Reasons Why You Should Use a Tow Float in Open Water

Do you find yourself swimming in open waters more and more? Maybe the lockdown has brought out the adventurer in you, and now ocean swimming has a whole new appeal! Before planning this exciting trip outdoors, make sure you’re prioritising your safety. No matter how fun ocean swimming can be, the open waters are still part of the wilderness and should be regarded with caution.

One way to ensure you’re still within the safety of your group is wearing an open water swimming tow float. In the following paragraphs, find out what a tow float is and why it’s necessary to bring it with you on your next open-water swimming.

Before Anything Else, What's a Tow Float?

A tow-float is a small, brightly coloured apparatus attached to your body through a waistband and leash. As you swim, it floats behind you, making you more visible to others in the nearby area, especially boats and jet skis.

Tow floats come in a variety of styles — from the typical inflatable to a tow float that doubles as a dry bag for storing valuables or even clothes.  You may also use a tow float as a pillow to lean back and enjoy the sunshine while you wait for other swimmers to catch up.

Besides these practical benefits, tow floats can also provide several other advantages.

Carrying Essentials

Tow floats make great floating containers for your belongings. Drybag tow floats are available in various sizes. They can be just big enough for a phone and keys, which are the most popular and helpful for everyday swims. They can also be big enough for all your clothes, a towel, and a few snacks.

If you're performing a one-way swim, a tow float comes in handy because it allows you to safely conceal your clothes and belongings. A tow float can also serve as a waterproof case for your phone, allowing you to call for help instead of relying on waving or shouting for assistance to and from the shore.

show open water swimming tow float swim buoy

Providing Visibility in Open Water

Other water users and sea crafts, such as dinghies or powerboats, will find it hard to see you until the very last moment. This can be dangerous, especially if there's a little amount of waves between you and them. While experts always recommend wearing a bright swim cap, a tow float adds a crucial layer of visibility and allows you to readily see other swimmers if you're in a group.

Improving Support and Rest

Because a tow float is buoyant, it can be terrific support when you're tired or cramped. Maybe you just need a break. You can lean on your tow float as you catch your breath. You can just hug it and float along while chatting with other members of your swim group.

rest of tow float


Some think tow floats will slow them down or get in the way, so they don't want to wear one. Well, here's a little tip. Find a small one if you haven't tried swimming in one yet. They don't slow you down or get in your way; instead, they silently float alongside you, keeping you safe as you swim. A high-quality tow-float will produce minimal drag and will not obstruct your stroke. You won't even realise your tow float is there most of the time.

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