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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why We Prefer To Escort In The Open Water

Photo courtesy of Bruckner Chase of Ocean City Swim Club with his essential tools for any organized open water swim.

Article courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California

While kayaks are generally considered to be the preferred vessel for open water swimming escorts, we personally prefer paddleboards for the following 10 reasons:

1. Paddleboards have outstanding maneuverability.
2. It is relatively easy to get a fatigued or distressed swimmer from the water onto the paddleboard and then to the boat or shoreline in emergency or in case of swim abandonment.
3. We can easily place the swimmer flat on the paddleboard while simultaneously paddling the swimmer to safety or medical support.
3. The practicality of getting a fatigued or distressed swim on the paddleboard through the surf and swells is unmatched by a kayak. We can easily place the swimmer on the paddleboard while surfing through, with or over the waves.
4. If necessary, we can knee on the paddleboard - or stand up - and look forward to see turn buoys, escort boats, flotsam, jellyfish, sharks, coral reefs or anything else that should be noted or avoided.
5. It is easy to mix drinks or prepare food on the flat top side of the paddleboard as we are moving forward in the 3 position or 9 position next to the swimmer.
6. Balance is especially easy in heavy surf or turbulent waters by placing both legs on the opposite side of the paddleboard.
7. We feel psychologically close to the swimmer because our head is nearly at the water's surface and we are looking nearly eye-to-eye with the swimmer.
8. The paddle strokes are very similar to the swimming strokes.
10. Paddling easily enables a speed as fast as any world-class swimmer under any conditions.

Bruckner Chase of Ocean City Swim Club recommends, "If you arrive at the open water for a group swim and you don't see equipment like this [shown above] and more, please think more than twice about going out. Not shown [above] is access to a backboard, basic medical kit, and multiple professional ocean lifeguards backed by an emergency action plan."

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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.

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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.

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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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