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Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Thick Skin Of Open Water Swimmers

Extreme swimmers, ice swimmers, channel swimmers and marathon swimmers seem to have thick skin. While they explore the outer boundaries of what is physically possible, these aquatic adventurers apparently truly have thick skin.

Bryan Finlay of Solo Swims of Ontario recalls, "In my experience, there is a particular feature of some ultra-marathon swimmers that I have noticed over the years.

It came from my observations in the 1960s while conducting studies on the biomechanics of skin. On a number of these long-term cold-water-tolerant swimmers, it is difficult to create a Skin Fold to measure skin thickness; their subcutaneous fat and possibly other tissues seem to be more intimately attached to the dermis

[The swimmers] apparently have Thick Skin - which is great for maintaining the temperature gradient between their core and surrounding water."

But it appears this physical characteristic is a gift, not a form of protection to develop. As Finlay explains, "This observation does not necessarily explain the short-term ability of some swimmers to swim at 0°C like Lewis Pugh. It also seems that this feature of the skin is not something that you can acquire."

Photo above shows the men of the Patagonia Extreme Cold Water Challenge exiting from the cold ocean.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

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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.

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The trends are very clear.
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