There is a fantastic buzz around keeping active is open water swimming. During lockdown it became a huge trend and as our world returns to ‘normality’ this activity continues to gain dedicated followers.
So, what is open water swimming and why has it becoming so popular?
Sometimes called wild swimming, lake swimming or here at Yonda we like to call it ‘social swimming’, it’s all about enjoying a swim in the great outdoors, taking in your surroundings, often with likeminded people and feeling great to be alive! With so many benefits for both your body and mind it’s hard not to want to join in. However, there are some key points to think about when starting out:
- Research where you plan to swim, find out if there’s a local group who meet there so you could join them the first time and get the local low down! Social media is a great place to find these groups as social swimming has gained a great community following. Search Facebook for groups and pages in your local area and there’s bound to be a great location nearby.
- Always know your entry and exit points and check for currents, tide times and weather conditions. Pay close attention to any warning signs and make sure you’re not taking unnecessary risks. Yonda sell a highly visible swim safety buoy which is ideal for when you’re in the water. It has a whistle and includes a waterproof phone case to keep your phone close if you get into trouble.
- If swimming alone be sure that someone knows where you are going.
What kit do I need to start outdoor swimming?
With all that in mind you now need to get some kit! Wild swimmers favour two main options, swimsuit or wetsuits and this depends on personal preference (and also the time of year for some!) We believe the following items are kit essentials:
Finding the right wetsuit
When starting out you may prefer to enjoy the water in a wetsuit, let’s face it if you’re swimming in the UK the water will be chilly! A wetsuit has the benefits of giving you warmth, buoyancy and protection. Yonda’s Spook wetsuit is the perfect first wetsuit for those who want to get out into the wild & enjoy open water swimming. Ideal for breaststroke swimmers, it supports you with extra buoyancy and helps you gain confidence in the water. It’s also been specifically designed with colour blocking enabling you to be clearly seen in wild landscapes, a key safety feature.
As wetsuits support your swim, you may find that you have extra energy and find it easier to stay afloat if you’re not yet a strong swimmer.
Swimming ‘skins’ rather than in a wetsuit
You may have seen many swimmers take to the water in all weathers wearing just a swimsuit (or less!) and a bobble hat. This is a trend that allows you to feel the water, move freely and gain confidence. However, be sure to acclimatise to the temperature of the water slowly to avoid shock.
A swim cap
Although this might initially sound odd, a silicone swim cap will keep you warm and help you be spotted in the water. Yonda make a high quality, high grade silicone cap that is available in 7 colours, including neon green, bright pink, aqua, orange, white – all of these will help you to remain visible in the water.
The Yonda ice cap places a huge focus on thermal properties to prevent heat escaping from your head, and comfort. Using the latest technologies by the world’s leading neoprene manufacturer Yamamoto, the ice cap is made from 100 SCS Metal where Titanium alloy is applied to SCS low friction skin which ensures ultra-high thermal insulation.
Neoprene gloves and booties
You’ll find these to be key kit! Keeping the extremities warm is vital to staying safe and enjoying your wild swim. A neoprene bootie that fits snugly will insulate against the cold water, a bootie with textured outsole provides traction helping to protect your feet in rocky waters. The same applies to your hands, a well – designed neoprene glove will deliver maximum warmth while being non-water absorbent, allowing you to maintain your stroke and enjoy the water for longer.
Yonda only uses sustainable Yamamoto limestone neoprene in our products – meaning that you can also make an eco-friendly choice when swimming.
Yonda Sports is a great place to get your kit together, there are some Bundle offers too and additional items such as the Yoncho changing robe to keep you snug pre and post swim. So now all you need to do is get out there!