My Top OPEN WATER SWIMMING Essentials

I am frequently asked what kit i use for open water swimming and with the amount on the market it can be a fairly confusing and frustrating task, so here are my top picks.

Goggles

I can’t tell people often enough what a difference a good comfortable pair of goggles makes. if your goggles are scratched, leaking and steaming up then you need a new pair.

My favourite type of goggles are the Swedish Goggles. Many people are shocked by the fact that these have no silicone cushioning around the outside and yes they can leave you with pretty extreme goggle marks but not only are they cheap, they are highly customizable (they come completely unbuilt so you make them to fit for your face), they provide a terrific field of vision, they are so comfortable once you get used to the plastic eye socket and they make you look like a pro in the water.

If you are not a fan of goggle marks and prefer the silicone cushioning around the socket the HUUB Aphotic are a super goggle. They are light reactive and darken in bright light so these are great for all conditions. These are not what i’d call a racing goggle so if you are looking for something a little more sleek then check out the HUUB Lurz which are mirrored and have a low profile.

Wetsuit

I absolutely love swimming in my wetsuit. I feel, buoyant and fast and kinda sexy too 🤣 

I’ve had various brands over the years, Blue Seventy, Orca, HUUB, dhb, Speedo, Arena, Sumarpo

Swimming wetsuits are different from general use wetsuits. They are usually thinner and made from a open cell foam neoprene that is a lot more stretchy helping with flexibility. They also have a slippery outer layer that lets you glide through the water faster. The downside of this thinner stretchier neoprene is they can be delicate and prone to holes.

I like to have race suits and training/coaching suits so that i don’t put holes in the expensive ones.

Last season i raced in the the HUUB Race open water wetsuit which i loved. Its design was sleek and it was beautiful to swim in. It does have quite thick buoyancy panels in the thigh which as a decent swimmer i didn’t really need but it didn’t bother me too much. I used the dhb entry level suit for coaching and general training.

This season i went for Arena Storm for competitions. Its sooooo beautiful and i love how comfy it is, the buoyancy is spot on but perhaps slightly long in the body for me though (im 5’3″ so quite short). I have been lucky this year to partner up with Tri Wetsuit Hire who have loaned me wetsuits from the gorgeous Orca range. I have to say the Orca Athlex Flex may just be one of my all time favourites. It thin and flexible, easy to put on and just feels snazzy, i now have the Orca Thermal for the winter so i’m looking forward to wearing that. If you are considering buying a wetsuit but don’t know where to start give them a call and perhaps renting one for the season may be the best option.

Anti Chafing Cream

Every now and then I get a little wetsuit chafe. It’s usually caused by bad technique but hey it happens.

I am totally in love with this, plastic free, plant based, cruelty free, wetsuit safe, eco friendly brand OCEAN LUBE

I put it on every swim around the neck and my daughter likes to put it in the crest of the arm, under the armpit and on the back of the knee. It helps her wetsuit glide on too and gives the wetsuit a little help to move into the right position. 

Swim Suits

Until recently i’ve been a speedo girl but upon discovering the funky, quirky patterns of the Budgy Smugglers and Smugletts range i have more and more in my collection.

They are not the cheapest on the market so i still buy inexpensive training suits for the pool but he patterns are so fun with lots of tongue in cheek designs, my husband and i even have a matching ensemble.

They offer a few styles, thin strap one piece, thick strap one piece and and two piece options. Check them out Budgy Smugglers

Change Robe

If you are an open water swimmer you may have already been a party to the never ending debate over which brand is best and are they worth it?

Lets just discuss what they actually are. A great big jacket that keeps/helps you warm, some can dry you, most are big enough to get changed under and some are waterproof.

Is the cost worth it? well for me 100% YES. I have used a long sleeve DRY ROBE branded jacket for 8 years and i love it. My kids have the short sleeve DRY ROBES too. I also own a Passenger change robe and i also love that one and to be honest i’d probably love most of them out there on the market. I don’t particularly use mine to dry myself but i can get undressed and into my wetsuit and dressed again after pretty darn quickly using my robe.

Bright Swim Hat and Tow Float

These are an absolute must for safety. I of course wear Fish 2 Water branded neon silicone swim hats, they are so bright and easy to put on. If its cold i double up and wear 2.

The HUUB Safety/ Tow Float is also a staple in my bag. I put my phone (in a dry case), a drink and snack in there and i can be seen all along the coast. There are many other brands out there that sell floats but not all floats have compartments inside so look out for that.

Wooly Hat

As we lose so much heat through our heads i always have a wooly hat in my bag. When i get out i keep on my swim hat and put my wooly hat over the top until i’m dry and dressed and then i take the swim hat off and usually my hair is quite dry.

My hat of choice is of course the Fish 2 Water fleece lined wooly hats that come in a variety of colors and are so cosy and warm. Get yourself one here in the Fish 2 Water Shop

Swim Gloves and Socks

I love to swim without gloves and socks when but when the water temperature drops its an absolute must. I like the 3mm HUUB gloves and swim socks. they go on really easy and are just the right thickness to offer the warmth i need in water cooling to about 7 degree celsius. The gloves don’t have a strap around the wrist which i prefer as i find the straps too fiddly. The socks are split toe so you can wear flip flops with then if you like, it’s a great look trust me.

Thank YOU!

As a thank you for reading my blog all the way to the end here is 10% off MY SHOP during December 2022 (does not include gift vouchers or items on sale).

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