Booicore Guide to Open Water Swimming

Booicore Guide to Open Water Swimming

By Anita Rosebury

| Apr 16 , 2018

According to Statista, the number of people swimming in England on a monthly basis is 4.18million. We know how popular swimming is because a large number of people who buy our beach changing robe use it after swimming. If you are one of these 4.18million people who is swimming on a monthly basis, then maybe swimming in your local leisure centre pool may have got a bit boring. If you are up for more adventure, then why not try open water swimming? Here is our round-up of all the things you need to know before you take the plunge:

Practice Makes Perfect

First things first, you need to be a fairly confident swimmer in the first place. Make sure you are a strong pool swimmer, to begin with before you even think about venturing into open water. You can also practice in the pool to simulate some of the conditions you will face in the open water.

To start with you should practice swimming continuously for longer.  When you are in open water, there are no walls to take a respite on. So, start off by swimming 150 metres continuously without stopping and without touching the pool walls at each end. Keep trying to extend the distance you can go each time until you build up your strength and stamina to be able to swim 300m without stopping (just to be on the safe side).

Wear a Wetsuit

One big difference between swimming in a pool and swimming in open water is the temperature - swimming outdoors is much, much colder so you will need a wetsuit. Wearing a wetsuit will not only insulate you against the cold but also help with buoyancy as well. When purchasing a wetsuit, you need to get one that is quite snug, almost to the point of being uncomfortable because if it is too loose it will take on water and you don't want that!

Getting the wetsuit on is a whole adventure in itself! You need to get your feet in first (obviously) and then roll it up, inch by inch. Don't try to treat it like a pair of trousers and pull from the waist or hips as you will end up in a world of pain! Ideally you could do with a friend to help you, not least because they can zip your wetsuit up for you, saving you from pulling your shoulders.

Join a Group

Friends are also useful as you don't want to swim in open water by yourself in case you get into difficulty. The temperature and choppiness of some open water can take you by surprise sometimes. If none of your friends are into open water swimming, then why not join an open water swimming club? Many of these clubs are set up all over the country for swimmers of all levels and some also have coaches who will help you with your swimming technique as well. Many of the clubs also offer wetsuit hire as well, in case you are concerned that it is not going to be the sport for you! You can find a good list of open water swimming venues here.

If you want to grab your own beach changing robe to use after swimming or to help with ‘operation wetsuit’, or even a kids poncho towel, then grab one today. If you want to drop us a line to say hi, then please email us at or, you can call us on 01625 520017 during office hours.