Before you go swimming, make sure you’re kitted out to maximise your enjoyment of the open water. Whether it’s a relaxing, social dip with friends, or you’re in training for a triathlon, there are a few essentials you need to set yourself up for success, however you might wish to define it.

Swimming wetsuits differ from other water sports wetsuits. Surfing wetsuits are designed to provide insulation and are made with thicker materials whereas swimming wetsuits are made with thinner materials, differing levels of buoyancy and have a much higher flexibility range, allowing for more freedom of movement. You’ll find it incredibly difficult to swim for long periods of time in a surfing wetsuit.

A good pair of goggles is crucial for open water swimming; in open water, you will require a wider field of vision compared to in a pool. Furthermore, lower visibility and varying levels of sunlight will require different lens types. Choose goggles that are polarized or photochromatic.

Safety buoys
Whether you’re bobbing about or working out a safety buoy is essential. A buoy dry bag combo provides buoyant support should you need it, keeps your valuables dry and increases your visibility making you easy to spot should you get into trouble. A safety buoy is also highly recommended for beginners for the peace of mind it gives you.

Swim caps
A brightly coloured swim cap further increases the ease with which you can be spotted in the water. A vibrantly coloured swim cap is often required if you wish to swim at any private open water venue.

Robe jackets
Post-swim you’ll want to lock in heat, especially when the weather is less than perfect. The water and wind-resistant outer shell of a robe jacket will help keep you protected from the elements and are also useful for changing underneath when facilities are lacking.

With these open water essentials, you can be assured of your safety, comfort and warmth both in an out of the water.

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