Not many experiences can rival open-water swimming. It’s just you and endless horizons of water and fresh air. Unless you participate in a triathlon, there will be no crowd. Therefore, it is an activity that will not only allow you to spend all the calories you consume throughout the day, but you can also have peace of mind.
Nevertheless, you must ensure you are safe enough during this activity. The best way to do that is to be visible to boaters, other swimmers, and anyone else out there. That’s the moment when the swim buoys enter the stage. Now, we want to talk about these devices and what they are a must for open water swimming.
The Importance of Swim Buoy
For over a decade, the use of swim buoy has been promoted as the most efficient way of ensuring safety during open water swimming. There are countries where using these has been made mandatory, and there are other cases where this is just a recommendation. Nevertheless, the awareness of their effectiveness has been raised significantly.
What’s interesting to know is that these are neither marketed nor sold as floatation devices. Still, you can use them to calm down whenever you feel a little bit anxious while swimming. While it may sound strange at first sight, wearing one of these doesn’t cause the weight to slow you down, no matter how you wear them.
The reason for that is the movements we’re making while swimming. The bow wave that originates from the movements of our upper body and shoulders helps swim buoy not get affected. Therefore, no waves can move them around and cause them to drag the swimmer behind, which is always a plus.
At the same time, wearing these will not affect the movement of your feet. For all these reasons and many others, open water swimming will significantly increase these use. We can expect that this usage will only grow in the future according to these trends.
How to Choose a Swim Buoy?
Making a swim buoy a part of your kit for open water swimming is an absolute must. The thing is, how will you know which one is the most suitable for you? Besides considering your preferences, some other things require your attention.
- Strong beams that will prevent a buoy from breaking.
- Durable material which will make its lifespan as long as possible.
- Adjustable strap that offers much-needed flexibility while you swim.
- High visibility colors ensure the highest possible level of visibility.
- Waterproofness provides proper protection for the items inside of it.
How to Use Swim Buoy Properly?
Swimming buoys is easy; you need to tie them around your waist and use them as a belt. The straps on these bags are adjustable. Therefore, you can easily adjust them to your liking and change them whenever needed. But adjusting these requires you to pay attention to your conditions, like wind and waves.
When it’s time for a rest, you can easily pull the straps towards you and use them to float and enjoy the scenery in front of you. Another important thing these can help with is resting when you start feeling cramps. You can take a break and stretch your legs while floating until the pain passes.
What are the Benefits?
We want to highlight some benefits of using a swim buoy for open water swimming.
Safety is the most significant element while swimming outdoors. Unfortunately, there are no lifeguards who can come to your aid when you face a problem. Of course, swim buoys cannot help in every situation. Nevertheless, they are useful when you are in a time of need, and there’s nobody else to help you.
To up your security, be sure to check out the weather conditions before you go swimming. If strong winds, big currents, and massive waves are expected, staying home that day is better. In these conditions, a swim buoy cannot be of great help.
Most swim buoys you will come across come with built-in bag storage. It is waterproof, and you can use it for storing your mobile phone, wallet, bottle of water in case you get dehydrated, etc. Therefore, you don’t need to leave all these things at your home or a beach.
Naturally, the size of your choice is entirely your choice. You only need to pay attention to choosing the right brands. Be careful to make sure that the bag is waterproof before you purchase.
The most important benefit of using a swim buoy is to give a swimmer visibility. In open water, it can be difficult to spot swimmers if there’s nothing that will make the distinction from a wide blue surface. When we swim, most of our body is underwater, which makes it even harder for someone to spot us.
Having a swim buoy at your side makes it possible for others to distinguish between the swimmer and the surroundings. Their colors are usually very bright, sometimes even neon. Therefore, anyone passing through by a boat or a yacht can spot a swimmer and take matters of precautions to prevent anything dangerous from happening.
Can They Be Used in Triathlon?
Using these when you practice for a triathlon is a good thing to do. However, when it comes to the actual competition, they are not allowed by the rules. According to the rules imposed by the World Triathlon, any flotation device is not allowed during the race.
In addition to flotation devices, rules do not approve of things like gloves, paddles, fins, and snorkels. With that in mind, you should use them during practice, but do not rely on them too much since there will not be there when you compete.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the importance of swim buoys for open water swimming is quite high. Therefore, having one of these will provide you with many possibilities and benefits, especially by increasing your safety. In this guide, we’ve shown some of the most relevant things you need to be aware of when it comes to these.