Open water swimming is one of the most interesting disciplines when discussing water sports. As with any other discipline, it has its string of challenges. However, when you compare it to some other similar disciplines, that list is significantly longer.
Athletes must endure numerous challenges, like underwater obstacles, waves, low temperatures, undertows, and drop-offs. Awareness of all these things is an absolute must if you want to participate in one of these races one day. Besides that, having the right gear is an absolute must.
Let’s talk about the essential pieces of gear in greater detail.
The top of this list is reserved for wetsuits. The reason why this one is so important is that your health might depend on it. As a result, finding the right one is a complex procedure involving several categories. The first one is determining the water temperature before you jump into it.
There are three main ranges of temperature wetsuits made. The first one is 0-10C, the second is 10-19C, and the final one is 19-23C. The temperature determines the thickness of the suit. So, naturally, the lower the temperature, the thicker the suit needs to be. That way, you will ensure that your stay in the water will be comfortable.
Yet again, the thickness comes with its own set of limitations. The thickest ones are not the best solution for diving because they constrain the movement while you are in the water. Besides the temperature, the thickness is determined by the distance’s lengthiness and the athlete’s skills.
Goggles and Caps
Next, we want to discuss caps and goggles. Caps should be either vibrant or neon colors. That way, the boaters passing through will be able to see you. Thankfully, there’s a wide array of different colors to choose from. Therefore, you will not be limited to finding the one that fits your preferences.
When discussing goggles, see to it that they are either mirrored or tinted. These are extremely helpful when it’s sunny. Besides that, they will help provide the athlete with a panoramic view. At the same time, the user will have a good peripheral range, making spotting all the obstacles much better.
Swim Gloves and Socks
Among the most, let’s say, underrated safety pieces for open water swimming, you will find swim gloves and water socks. Cold hands or feet can easily expose your body to feeling cold pretty fast. So wearing these doesn’t only prevent this from happening, but it also helps your hands and feet feel comfortable.
They provide that necessary additional layer of protection similar to the wetsuit. Please make sure that they are in the size that suits you perfectly. That way, you will prevent them from getting filled with water, which makes it significantly easier for you to paddle or kick because of the additional weight you will feel.
Thankfully, these come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. So, you will not need to spend much time searching for the ones you like. What’s important to know is that these should be of the same thickness as your wetsuit to prevent any imbalance distracting you from the task.
Tow Floats and Dry Bags
One of the most important pieces of gear that require your attention is dry bags or tow floats. They help a lot because, inside them, you can keep various features that will ensure your safety. For instance, you should always have a light or whistle with you. Both of them will make you more visible to the rescue team and other participants in a race.
Besides these two, you can keep a bottle of water inside them. These are completely waterproof and will ensure that all these items are protected from water reaching them. At the same time, they will not distract you from the race. You need to find the model that will satisfy your needs. If you want to check some of these out, visit Sureswimmer.
Any outdoor swimmer out there knows the importance of having proper sunblock. Using one of these will ensure your skin’s protection while being exposed to UV rays. The thing about choosing these is that no magic formula works in each case. Instead, you need to make your choice wisely.
Not every skin is the same, and at the same time, not all sunblock brands don’t have the same characteristics. So before making the best possible choice, you should know your skin type and what ingredients can irritate. We can all agree that skin irritation is never a pleasant experience.
The most significant ingredient you should look for is zinc oxide. It is associated with all the most efficient products out there. Pay attention to the percentage of zinc oxide inside a sunblock. The percentage varies, but it is usually between 10% and 40%. The higher the percentage, the better.
Last but not least, we want to discuss the swim coach communicator. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have one of these. As the name of the device says, it ensures communication between the swimmer and coach, especially during the training sessions.
Getting the right input from your coach is always crucial, no matter the discipline we are talking about. So, do not wait to get out of the water before you can get some useful advice on improving your performance. On the other side, using this device can be extremely helpful in receiving some motivational phrases from the coach.
Plus, these are quite handy during the race. So, not only can your coach provide useful advice, but you can also receive some heads up on the obstacles you are about to face. In addition, these devices do not weigh more than thirty grams. So, you will not feel them while you swim.
Ensuring your well-being during open water swimming should be a priority of every swimmer. We’ve discussed some of the essential pieces of gear that will help guarantee the proper level of security for the swimmer.