Tips On What To Wear When Open Water Swimming

Today I’m sharing a very entertaining and helpful post that was recently written by Elaine Howly, published on Athleta Chi – sharing her tips on what NOT to wear when taking part in open water swimming.

Here are some tips and tricks for finding the right suit for your next adventure. (Please note, I’m referencing one-piece bathing suits below; like most competitive open water swimmers I know, I prefer wearing one-piece suits, but quietly envy the women who can flaunt it prettily in a training bikini!)

  • Choose the best fabric type and durability for your needs. On first touch, most swimsuit fabrics feel about the same: smooth and silky. But on closer inspection—the kind of intimate contact your tender skin will make with any fabric over a long swim session—there are vast differences in the way different types of fabrics will feel and wear against your skin.For open water events, especially long ones in excess of an hour or two, I prefer lycra or spandex-based suits. These are not as durable over time when exposed to chlorine, but in open water, they are much more comfortable than polyester or blend fabrics that don’t stretch as much and can chafe. Especially when swimming in salt water, expect to be chafed somewhere on your body regardless of the fabric; the salt acts as sandpaper against the skin and can rub raw welts along points of contact between your suit and your skin. Add that to rougher fabric, and you’ll have “bathing suit hickeys,” i.e. painful red welts, for days after your swim. (Not attractive, and by golly do they sting when you get in the shower.)

There are more tips from Elaine, so continue reading her advice on what to wear when open water swimming here.

Open water swimming can be gruelling, so it is important to not only wear the appropriate swimming outfit for comfort … but also for the water, environment, your safety and protection.

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