SwimWays Uses Its Noodle with Aqua Rider Acquisition

SwimWays.AquaRiderSwimWays Corp. recently acquired Aqua Rider, a patent pending pool noodle float that features the head and tail of colorful animal characters, as well as a built-in seat for riding. SwimWays will be able to consolidate production efforts using the same base noodle, and the product will be made in both China and the U.S., and assembled and shipped from the U.S.

Aqua Riders, which were introduced to market last year, will be available in many styles, including Orca, Shark, Gator, and Sea Horse. SwimWays will begin distributing Aqua Riders, which are made for swimmers of all ages, under the SwimWays brand next January.

The item is currently sold at Wal-Mart, BJ’s, and Leslie’s Pool Supply, among other retailers, and the acquisition is not expected to affect the Aqua Rider’s distribution.

COMMENTARY: Pool Time Is the Best Time

Some of my fondest childhood memories were conceived on sunny days spent splashing around in the pool. Back in the day, it was tradition for my family to fight over the one noodle that wasn’t chewed up by my dog, or to constantly cheat during a riveting round of Marco Polo (The thing was, we were kind of bored and thoroughly enjoyed torturing each other). Today, lazily floating around on the water is my most anticipated summer activity, but the pool is still a prime spot for play.

As companies gear up for swimming season, here are some of the latest toys that keep kids engaged at the pool and earning those pruned fingers:

TMNT Water WeaponsLicensed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sewer Spewer Water Weapons, by Playmates, combine classic ninja moves with an impressive soaking effect. [Read more...]

SwimWays’ Efforts Approach $1 Million for Operation Smile

Untitled1Swimways Corp., a leading outdoor recreational products manufacturer, celebrated raising more than $900,000 for charity organization Operation Smile. Over the last six years, Swimways has created nearly 5,000 smiles around the world.

Packaging for the SwimWays Swim Steps product line has highlighted Swimways support for Operation Smile since 2007. Swim Steps packaging also includes a donation brochure insert featuring a special message from Swimways Corp. President David Arias, inviting consumers to make direct contributions to Operation Smile. Swim Steps is a three-step program consisting of a line of floats and swim training gear for children. Swim Step 1 supports young children as they are introduced to the water, Swim Step 2 provides support as children explore the water and become more confident, and Swim Step 3’s graduated support gives parents a swim training system to empower their child in the water.

In addition to packaging and print support, Swimways also supports the charity online, with direct links from Swimways.com to the Operation Smile website, and via social media. Last April, Swimways launched a social media campaign with a Facebook challenge to benefit the charity, donating $2 for each new “like,” resulting in 11,000 new Operation Smile Facebook fans and a 171 percent increase in Facebook monthly revenue, funding 91 surgeries.

This year Operation Smile launched its 30th Anniversary celebration with the “change forever” campaign, featuring a year-long series of events in the U.S. and globally. Athlete Tony Hawk stars in an interactive film that can be viewed at www.wecanchangeforever.com. In the film, viewers can upload their smile through Facebook and watch as their smile travels around the world to help a child suffering from a facial deformity such as cleft lip and cleft palate. They are also asked to take a pledge to help create greater awareness for children suffering from facial deformities.

SwimWays Swim Steps, a product line created for swim development, includes the Swim Sweater, Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest, and the Baby Spring Float. SwimWays Swim Steps products are available nationwide at Target, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Leslies’ Pool Supplies, and other retailers.