An Introductory Guide to Open Water Swimming
Are you thinking of stepping out into the open waters but are scared of the various unknowns?
You should start your swimming journey with supervised open-water swimming centres or outdoor lidos to get acquainted with the feeling of being in the water and moving through it.
Open-water swimming requires great technique and stamina and can be the perfect form of training to complement running.
It all starts with getting the right swimming accessories, which can be taken care of by us at Waterworld Sports.
How is OWS Different from Pool Swimming?
Starting in a swimming pool is beneficial but of course open-water swimming is a lot different.
Here are a few swimming tips for beginners, starting with the most important skill OWS requires - to be adaptable. You may have to change your stroke depending on the conditions.
The most energy-efficient OWS stroke is the front crawl, and the backstroke should always be the last option as it is often a signal for distress.
Another important part to keep in mind is to stay on course by swimming as straight as you can with the help of sightings. Keep your eye out of the water but your nose and mouth in to help you keep your head still.
A wide range of swimming goggles will surely be of great help. A beginner can use the swimming pool to practise sighting without battling currents and winds.
There is no black line to follow in open waters which can make it harder to swim straight, and there are no rest stops. Swimming in open waters will often feel a bit cooler than the pool temperature and you can feel chills on your face, hands, and feet, but with the correct gear, all of this can be sorted!
Essential Swimming Kit
The most important swimming equipment essentials for beginners must include swimming goggles, swim buoys, and a wetsuit for exposure protection. Our collection includes all the accessories from safety basics to fashionable gear for open waters, pools or for going out to the beach.
Our robust swimming goggles will suit you perfectly in all settings and our wetsuits will keep you dry at great depths and offer you buoyancy.
You can also check our range of waterproof swimming caps for long hair. A long-sleeve wetsuit can help you glide through the water and offer exposure protection.
It is recommended to choose a 2 mm – 3 mm thickness for summer swimming and a 3 mm – 5 mm thickness for when you are swimming in temperate to cool waters.
Wearing goggles can protect your eyes from stingy saltwater and greatly improves visibility. Taking a swim buoy with you is vital to let the boats know our location or make it easy to spot you if you get into trouble.
It can also be used as a dry bag to keep your phone, keys, and other personal belongings safe. Having the right swimming gear can elevate your experience and peace of mind while swimming outdoors.
How to Overcome Fear?
It is natural to feel fear set in when you are far from shore, all alone, surrounded by dark water and eerie silence. Although practice can make you overcome your fear, at times you cannot help but feel vulnerable and on edge. You can make this experience more enjoyable and relaxing by breaking your swim into blocks of a certain number of strokes or to keep swimming to a certain buoy before turning around. Focusing on small goals may help you overlook the vastness of open waters and feel at ease.
Swimming in cool, open waters is a whole-body stimulating experience and gives you a sense of achievement as you overcome your fears and challenges.
Get in touch and we can help you with any questions you may have.