Swimming pools closed with the advent of COVID-19, so everyone went to local beaches, lakes, and rivers for open water swimming instead. Swimming in open water is fantastic for your health, and research studies have shown that it leads to a more robust immune system, improved circulation, and increased happiness.
But, before you dive into the water, check out our list to see what you should wear and bring for open water swimming.
You may want to wear a wetsuit when swimming in open water, especially if the water temperature is below 16°C. A proper wetsuit gives you the optimal blend of comfort and performance. It also helps with flexibility in your upper body and additional buoyancy in your limbs. High-quality wetsuits are made with thicker neoprene around the core to keep your body warm as you swim.
A standard latex cap will suffice if you’re swimming in relatively warm waters. But if you're swimming in cooler water, a neoprene cap will keep you warm while also protecting your ears. It's also a good idea to wear a bright swimming cap so that you can be spotted in the water even if you’re far away from other people.
Swimming goggles for open water are not the same as pool goggles. When you swim in open water, you need goggles with polarised and UV-protective lenses. Some even have photochromatic lenses, which darken automatically in brighter light and remain transparent in low light. Other useful features in these goggles are anti-fog and wide-angle lenses.
Another issue that can arise while swimming in cold open water is numb fingers. When you're in the water, swimming gloves will keep your hands warm and relatively dry. Gloves will also help you maintain dexterity as you swim.
When swimming in open water, your feet are incredibly vulnerable to the environment. Wetsuit socks are essential for staying warm and preventing numb toes. It’s important to avoid numbing in your extremities to prevent serious damage or injuries.
Your open water swimming tow float is attached to your waist as you swim. It’s so light and unobtrusive that you may forget it's there. The bright colour of the tow float leads to greater visibility, which is ideal if you’re swimming in areas with boat traffic.
Tow floats are waterproof, so they can help you carry personal possessions as you swim. And if you want to relax or seek assistance, you may utilize your tow float for buoyant support because it can hold your entire weight.
When you are swimming in open water, nothing is more frustrating than your wetsuit chafing. Chafed and cracked skin can be prevented and relieved by using an anti-chafing stick. It also helps to avoid hot areas and rubbing.
When you get out of the water, your first instinct is to warm up. Having a changing robe on hand is perfect for this. If you’re on a secluded beach or lake, it may be difficult to find areas to change. A robe is an ideal partner for any post-swim activity.
Swimming in open water is a fun recreational activity that is also good for your health. When you have the opportunity to do so, you will gain a greater respect for the natural world around you. However, it can pose some danger if you are not being careful. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned open water swimmer, having the proper equipment is critical to being safe and having fun. One of the key things to remember is that you always have to stay visible in the water, no matter what.
If you are thinking of plunging in open water swimming spots near you, Swim Secure can provide the swimming products you need to remain visible and keep your belongings safe. Visit our website to browse our market-leading range of waterproof swim bags, tow floats, dry bags, and more!