I purchased 10,000 shade balls and sought to swim in them. They seem to act like a non-Newtonian fluid: inflexible under high shear tension, but they flow like a liquid under low shear.
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My sense was that swimming in shade balls would be tough but still achieveable. This was roughly true for the single layer of shade balls. The shade balls glide past one another so they act like a liquid, albeit a viscous one owing to their vital inertia. It is so much more intensive exercise and it is in addition bothersome to be bombarded with shade balls on all facets of your body, especially your head. With multi-layer shade balls (as exists on much of LA reservoir) things get drastically more tough. The balls bunch together and when you try to move through them swiftly, they become more inflexible, supplying important resistance to motion. This has the benefit that you can lie on them and as long as they remain trapped under you, you can float on them. But a little bit of motion causes them to move around and you sink through rapidly.
Giant thanks to:
Jordan Schnabel and Cristian Carretero for filming and swimming and supplying lifeguard services.
Raquel Nuno for filming and putting up with me.
Music from https://epidemicsound.com “Dubstep Mammoth 2” “Finally Here (Instrumental)” “The Last Arrival” “Sundown Love (Instrumental)”