Win Cressi 5 Mask & Snorkel Set: Tips for Open Water Safety

2016 Sep | By

By Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation


Open water swimming can be one of the most fun and rewarding adventures and workouts there is: great exercise, beautiful scenery and fun for all ages.

Swimming in open water can also be dangerous and risk is always present. Being aware and managing the risks will help you become a confident open water swimmer -- so we partnered with Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation to bring you this blog on open water safety.

The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation hosts an annual open water ocean swim the Safer 3 Ocean Swim, sponsored by Cressi Swim, in Newport Beach, CA. This month, approximately 300 swimmers swam in the event to support the foundation’s water safety and drowning prevention efforts. The open water swim has become a Southern California tradition for many families as the event welcomes novice open water swimmers in a non-competitive environment.

Here are Safer 3’s and Cressi’s top five essential safety tips of open water swimming for novice ocean swimmer:

Knowing the water conditions is the most important factor in open water swimming. Always check the water conditions before entering the water. There will be some days that an open water swim is not safe due to the water conditions. Understand that open water conditions can change hourly.

• Check in with Lifeguards - Be sure to always look for and swim near lifeguards (if available) and know what the safety flags stand for that are displayed at the towers. Ask the lifeguards about the current and weather conditions.
• Understand currents, rip currents, and other open water conditions - Currents are a variable of open water swimming versus pool swimming. Sometimes you won’t know how strong or which direction the current pulls until you get in the water. 
• Train in Open Water - If you have the opportunity to train in the open water, take advantage of it. Pool swimming and open water swimming are very different.
• Understand Sea Life – You are likely to encounter some creatures while swimming in open water. Make a mental plan for what you can do if you encounter any local wildlife. Research which wild life creatures are found in the areas where you train and compete.
• Water Temperature – Open water temperatures are much different than pool temperatures, oftentimes 15-20 degrees colder. Be prepared with the proper gear for cold-water swimming. Beware of the risk and symptoms of suffering from hypothermia.

Swimming in open water can require different gear than swimming in a pool. Have new gear? Don’t wait until race day to try your new goggles, cap, or swim in a wetsuit for the first time. Practice with all of your gear, even if you practice in a pool, put the gear on to understand how it feels.  Practicing with all of your gear will help you identify the areas where your gear might cause blisters and chafing. Use Vaseline or BodyGlide to avoid discomfort during the swim.

We can not stress this point enough – NEVER SWIM ALONE! Even if you are an experienced swimmer, swim with a buddy.  Even if there are lifeguards present, swim with a buddy. Don’t have a friend who swims? Ask a friend to stand-up paddleboard or row a kayak next to you while swimming. The unexpected can happen to even the most experienced swimmer.

Knowing the course is imperative to a successful open water swim. Before the race, check the buoys on the course. It is important to be aware of landmarks that will help guide you in a straight line. Become very familiar with swimming in very close quarters to others.

Open water swimming is one of the most rewarding activities. With proper preparation, you will embrace the challenge.

Where is your favorite place to go open water swimming? Tell us in the comments below and you could win a Cressi Snorkel & Mask Set and Cressi Open Water Goggles! Must reply by October 5 at 11:59pm. One entry per person. Winner selected at random.

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