Before the session, try swimming in your goggles so you know they fit comfortably. This will ensure you’re not distracted by goggle malfunction during the session. Locally you can find good goggles as Sessions.
Either bring your own cap, or you can purchase one of our high-quality Wild Edge Swim caps in orange for £7.
Wetsuit (read more at the bottom of this page)
Please wear a full-body wetsuit that is at least 3.2mm thick (known as ‘full summer’ in the UK).
Swimming without a wetsuit may be possible by prior arrangement if you have evidence of race times from specific ‘skins’ competing events).
These are available from chemists or online and help to prevent ear infections and conditions such as surfer’s ear. Ear plugs can also reduce some causes of dizziness when swimming.
Essential for visibility and useful for longer swim trips, I recommend Puffin floats, which are made from recycled plastic.
- Lots of warm, loose layers of clothing, packed away in the right order for speedy dressing.
- Woolly hat and gloves or mittens.
- Full-length water/windproof coat.
- Hot drink and sugary snacks (in case you require instant energy- fruit based alternatives readily available).
If attending late spring or autumn courses, you may need to use a thicker suit, or may need to consider using either a thermal rash vest or if applicable to your principles a merino base layer used for walking, to go under the wetsuit. The merino base layer is by far the warmer option of the two suggestions. Worn over the top of a normal rash vest, this avoids the regular irritation from wool directly on the skin.
For all courses swimmers may need to have their hands and feet covered, as the course sessions are at least 30 mins in the water, not in the act of continuous swimming.
Those people who suffer from Raynauds syndrome would most likely need to ensure they bring wetsuit socks and gloves.
Choosing a wetsuit
When ordering a made-to-measure wetsuit, it’s important to specify what stroke you will be swimming (eg mainly front crawl/breaststroke etc). Contrary to what you may have heard or read, positively buoyant wetsuits (which have thicker panels on the bottom/lower torso) do not make open-water swimming easier. In fact, the standard ‘triathlete’ wetsuits that have a thicker middle area can create lower back issues.
I concur with Olympic silver medallist and world champion open water swimmer Kerri-Anne Payne, who says no swimmer needs a positively buoyant wetsuit to achieve a good front crawl body position; you just need good technique!
Remember a wetsuit needs to feel tight when put on dry out of the water for it to be a good fit once wet. But you still need it to fit your dimensions.
If you’d like WILD EDGE SWIM’s advice on how to choose the right wetsuit, ahead of a session/course you’ve booked on to, drop us an email at email@example.com it can be an expensive purchase so I’d be happy to help.