Steve is like dealing with a whirling dervish….all energy! 

If you have any questions about RANGS just call me at the store…I’ll be happy to help!


Come in and see me….You can be a famous customer, or at least I’ll treat you like one!


Happy Swimming!


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