9 Open Water Swimming Tips | Swim Skills For Beginners
How to swim in open water. Tips for beginners
Swimming in a pool or pond makes a big difference. Many are completely unable to confidently swim in open water. We asked the swimmer Alexander Bazanov from the X-waters team for advice on how to swim in open water. They will be useful both for those who are preparing for the first competition and for those who are just going to the sea.
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Like many things in our life, it's all about habit. Swimming in open water is not difficult, but there are some nuances. If you are ready for them, then open water will not bring any significant problems and surprises.
Fear of water
Many beginners have irrational fears. They can be different: open space, depth, dark color of water, or even fantastic creatures that want to eat you are scary. There are several solutions to this problem. You can take a safety buoy, or better a partner, with you. This will help you overcome your fear. Well, or you can look fear in the eyes and just be afraid, that is, swim and see that there is nothing terrible.
In the pool we swim along the path, but in open water we nothing holds back and beginners often begin to swim in zig-zags. The solution is one thing - find yourself a landmark and swim towards it. The landmark should be noticeable. If you need to correct your route or you have reached a landmark, select a new one. In order not to lose sight of the reference point, learn to separate inhalation and orientation. Do not try to see it as you inhale, it is better to raise your head straight and correct the movement.
Waves can seriously interfere with swimming, but you can adjust to them. First of all, learn to breathe on both sides so that you can breathe in and not be afraid to swallow water because of the wave. The second important advice is to soften your hand on the carry, so when a wave hits your hand, you will not be turned around and you will not injure your hand.
Any open body of water has a current, even the weakest ... The first and foremost advice here is to accept it and not try to fight it. You will inevitably be blown away a little while you swim, but trying to swim against the current will only waste a lot of energy. The most efficient way, if you are swimming from coast to coast, is always to orient yourself perpendicular to the coast.
If the water is below 18 degrees, it is better to swim in a wetsuit. To choose a wetsuit, you can rent it and choose the right one. Do not buy a wetsuit that is not for swimming, it will be uncomfortable because it is designed for other purposes. If the water is below 14 degrees, be sure to go in advance and try to adapt, wipe your face with water so that it does not prick or cramp. If the suit is cold, wear a neoprene helmet, and special socks and gloves will also help to keep warm. Monitor your well-being ifhypothermia, stop and take a breath, perhaps it is better to interrupt the swim here if the symptoms persist.
How to understand that you are hypothermic in water
There are several symptoms of hypothermia in water: feeling cold, uncontrolled swallowing of water, nausea, arrhythmia, darkening in the eyes, broken trajectory and slow movements. If you feel these symptoms or see that a swimmer nearby is hypothermic, take action.