There’s a lot of stark differences between preparing to swim in a local pool and getting your equipment ready to dive into open water. Rivers, lakes and the sea itself are very different bodies of water, so your skills and gear will take time to adapt to these.
Having the right tools is a priority to ensure that an open water swimmer has the best safety possible while out and about. The equipment list can stretch slightly depending on the activities you’re hoping to do in the open water, but there are some essentials that should never be left at home. Here are four things you’ll need the most.
The main point of difference that a regular pool has from open water is the condition. The water can be somewhat unsettled and abnormally cold, which can restrict the movement of humans. An inexperienced swimmer can find many difficulties keeping up with the temperature and force of the open water.
Wetsuits are a good advantage as they help insulate a swimmer’s body temperature and regulate it throughout the swim. There’s also an added floatation feature that swimmers can usually take advantage of when they find it hard to resurface while underwater. Also, the material and design of most wetsuits have been created to improve movement while in water.
Wearing a swim cap has mostly been emphasised to help keep hair out of a person’s face whenever they’re swimming. Although that is true, a swimming cap can be underrated when it comes to visibility and temperature regulation. Latex and silicone can help with bringing forth a bit of heat in the cold waters.
When in a bright colour, they’re easily spotted in the darker-looking waters and when submerged. This can be a lifesaver for swimmers who may need visibility while practising in open water. As long as it contrasts with the blue and the colour of one’s wetsuit, a person doesn’t have to worry about not being spotted.
Lousy vision or not, having goggles or swimming glasses is a must in your open water swimming kit. Even during the day, the waters can be murky, and keeping your eyes closed isn’t the smartest option while underwater. Just be sure to get one that doesn’t leak or fog up easily.
Experienced open water swimmers also recommend getting swimming glasses that have tinted lenses. It helps reduce the glare of the sunshine, making it bearable to just swim and look to the sky even during the brightest of summers.
As implied by all the other items on the list, nothing is more important than having visibility while in open water. Having a sizable buoy in a bright colour can help swimmers be easily monitored by their team.
It also helps the swimmer to know the starting and end points. Marker buoys can be great for more competitive swimmers in the water, seeing them as a checkpoint for how far and long they can swim. It can also be a rest point for many as they latch onto the inflation.
By having these four essentials in your kit, you’re more or less ready to venture into the nearest open body of water there is! Remember to bring a supervisor and team along, especially if you’re just about to get into the swing of open water swimming.
Looking for marker buoys in Australia to add to your equipment checklist? Swim Secure offers swimming products that help keep open water swimmers visible and safe. Order now!