Open Water Swimming

Suppose you are just phenomenal in indoor swimming pool racing. That does not mean your open water swimming gonna be incredible for you! The indoor close water swimming and the OWS both are different in skill, strength, and practice pattern.

The fact is if you can swim 30 minutes nonstop in the closed water swimming, most probably you could make it 15 minutes in the open water swimming. ‘Strong open-water swimmers have the ability to change their stroke depending on the conditions – for example, a change in current, being hit by a wave, or if they are swimming alongside someone,’ says Langridge.

So open water swimming is not same as the pool swimming. So you need to gather all the required info about OWS. And we are here to provide you with details about OWS (all rules and safety). Will try to tell you also how to swim faster in the open water. Let’s jump in

tips open water swimming

Open Water Swimming-Rules & Safety

Why we are here with OWS rules and safety? Because open water swimming or swimming in deep water is not like pool swimming. This is usually a beginner’s guide so that they are supposed to know the right direction to become successful open-water swimmers. Open water swimming leads to being with the open nature (in the ocean or river).

It also make you relief from any mental and physical stress. When you are in deep boredom with your regular routine, an open water swim could make you cheer just a few times. However, Knowing the potential dangers of open water, and preparing your shelves to be safe from those dangers is one of the critical things.

Drowning is the main fear of OWS. you will not believe more than 75% of drowning in swimming areas occur in the open water. Swimmers become too tired or fatigued in the open water too. Long swimming rarely makes the swimmers happy always. In severe cases, OWS also could force the swimmers to face the cramp too!

As no lifeguard could take along with the OWS, no professional assistance also could get in the hand immediately, so if any swimmers got in trouble in the middle of the open water, the situation got worsen practically. So what to do to avoid all safety issues with the open water swim?

  • Check the open water quality. It will protect you free from getting attacked by parasites, flue, rashes, itching and so many like these. You can get the water quality information from the Municipalities or from the open water authority. So what to do if the water quality does not match with you? Do you still want to swim over there? If the answer is yes, then take as many safety precautions as possible for you (like safety goggles, ear plugs, nose clips, and two swimming caps). Do not inhale the open water.
  • If you are alone, inform someone that you are going where to swim. Arranging a group trip for OWS is the most appreciable matter.
  • Take a whistle and an emergency floating device with you so that you can beat any challenging or life-threatening condition in the open water. Though it is difficult to get emergency assistance in the open water, try to be strong-minded in the worst situation.
  • Do not make yourself invisible when you are swimming in the open water. Several boaters, other swimmers, and fishers also may be present around you, so avoid your poor visibility to your surrounding people.
  • Prepare yourself to face sea hazards. Especially the shark is the most dangerous sea hazard you must need to look after on which. Ensure the sea coaster is always clear and gets all the updates from the responsive websites.
  • Never swim in the dark. Never swim too far. Also never swim in tough weather. Intoxicated water is also on the list, do not swim over there.

How to Improve Open Water Swimming

OWS performance could be improved with Front Crawl! So why Front Crawl? Because it is an energy enhancer, boosts up OWS speed efficiently. But if you are a newbie, and dame caring about swimming speed, you can choose any freestyle stroke that suits you. Only bypass the backstroke. backstroke often gives distress in open water swimming, floating on the back is tough obviously!

Swim as straight as you can. Keep your body and head straight and relaxed. Try not to over-move your head, if it moves, obviously, your whole body will move. So it could destroy your speedy stroke and also could make trouble your bilateral strength. Think you are swimming following the train line under you, it will help you to overcome the upcoming challenge. Besides this, you can easily hold on to your course then too.

Some obstacles, like fighting with the algae forest, and swimming with the duck team. Even your fellow swimmers may give you such obstacles which may be slightly visible but enough aggressive to destroy your OWS speed. So be careful about these slightly visible obstacles, and prepare yourself so that you can easily overcome any of these when you are in the race.

You can also follow the buoys to make your course straight. Also, be caring about every third stroke of your swim so that you can get the swim rhythm with a higher stroke rate. It is a tricky way to speed up the OWS usually.

Langridge advises. ‘In still water, act like a crocodile – have your eye out of the water but your nose and mouth in. This will keep your head still and help you stay on course.

There is no alternative to enclosed swim practice. Try to arrange this training 4 or 5 times a week. Though both the environment is not alike. But the swimming pool toppers never be the last swimmer in any OWS event. Hope you understand.

To increase your leg immobility, wear an ankle band. Also, you can use a round tire or buoy around your ankle. It will not only make your leg immobilize on swimmy but also will increase your arm turnover.

If you are a newbie, have some on your pool sight. Practice upon sighting. Tell that person to hold the fingers up so that you can count the fingers after each stroke. However, counting in such a way will increase your stroke rate thus speeding up the swim too.

The thumb rule for open-water swimming is, swimmers have to move less their legs with an enhanced arm turnover. This is perfect for balance and efficiency. If you can control both of these things, you can be strong, and steady on each current/chop.

Also, do not forget to wear a wetsuit. Though many swimmers stipulate this thing when the temperature falls down than 16 degrees, it is important to wear a long-sleeve wetsuit in that case.

A wetsuit is the right equipment-provides additional buoyancy when you drive across the water. A properly fitted wetsuit is a must. Otherwise, it could impede your whole OWS race. Cover your whole shoulders along with your hip. Make sure you have enough room to be comfortable. The shoulder fitting should be such a way, you can go for a minimum 10-arm turnover without feeling any draggy of your wetsuit.

For summer swimming or for the triathlons, you can go in a 3 mm thickened wet suit. However, additional precautions, like you can wear socks, and gloves to stop the materials damage your nails. Before giving the first dive into the water, splash a little bit of water inside your wetsuit. It will prevent your wetsuit to stack on your body skin. So you will not feel any sucker feel. Also, you will be able to acclimatize to the water temperature.

If you ask about other helpful OWS gear, a yes swim cap is a must. Also, I suggest taking two safety gloves. Open water swims on a dark day, wear clear goggles. Open water swims on a clear sunny day-wear the dark gloves.

What to do when fear strikes on the open water swimming

It is not uncommon to get attacked by fear when you are alone swimming with your open body. Fear is such a bad thing, could finish you in a while, especially in the open water. However, there are a few simple tricks by which you could avoid your fear of an open water swim.

  • At first, try to avoid any unnecessary thinking. Nothing going to kill you, or eat you in the open water till you are fighting properly.
  • Take the whole control of your breathing. Try to take a long breath, and then expel the air as much as possible from your nose.
  • Focus on your exit point, and try to swim toward there. Do not make a hurry. Just relax, and slowly swim towards the beach.
  • Take a rest by back floating. Think about the good swim memory you already earned. Also, think about your friends and family. It will impact well to remove the fear.
  • Looks around you, and try to find any assistance from your nearby swimmers or other boat traffic.


What is swimming in open water called?

The alternate name for open water swimming is wild swimming. This type of swimming usually takes place in outdoor open water like the sea, lake, or river. It’s also a part of triathlons/marathon swims.

Is it hard to swim in open water?

It depends on you. Because the swimmers have to expend more energy in the open water for a long time. So the water quality, if it is cold, if sea hazards are more here, so it going to be really tough. However, when the swimmers are a hard intention to win the open water, it rarely becomes harder for him/her.

Is swimming in open water good for you?

Yes, it is good! Swimming in open water not only relieves you from your mental stress or continuous boredom. It also makes you close to the open nature deeply.


Have you finished reading our today’s session on Open water swimming? So what is your next plan? As you already become a master of knowing how to swim on the open water, let’s give a trial on the open water on your next weekend.

Good luck!

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