DNOWS Header

Image Map

Friday, March 8, 2013

What Is A Stinger Suit?

In the Marathon Swimmers Forum, Evan Morrison of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association analyzed the opinions and survey results of 175 former, current or aspiring marathon swimmers from around the world. His expert analyses and presentation of the data are posted here.

It was very interesting snapshot of the community that is estimated to include at least 710 channel swimmers and 6,500 marathon swimmers.

Morrison reported that 50% of the swimmers were for stinger suits and 50% of the swimmers were against stinger suits.

But what exactly are stinger suits?

Swimmers in lakes and rivers, and frankly in most open water swims in oceans and seas do not use, own or even know what a stinger suit looks like. A stinger suit is full-length protective swimwear that covers most of the body, including the arms and legs from the wrist to the ankles that are used by marine biologists, divers, and open water swimmers in order to protective against jellyfish and other venomous creatures of the seas and oceans.

It is usually made of sheer porous or closed-cell materials that prevents the barbs on the tentacles of jellyfish from entering the human skin. After a long evolution of 650 million years, the barbs of jellyfish automatically and naturally fire upon touch of another marine creature or human being. But the synthetic fibers of stinger suits are an effective means to prevent these venom-filled barbs from firing. The stinger suits are worn over a swimsuit and can be augmented with booties (shoes), gloves and some sort of hood or protective headgear that masks the ears, neck, and forehead.

Despite its ability to protect the swimmer, the porous nature of the most popular stinger suits makes the stinger suit extremely difficult and tiring to use, especially on channel swims and marathon swims. But the trade-off between protecting oneself against highly venomous sting, especially box jellyfish or stingers, usually far outweighs the increased difficulty of bringing your arms over the water, the reduced body position due to the weight of the stinger suit, and the reduced kick beat and propulsion.

A related article about stinger suits is here.

Photo about shows Penny Palfrey.

Copyright © 2013 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