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Top 5 most important open water swimming items

Written by Fiona

September 17 2021

Open water Swimming has been getting a lot of attention lately and it is certainly growing in popularity year on year. There are a number of reasons for the increase in popularity, including desire during Covid lockdown to explore and exercise in our local outdoors environment.

Open water swimming – or wild swimming – is fairly easy to do and once you have the basic kit, it’s highly accessible. There are some safety issues and other tips to getting starting with open water swimming.

You also require the right equipment for this activity. This includes a swimming costume, a wetsuit (if it’s cold and you choose to wear one) and goggles, as well as a safety float. This article reveals the five most important pieces of equipment for open water swimming. 

Many people have a favourite swimming spot.


While some people swear by swimming “skins”, that is only in a swimming costume whatever the season, others prefer to wear a wetsuit for greater warmth, especially in autumn and winter.

A wetsuit protects your body from the cold water and keeps you warm. Most of the wetsuits available on the market also comes with a buoyancy function that will help your body stay afloat in the water.

But it’s important that you do some research before buying a wetsuit, just to make sure that it fits you perfectly. Try on a few brands and make sure it fits neatly but that you have flexibility at the shoulders for comfortable swim technique.

Swimming costume

You might choose to swim in a costume in the summer and then wear it under a wetsuit in colder seasons. A swim suit should fit neatly but to constrict your movements.

There are lots of different styles, from two pieces to suits with longer legs and all kinds in between. Try on a few swim costumes to find out what fits best – and also to find the look you most prefer.

Swim goggles

A good pair of quality swimming goggles are also required for open water swimmers. There are some things to have in mind when shopping for swimming goggles.

The goggles need to fit properly so try on a few pairs to find the right ones for you. If swimming in bright sunshine or light, choose a pair that reflect light from the water’s surface. Polarised lenses or mirror lenses are a good idea.

Also choose goggles with a large peripheral vision to give you the best vision while being in the water.

Swimming buoy or float

When it comes to your open-water safety, you should own a swimming buoy. They have a lot of different features, but most importantly they play a vital role in keeping you safe.

A brightly coloured float will ensure you can be seen by other users of your lake or loch and fellow swimmers will also know where you are.

Most swim buoys also have a storage area, where you can keep things like keys, phone, water, snacks, etc. 

If you need a rest you can use the buoy to hold on to for safety, too.

Swim cap

A swim cap offers protection for your hair from the water, especially sea water. It can also provide some warmth. Choose a neoprene swim cap for colder temperatures, or silicone for every day swimming.

Thanks to Oliver Saalbach Ottesen of for these tips.

Written by Fiona September 17 2021 Please support this website Buy me a glass of wine

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