DNOWS Header

Image Map

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Swimsuit Differences Between Pool And Open Water Swimming

Andrew Dampf of The Associated Press wrote an article about how no pool world swimming records could be set this year, for the first time since FINA has been keeping records in 1908.

Over 100 years and no world records were set for the first time ever - entirely due to the use of the very fast buoyant technical swimsuits with compression panels available in 2008 - 2009.

The technical swimsuits caused grat alarm among pool coaches around the world and complaints about the lack of credibility and equality in pool swimming built to a thundering cresendo until FINA modified its rules.

Similarly, competitive masters swimmers and many marathon swimmers were not happy that technical swimsuits and wetsuits were allowed at some open water events and used by some open water swimmers.

But, interestingly, the similarities between the pool and open water swimming world vis-a-vis swimsuits ended abruptly this year.

While the pool swimming world immediately shifted to the textile swimsuits and hoards of competitive, age-group and masters swimmers were left with an expensive, but non-legal, inventory of technical swimsuits in their closets, the sport of open water swimming continued to appeal to a growing audience.

While some open water competitions outlawed technical swimsuits, others allowed wetsuits. While some open water competitions permitted wetsuits under certain temperatures, extreme cold-water swimming is at an all-time global popularity. While some swimmers sniffed at swimmers clad in wetsuits, growing masses of swimmers in wetsuits gathered along the shorelines of oceans, seas and lakes around the world.

An open water swimmer can compete in sanctioned races in one type of swimsuit, do a solo channel swim in another type of swimsuit and wear another type in invitational or mass participation swims. Open water swimmers often find themselves adapting to different swimsuit standards just as they must adapt to different water conditions.

In other words, as the pool swimming world quickly coalesced under one global textile swimsuit standard (with minor variations and interpretations), the open water swimming shifted gears and went the entire other way - to a totally decentralized community with an unprecedented and increasing ability to offer competitions that appeal to all levels of interests, abilities, ages, water temperatures and swimsuit standards.

So instead of being exclusive of new equipment and swimsuits, the open water swimming community became inclusive - of all types, interests, levels and swimmers.

There are reasons for open water's growth and this flexibility and acceptance is one.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program