Apr 22, 2020
Episode 5: Karlyn Pipes – Pure Heaven
In 2014, I was on the island and spotted an amazing swim coach giving mini-lessons out of the demonstration Endless Pool on the main drag, across from the pier. It was none other than Karlyn! Eager to get into the pool and learn from her, I quickly changed into my suit and waited for my turn. After a great lesson where she both confirmed what I was doing well and gave me some new things to experiment with, I dried off, introduced myself formally, and asked her for an interview.
She obliged, we snuck off to a grassy nook by the hotel and not only had a wonderful interview, but we also struck off an enjoyable friendship.
At the age of 53, Karlyn was to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) joining all-time swimming greats such as Janet Evans, Mark Spitz, and Johnny Weissmuller to name a few. Competition is stiff to be considered, let alone inducted, and since its inception back in 1965 only 14 "Masters" swimmers have been honored.
While an amazing accomplishment in itself, what is even more amazing is the circuitous, near-death journey she took to get there.
Along the way, Karlyn has overcome addiction, set over 300 Masters World Records, over 200 FINA World records, coached thousands of athletes, traveled the globe teaching swimming, and made her home in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.
5:00 Natural history around Kona
6:00 Social History around Kona
7:50 Spiritual Side of racing
8:30 see the fish, talk to the fish, I love you water
9:00 That time Janet Evan’s broke Karlyn’s 400m Freestyle record
10:30 What’s the definition of a successful swimmer?
11:15 How Karlyn evaluates a swimmer
13:15 Domino effects in swimming
13:46 Tension & Breathing in Swimming
15:15 Balance & Trust, Arms & Legs in Swimming
18:15 How & Why Karlyn rebuilt her stroke
20:00 How fast does Karlyn’s mother swim?
22:00 Stroke Timing considerations
24:00 Coaching self-awareness
25:45 Less is more in swimming
26:00 Three checkpoints in swimming. If it feels’ hard you’re probably doing one of these three things wrong ( and how to fix it)
28:30 Head position in swimming
29:30 Karlyn’s current swim racing
30:30 Karlyn’s triathlon career
Resources and Links to author's website, books, and mentions are available on the episode page: