Make 2017 the year you try open water swimming
There’s never been a better time to go wild.
Wild or open water swimming is the perfect way to take your swimming in a different direction, and see the beauty of the lakes from a whole new perspective.
To help get you on your way, we’ve teamed up with Swim The Lakes to tackle some common questions about giving wild swimming a try.
It could open a whole new world for you - letting you confidently go for a dip in a river or lake, try a swimming holiday, or even take part in a swimming event!
Pete Kelly, Director of Swim the Lakes, says:
"Open water swimming is a great way to explore the outdoors from a totally different perspective, its freedom, adventure and fun all rolled together.
"There are risks of course, as with any sport, and swimming alone is not recommended, but there’s never a dull moment and the views are breathtaking".
With the Lake District on our doorstep you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to wild swimming.
There are plenty of clear lakes and tempting tarns of all sizes to choose from, including Buttermere, Windermere and Crummock Water - all with no lane ropes, no walls and no opening times.
Swimming wetsuits are ideal. Sesigned solely for swimming, they are made of soft flexible neoprene and wearing one helps insulate against the cold and keeps you buoyant.
Surfer's wetsuits are not suitable, as these can restrict your arms and don’t provide the same buoyancy and warmth.
While you’ll need to be a competent swimmer, you don’t have to be a superstar to take on open water – it’s a fairly simple transition from the pool. However the main challenges you’ll face are currents, weeds, varying water temperatures and, of course, the weather.
“If you want to do open water swimming you really do need to practice outdoors to acclimatise and get yourself used to the different environment and feelings" says Pete.
“The more you do it, the better you’ll be and more addictive it becomes".
Pete recommends joining an introduction to open water swimming course, such as the half day courses which Swim the Lakes run throughout the summer.
"Our introduction courses are very popular, fun and informative. We take you from no-idea to no-fear in one session, everybody always enjoys themselves” says Pete.
"The introduction courses are only the start of what can be an amazing journey, the open water swimming community is like one big family it really is a friendly sport and swimmers easily find others to swim with, and of course there’s always plenty of tea and cake".
To win yourself a free place on Swim The Lakes Introduction to Open Water Swimming course, just fill in the form below!