Open Water Swimming
Swimming pools are great, but there is something extremely exhilarating about open water swimming. Especially for people who have conquered the world of swimming pools, this form of recreation can prove interesting. The thing is that there are some basic items needed to ensure that the experience is a lot more wholesome and safe. Chances are that most avid swimmers already have some of these things. But to ensure that you are up to date on exactly what it is that you need, here is a comprehensive list of all the gear you need for open water swimming.
In general, pool swimming goggles could do the trick but there are specialized options that would fare better in open water situations. First, they have a much wider lens and that makes it a lot easier for swimmers to have a better view of everything underwater. Since these are basically unruly waters, it is wise to have better bearings of the environment. It even helps when the lenses are either tinted or mirrored so as to guard against the sun.
2. Sunscreen And Zinc-oxide
If you are going to be under the sun, then it’s a must to guard yourself up with sunscreen. Apply it carefully to your back, face, arms, and shoulders. The truth of the matter is that it is downright reckless to be out in the open without sunscreen. Another viable option is Zinc-oxide, it may not look great when applied, but it goes a long way to ensure that your skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. This is a lot safer since it offers up a physical instead of a chemical block.
3. Neoprene Swim Cap
The temperature of the water goes a long way to determine what type of swim cap you need. When it comes to warmer bodies of water, the normal latex or silicone swim cap is good to go. On the other hand, colder bodies of water need something with a little more oomph. That is why a neoprene swim cap is more than apt. This is because it helps to insulate the head and keep it nice and warm all through your swim. It’s a plus if the cap comes in a bright color so as to alert people of your location.
4. Neoprene Swim Socks
All in all, it is pretty important to protect your extremities, so in addition to your head, your feet need some love too. Thankfully, there are neoprene water socks made for swimmers who literally get cold feet when in water. These are specially made for open water swimming and will go a long way to ensure that your feet are nice and toasty all through your swim. Even better, they practically keep your feet dry as well.
5. A Backpack
There is a whole lot of equipment you are going to be lugging around once you join the open water swimming bandwagon. As such, it makes perfect sense to have a good bag or backpack to put them in. Not just any bag will do too, go for an option that keeps your wet items separate from your dry ones. Also, lookout for a bag that ensures that you will have easy access to little items that you may need on the go. All in all, a comfortable yet functional option should do the trick.
6. Swimming Wetsuit
This goes without saying, especially since the temperature experienced in open water is a lot colder than that in swimming pools. They offer up protection from the sun, warmth and even natural buoyancy. These wetsuits are a bit pricey altogether, but they are a worthy investment if you are going to be engaging in open water swimming. The only thing that is required is for users to get the right fit, so as to enable maximum flexibility and comfort while in the water.
7. Swimming Buoy
Face it, open water swimming is fun, but there is still an element of danger involved and that is why a buoy is needed. Swimmers should look out for bright options whether they are swimming solo or with others. This will ensure that other swimmers, lifeguards, boaters and the rest can easily locate you when you are out on your swim. It will also serve as a great floating device when needed. So, in the case that you need to catch your breath then your buoy is all the support that you need.
8. Aquatic Earplugs
Some people, no matter how often they swim, end up experiencing some form of discomfort while swimming. If you happen to be one of these people then a good pair of earplugs can go a long way. It is even handier in open water situations because the water is a lot colder. Users need to get something that is easy to wear, comfortable and above all, it needs to be safe. Once you have something that has a good seal in the ear, you are good to go.
9. Chaffing Stick
Wetsuits are great but they can become all sorts of uncomfortable after being worn for an extended period of time. It may even result in rashes and all sorts of skin irritations and that is where a chaffing stick is needed. They basically look like deodorant sticks, but instead of an antiperspirant, they consist of a wax-like substance that keeps the skin safe from irritations. Swimmers who do not actually make use of a wetsuit should still make use of it to generally guard against irritation.
10. Flip Flops
These are obviously not for the swim itself but come in handy before or after. There are numerous locations where open water swims can take place and some of them may be a bit rocky. A pair of flip flops will protect the sole of your feet and what is even better is that they are cheap. That way, if they go missing, you do not have to make a fuss.