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by Elaine K Howley

July 9, 2014

What you should know about open water swimming

Introduction to Open Water Swimming

See that out there? That wide-open expanse of blue loveliness? That’s open water. No walls. No lane lines. And best of all, no black line here.

If you’re new to open water swimming, there are some things you should know before you take your first plunge into that inviting blue yonder. This series of articles aims to provide would-be and new open water swimmers with the most basic information they need to feel confident joining in this beautiful sport that has growing international appeal.

Seems every day a new race or event appears on the docket, with throngs of swimmers clambering to the starting line. There are growing opportunities for Masters swimmers interested in making the leap from the concrete cell to the wilds of open water. 

Open water swimming is an inviting, inclusive sport, where being competitive isn’t restricted to being the fastest; maybe you can outlast the others, or maybe there are no others in your chosen event and it’s you against yourself. Those can be the toughest events of all. Dedicated open water swimmers also tend to be a welcoming, if a bit wacky, bunch, eager to share their knowledge and have new swimmers join them at their favorite swimming spots. From lakes and ponds to rivers and oceans, there’s bound to be some water near you that’s open and ready to be explored.

Are you ready to dive in? Great! Let’s go!


  • Open Water


  • Open Water