What is drafting? How do you do it? | Open Water Swimming Tips

Drafting in open water swimming is when one or more swimmers are being pulled along by the bow wave or slipstream of other swimmers. This works because the lead swimmer’s head is displacing the water in front of all of you. Their head is breaking through the water, powered by their body, creating a bow wave, which moves forward, with you inside it. The size of this bow wave is relative to the size and speed of the swimmer, so a small slower swimmer will have a small weak bow wave and a faster larger swimmer with have a bigger and faster bow wave. If you can draft, you will save energy and be able to swim faster. It’s a serious win-win – and incredibly fun to be flying along with minimal effort! So how do we do it? You can find lots more open water swimming tips at swimireland.ie/open-water and at meandthewater.ie #OpenWater

How to put on and take off a wetsuit | Open Water Swimming Tips

The best swimming wetsuit for you is one that is specifically made for swimming and fits you like a second skin. If you’re new to wearing a wetsuit, it’s probably taking you a pretty long time to pull yours on and you might find it need lots of adjustments to get it to sit right when you swim, and is really awkward to take off. Don’t worry! This is totally normal. And we’re going to show you how to put on and take off your wetsuit hassle-free, like a pro. If you have any questions about wetsuits for open water swimming, or want to share tips that have worked for you, stick them in the comments.

How To Swim Straighter In Open Water | Open Water Swimming Tips

Why can’t I swim in a straight line when swimming in open water? It’s a common question we get asked all the time, and the answer is a combination of factors that need to be worked on. Here’s what we see as the main ones to take a look at: 1. Sighting 2. Are your arms crossing over? 3. Do you only breathe to one side? 4. Are your goggles the problem? 5. Finally, maybe it isn’t you, it’s the water? Watch the video to find out more, or find our full article at meandthewater.ie/blog If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

What's a Tow-float and Why Is It Essential? | Open Water Swimming Tips

You’ve seen the water dotted with them, but why should swimmers use a tow-float? First of all, let’s explain what they are. A tow-float is a small, brightly-coloured inflatable that you attach to your body via a waist band and leash. It floats along behind you as you swim, making you more visible to other water users, particularly boats and jet skis. You can also use a tow-float to rest on while you’re waiting for your friends to catch up, or even as a pillow to lay back and enjoy the sunshine! There are a few different types of tow-floats, ranging from the standard inflatable, to a tow-float that is also a drybag that you can store valuables or even clothes in. Drybag tow-floats come in a range of sizes from just big enough for a phone and keys - which is the most popular and useful for every day swims - to big enough for all your clothes, a towel and a few snacks – you can use these for point-to-point swims. These days, with so many people using the water, we recommend all swimmers always wear a tow-float in open water. Small ones really do not slow you down - they float along behind you minding their own business and keeping you safe while you swim. If you have any questions about tow-floats, pop them in the comments below. #swimming #openwater

What Equipment is Essential for Open Water Swimming? | Open Water Swimming Tips

Open water swimming can be as simple as a pair of togs, you hat and goggles, but in cold water and busy locations there are a couple of other items you need to put in your kit bag. Let’s start with a swimming hat. Swimming hats help keep you warm, keep your hair out of your eyes and help other water users see you. It’s important to always wear a bright orange, yellow, pink or green hat in open water, because all other colours just don’t contrast enough with the water, so don’t help your visibility. A lot of cold water swimmers – swimmers who swim regularly in water that is less than 18C – often wear two silicon swimming hats, or even neoprene swimming hats – like a wetsuit for your head. Next up is genuinely an essential item for anyone regularly spending time in Irish waters. Ear plugs. When cold water – that’s all Irish water – gets into your ears, your body immediately starts reacting to protect your ear drums. Over time, growths form in your ear canal, aiming to block access for the cold water, and if these growths are not treated, they can lead to hearing loss. Ear plugs protect your ears from this. They come in lots of different varieties, including ones that allow you to hear almost perfectly with them in, so there’s no excuses not to put them in your kit bag. Try out a few different types to see what works best for your ears. Next up is the tow-float. A tow-float is an inflatable that attaches to your body via a waist band and floats along behind you on a leash as you swim. They make you more visible to other water users, particularly motorised boats and jet skis, and you can rest on them while you wait for your friends. Some are also drybags, so you can pack valuables, like car keys and your phone. Goggles seem very obvious equipment for open water, but the important note is that you need a couple of different types to account for the varying light conditions you might encounter. Clear goggles are ideal for dark and low-light conditions. Tinted goggles work well in moderate sunshine or cloudy day times, then mirrored goggles are essential for bright or low sunshine. Many people in Ireland swim without a wetsuit, but there are benefits to swimming with one, and they are particularly good for beginners as they provide warmth, buoyancy and general confidence, while you’re learning all these new things. For swimming, choose a wetsuit that is specifically made for swimming not surfing. It should be very tight fitting and take about 8-10 minutes to put on. Don’t worry! As soon as you get in the water and let the water into the suit it will expand. So that’s a quick run-through of some essential kit for open water swimming. Of course, it’s also dead handy to get some kind of changing robe, so you got protection from the elements and a mobile changing room, and in winter, something to stand on is an absolute lifesaver! If you need any more advice on open water swimming head to swimireland.ie/open-water or meandthewater.ie #swimming #openwater
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