Advice by Sport
Swimming in open water is very different from swimming in a swimming pool.
To feel at home in this new environment and new sensations and to protect yourself from external factors, you need to have the right equipment!
In purely practical terms, open water swimming does not really require any equipment other than that used in a swimming pool. However, and because the conditions are not the same, it is often useful to surround yourself with the proper equipment to be both comfortable and effective during your open water sessions. This applies particularly when deciding whether to swim in a swimsuit or in a neoprene open water wetsuit. Let's weigh up the pros and con
- Easy transport
- Easy to get on and off
- Less likely to cause irritation
- Excellent freedom of movement
-Significantly increases buoyancy
-Protects from sun and salt water
-Great freedom of movement
Swimming goggles are ESSENTIAL for swimmers, whether in chlorinated or salt water! They keep your eyes dry for maximum comfort and above all to protect them from the external factors that accompany the aquatic environment in the sea or pool. Also, in sunny weather, wearing swimming goggles with mirrored lenses can protect you from the sun and the reflection of light on the water. And believe me, to be able to keep track of your position in these giant wave pools, it is better to be able to see clearly!
For your open water swimming sessions, the training equipment essentially remains the same as for swimming in a pool. But there is one swim buoy which is specially designed for open water swimming. The buoy can be used to rest when you are tired or has cramp when you are swimming. Also, the swim buoy allows boats and the rescue services find you easily.
Also, there are some training aids are more suitable than others for open water swimming. Fins, preferably long ones, hand paddles and a centre snorkel are all equipment that can help you improve your technique and perform better.
Swimming cap in open water swimming is not mandatory. However, a swimming cap can be beneficial for your comfort when swimming but also and especially for your safety! Apart from protecting your hair from the salt water, wearing a swimming cap in bright colour will prevent other people in the water (boats, surfers, etc.) from colliding with you. It can also help those on the shore to spot you from far away in case of a problem.
Before throwing yourself into natural waters, think about your body. If you want to swim in a traditional swimsuit, don't forget to apply sun protection to avoid burning, especially if you are swimming in the sea, even if the sky is cloudy! Want to wear a wetsuit? Milking grease or Vaseline can be a good way to get it on more easily but also to protect your skin from the rubbing caused by the swimming suit. Finally, and to be the best of the best, swimming with a float attached behind you will make you all the more visible and keep you safe in case of a problem. A swimsuit or wetsuit, a few accessories, a cap and some swimming goggles... You don't need much to swim freely in the open water!