Top Five Items You Need when Open Water Swimming

Open water swimmingOpen water swimming is completely different from swimming in a pool, mainly due the difference in water temperatures which cannot be controlled outdoors. It’s for this reason that before you take your first open water plunge, there are some essential items that you will need to make this swim as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

Sharks Swim Shop Open Water Recommendations

Sharks Swim Shop recommends the following essential pieces of swimming kit for both newbie and experienced open water swimmers:

  • Swimming Cap:  It’s vital that whenever you go swimming in open water you wear a brightly coloured silicone or neoprene cap.  Not only will the cap keep your head warm, but it will also ensure that you are easily visible in the water.
  • Open water swimmingWetsuit: A wetsuit is also essential to keep you warm, even during the summer months, particularly as the UK is not known for warm water temperatures. What’s more, a wetsuit will help make you buoyant in the water, which is safer and helps you to swim faster. We recommend that if you’re not used to swimming in open water that you practice a few times before a race or a big event.  A wetsuit changes the position of your body in the water, so practise will help you get used to swimming when you wear one.  Be wary of wearing an ill-fitting suit as it can make you fight the water rather than swim. At Sharks Swim Shop we offer a wetsuit fitting service to ensure your suit fits perfectly to help you perform at your best.
  • Boots, gloves and socks: these three pieces of open water swimming kit all have the same results. In cold water you will need to keep your hands and feet warm to avoid illness or injury, so it’s perfectly acceptable to wear boots, socks and gloves. However, you should also look for a balance between keeping warm and being able to swim properly. The team at Sharks Swim Shop will be able to advise you on what will best suit your needs.
  • Open Water swimmingGoggles: comfortable goggles are a must-have piece of open water swimming kit; and those with a lot of rubber will increase your comfort. If the day is bright you might want to consider tinted or mirrored lenses to help block the sun and let you see more clearly.
  • Lubricant or anti-chafe stick: a wetsuit can get uncomfortable during a long swim as it rubs against your skin and can create uncomfortable rashes. Lubricant or an anti-chafe stick can help to prevent this from happening, making your swim more comfortable. These sticks hold a wax-like substance that helps protect your skin from irritation. You apply the stick same way as deodorant and this product is available from Sharks Swim shop too.

Sharks Swim Shop

As mentioned, Sharks Swim Shop stocks all of the above kit for adults and children to help you to enjoy your open water swimming events.

In addition to these five items, we also stock a wider range of accessories including race belts and tow floats.

To see our full range of open water swimming products, you can visit our shop in Sketty or order online at

Open water swimming


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