Understanding the Meaning Behind the Marker Buoy Design

When swimming, it’s always recommended to have a water buoy marker for a variety of reasons. Many are there to act as a landmark throughout your course or to indicate that you are swimming a certain path in that area of water, increasing your overall visibility and safety while in open water.

Marker buoys are often able to fulfil these duties thanks to their purposeful design. Interpreting the different elements of their design might just give you more insight into just how effective these buoys are and why you’ll need them when swimming. Keep reading this breakdown to learn more about it. 


Most buoys come in a bright colour that can stand out from the murky blue of the water. Traditionally, buoys are in the colours red and green. Red was used to indicate the area where swimmers and boaters would return from open water, while greens signal where you set off.

However, red and green can still get lost or blurred in with the hue of the water when it’s dark. A stark orange is much more effective at increasing the visibility of the marker buoy, making it stand out even when the sun is already setting.


Marker buoys come in all shapes, with some coming in triangles or cones while others are just shaped like circles. However, marker buoy designs that are a bit more cylindrical in their form can be recognised much easier, uniquely standing out from the water.

Having the marker buoy float vertically and having it stand as tall as it does can be quite a perk too. In case of any bad weather conditions or other emergencies, a cylindrical marker buoy can be easily spotted due to how much contrast in height it provides. 


Another key element in the marker buoy’s design is definitely its size. These buoys should be considerably large so that they can be spotted from even a sky’s view of the water, both in height and in diameter. The cylindrical shape that it holds already helps out its case in height.

In terms of diameter, it’s best to have ones that can span to about at least one metre long. Allowing a bigger width will entail even more visibility, so open water swimmers wouldn’t be able to miss it even while they’re in the midst of their course.


The material is a significant part of the marker buoys. The majority used to be built from the ground up, but that isn’t really ideal for swimmers to adopt. Getting PVC marker buoys that offer more flexibility since they’re inflatable is much better since you can position them wherever.

Aside from having the liberty of blowing up the buoys to put them anywhere in the water, PVC is also great due to its durability. The material is able to withstand the water while also housing a double valve system for quick deflation and handles with straps for anchoring down the buoys.


Water buoy markers are handy to have around when you’re practising swimming in the open water due to their design. That intention of visibility can often lead to the betterment and safety of the swimmers utilising them, after all.

Looking for marker buoys in Australia? Swim Secure offers swimming products that help keep open water swimmers and their belongings visible, offering buoys, floats, dry bags and more. Order now!