Every level of swimmer can benefit from some tips on how to swim outdoors safely and comfortably – we’ve pulled together the essential information to help you on your next (or first!) open water swim…
A swim-suit, goggles, swim cap, sunscreen and water bottle would be the bare minimum kit required for the open water. Wetsuit’s can provide buoyancy as well as slickness - they can be great for boosting your confidence and performance in the water. Just make sure to use some Vaseline or Trislide to help reduce chafing. Please note that in ASA open water events wetsuits are compulsory when the water temperature drops below 17.9 degrees Celsius.
Pick your place
After a teenager filmed a 9ft shark in St Ives harbour on Monday we believe it’s more important than ever to choose your wild swimming spots carefully!
From Windermere and Coniston Water to the quieter lakes of Grasmere and Buttermere, the Lake District is host to some of the best open water swimming locations in the UK. Looking for somewhere in the South? Head to the River Dart in the Dartmoor National Park for a wild river swim or why not try Colliford Lake, the highest and largest in Cornwall.
Home of the Great Scottish Swim and the largest expanse of freshwater Great Britain has to offer, Loch Lomond is the perfect choice in Scotland. Looking for somewhere quiet and romantic? Try Loch an Eileen, situated at the foot of the Cairngorms.
Fine tune your technique
Open water swimming can be split into four different techniques; sighting, leg-kicking, reach & glide and breathing.
1. Sighting is picking a fixed object to concentrate on in the direction you want to swim. Frequent sighting (every 6 or 7 strokes) enables you to keep in a straight line, costing you less energy and time to get to the same place.
2. The aim with leg-kicking should be to flutter high in the water in order to reduce drag and conserve energy.
3. Reach & glide - as you reach forward to pull, take advantage of the glide before making your next stroke.
4. Practice breathing on both sides, so that you can comfortably switch to left or right if the water is choppy.
We spoke to world-record swimmer and ASA Advanced Swimming Teacher Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE for in-depth advice on open water swimming...
Improve your technique 5 tips for open water swimming
Swim training camps
Joining a training camp in the UK, Europe or beyond can be a great method of improving your open water swimming technique, confidence and experience.
Winter Swimming Weekend in Scotland
Expect breathtaking scenery, life-affirming sea temperatures, cosy home-cooked food and comfortable accommodation on this winter open water swimming weekend in Scotland.
Windermere Open Water Swim Camp
Your coach will be Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE - her personalised approach, small group size and extensive knowledge make this swimming camp in Windermere ideal for any level of open water swimmer.
Swim Training with an Olympic Medallist
Come to the world famous resort of Club La Santa and enjoy swim technique sessions with Olympic open water swimming medallist Cassie Patten.
Open water swimming events
Mix exercise with adventure in spectacular locations and create days and weekends to remember in the great outdoors.
Great Scottish Swim
Swim in the beautiful surroundings of mountains, wildlife, forests & glens – secure your FREE place now in the Great Scottish Swim with Macmillan Cancer Support.
Dive in to this fantastic open water swim in the Serpentine, made famous by the Brownlees – Samuel’s Charity are now offering FREE places and star treatment to get the most out of your experience.
Looking for more inspiration?
Check out our full selection of open water swimming events using the link below.
ALL OPEN WATER SWIMS