What to wear open water swimming

Open water swimming, or wild swimming as it is sometimes referred to, has grown in popularity recently as the benefits of cold water dips have become common knowledge. Open-water swimming can take various forms, from competing in triathlons to a quick wintertime sea dip for your health; therefore, what you wear when open-water swimming depends on your purpose for getting in the water.

Do You Need A Wetsuit For Open Water Swimming?

If you intend to swim in your chosen body of water for an extended period, you will require a swimming wetsuit. In the UK, the temperature of the sea is chilly all year round, with general temperatures being 6-10 °C in the winter to 15-20 °C in the summer.  

Therefore, if you are in the water for a while, eventually, you will begin to drastically feel the cold, which will, in turn, slow down your muscles and reduce the speed at which you can swim. If you are training to compete, this is something you won't want. Furthermore, swimming wetsuits add buoyancy to your body, allowing you to stay afloat easier and in the water for longer, perfecting your stroke technique.

Whether you are an open-water swim newbie or an elite age-grouper, Wetsuit Centre has the best selection of swimming wetsuits in stock and ready to ship. Open-water swimming wetsuits are built differently from the traditional wetsuit you are used to seeing out on the water. 

Open-water swimming wetsuits are made specifically for swimmers' needs. Unlike surfing wetsuits that are generally designed with warmth and protection in mind, swimming wetsuits focus on manoeuvrability and streamlining. Our range of open-water swimsuits is high quality and designed by the best swimming wetsuit brands, such as Orca, or Zone3.

Open-Water Swimming Wetsuits  

Although nothing is stopping you from jumping straight into the sea for a swim in nothing but a regular swimsuit, this often isn't a pleasant experience in the UK. Even in the height of summer, the sea can still have a cold chill to it. Therefore, if you like to partake in open-water swimming regularly, you will need a dependable open-water swimming wetsuit. However, not all wetsuits are created equal. 

Entry-Level Swimming Wetsuit 

There are so many fantastic swimming wetsuits on the market for various abilities and functions; however, today, we will look at our favourite entry-level wetsuit. The Orca Hi-Vis swimming wetsuit. A smart purchase for a first-time swimming wetsuit, it is designed to aid you as much as possible while you learn the basic best practices when open-water swimming without breaking the bank. The Orca Hi-Vis is made from 2-2.5mm thick Yamamoto neoprene with an infinity skin high-end internal lining. It is rare to find such high-quality materials in an entry-level suit.

Although every wetsuit carried by Wetsuit Centre is of the highest quality, each is designed with different features and elements. If you are still determining which swimming wetsuit would best fit your requirements, you can read our guide on the best wetsuits for open-water swimming to help you make an informed choice.

Open-Water Swimming Accessories

Once you have gained experience in open-water swimming, you'll soon learn that you can have a much more enjoyable time with a few essential open-water swimming accessories

We offer a massive range of swim goggles to suit every budget and type of swimming activity. Swim goggles work the same as sunglasses, reducing glare while making everything look sharper – and also for exploring underwater! 

 We also have a multitude of swimming caps for sale. Swimming caps help keep you streamlined and remove the drag your hair would have caused, so they can be helpful if you are trying to improve your swim time and beat your record.

Another crucial piece of equipment you will require, especially if you are new to open-water swimming, is a swim buoy. Not only do these help to keep you afloat and in the correct position, but they also assist in ensuring your location can be seen from the shoreline, which can be imperative should you fall into difficulty whilst in the water. 

Cold Water Wild Swimming 

If you are looking to jump into the water for other reasons than improving your open-water swimming technique or training for a triathlon, your needs may be slightly different. There has been a massive growth in the popularity of cold water swimming, as the benefits of stripping down and submerging yourself in cold water are immeasurable. You can also cold water swim in any body of water, whether the sea, a river or a local lake. 

What To Wear Wild Swimming 

To reap the benefits of cold water wild swimming, you are best not to wear a wetsuit, as one of the purposes of this activity is to improve your circulation and immune system, which is best achieved when you brave the cold in just your swimsuit

However, when you emerge from the water victorious over the cold, you will want to wrap yourself in something nice and cosy before seeking a hot cup of tea or coffee. We have a range of changing robes available that are perfect to jump into to warm up.

For those who are more serious about your open-water swimming and are looking to compete in triathlons and events, we also stock a range of high-performance wetsuits that can help you shave those precious seconds off your swim time. 

High-Performance Triathlon Wetsuits 

Triathlons are incredibly demanding, combining the skills and determination of an athlete to swim, run and bike some of the most impressive terrains. With incredible Triathlons taking place worldwide, the specific requirements for your triathlon suit will depend on where you are competing. 

This sequential endurance competition requires more than willpower – you will also need a dedicated triathlon wetsuit. Alongside men's triathlon wetsuits and unisex wetsuits, we offer a specifically designed women's triathlon wetsuit range to fit the curves of a woman's body and streamline her performance. 

Whether you're looking for a women's triathlon wetsuit, a male-specific wetsuit or unisex gear, our triathlon wetsuit range is sure to provide you with a product to suit your requirements.

Triathlon Training Equipment 

Even being slowed down for a second can negatively impact a swimmer's competition results. The more you get into your swimming, the more swim training equipment offers you to build strength, improve your technique and remain safe in the water. We provide a vast range of swim training equipment from leading brands such as Orca, Zone3 and Blu Smooth.

For further information regarding any of the products mentioned above or to seek wetsuit fitting advice, please contact Wetsuit Centre today; we are always happy to help. If you are just getting started in open-water swimming, check out our zone 3 guide to open-water swimming for beginners!