We’re heading back to the water!!
We are really looking forward to seeing you all next week, in preparation of returning to the water we have jotted down a few notes to make your first dip as safe and enjoyable as possible. If you have any questions we’re here to help so feel free to drop us a line.
If you’re starting off or just enjoy the basics of swimming you can turn up with your towel, swim cap and swimming costume and enjoy your swim in a safe well managed swimming environment.
For those looking to expand their kit here are our top items. Most swimmers usually and very quickly accumulate vast amounts of gear, from the countless pairs of swimming goggles, swim caps and woolly hats, to the more expensive collection of wetsuits as they progress from the surf suit usually mis-sold as a swimming wetsuit, to the entry level first “proper” wetsuit, with some progressing onto a race suit and then for a growing number, the swim/run wetsuit.
Swimming costume. Yes, we have had a couple of swimmers turn up without. Team member Barry was extremely traumatised.
Brightly coloured swim cap ( please no dark colours or white caps ) Safety first even in the bath.
Goggles, one pair of clear goggles in case of poor light and even for the odd night swim, also a pair of tinted goggles in case it’s ever sunny or you swim at sunset.
Warm loose fitting clothes for after your swim will help you warm up and are easier to get on when your skin is clammy. Turning your dry robe or swimzi inside out for when you’re wet will leave the fleece nice and dry when you’re dressed.
Dry Robe or Swimzi style big coat to keep you out of the wind and something to change under during covid, other makes are available so have a look around on the web, social media groups and eBay etc, or keep your eye on the Outdoor Swimmer magazine for great deals as the season opens up.
Ear Plugs, these will help to protect your ears from the cold water and reduce the risk of ear infections, they’ll also help to minimise the dizziness often experienced on exit. Lots of makes are available from the traditional Christmas tree type to the foam inserts or even if you’re a seasoned Guinness World Record holder, a piece of blu tac ( we don’t advise this though, step away from the keyboard Angela )
Towel, the bigger the better, getting dry quickly will help to start the rewarming process and reduces the risk of you from suffering from hypothermia.
Woolly Hat, you can’t beat a woolly hat after a cooler swim, have a look at Big Bobble hats if you’re shopping. Guaranteed smile with every hat.
Gloves, until we get into the one day of summer this year a nice pair of insulated gloves are invaluable, especially over winter. Chris is modelling the new skin tone gloves although the standard neoprene pairs from Lomo or Blue Seventy are equally as good for swimming, or, we can recommend Seal Skin gloves for after your swim..
Flask, if you don’t have access to a cafe after your swim a nice cup of hot chocolate or warm ribena will help your recovery process, finding a flask with a straw such as a super sparrow will save your hands from getting burnt from shivering spills.
Crocs, easy to slip on and will keep your toes in one piece whilst walking to and from the water. Don’t worry about your street credibility, whole toes are far more important.
Wetsuit, optional for many but worth mentioning. Sports shops often sell unsuitable surf wetsuits for swimming, these are thicker, heavier and get waterlogged because they’re loose fitting, making your swim hard work. Look at brands such as Aquasphere, Orca, Zone 3 or Blue Seventy, these are specific swimming wetsuits and will provide you with greater buoyancy and a far better swimming experience. If you are swimming heads up breaststroke Lomo have produced a swimming wetsuit with you in mind as most traditional wetsuits are designed with front crawl in mind meaning the buoyancy panels want to lift the legs, therefore putting a strain on the lower back. You can hire a wetsuit from us before you make a decision, so our best advice is try before you buy.
Tow Float, optional, used for visibility, they are not safety devices so please think carefully where you swim, if you are using them to keep you safe from boat traffic consider finding another place to swim. If you are looking for a safety device to rest on and offer assistance to other swimmers get an RLSS Torpedo Buoy.
If you are wild swimming in remote locations then other bits of kit such as a fully charged mobile phone or a personal emergency beacon are good safety additions but for now this guide is aimed at venue swimmers with safety cover provided.
Getting back in …
This season is going to be very interesting given the fact that most swimmers have been out of the pool and open water, so acclimatisation and swim fitness for the majority, will play an even greater part in getting back into swimming outdoors safely.
Until we get above 10ºC we’ll be limiting the swim course to the 250m loop to allow for a slow and steady build up back to pre lockdown swim fitness. Even when the water warms we will be asking everyone on their first swim back to us to stay on the short loop until they are acclimatised and settled back in to swimming.
We desperately want to avoid anyone’s enthusiasm exceeding their ability, so slow and steady is the key, be patient it’ll only take three swims to settle back in.
If you’re new to open water swimming we will be on hand waterside to run through safe water entry and exit and give you the benefit of our experience to make your visit fun and enjoyable.
We’re not sure you’ll enjoy it as much as Fenwick from H20trails who was clean shaven we he got in, but we’ll do our best to make sure you come back.
We look forward to seeing you soon.