By Kara Schelhase
There’s nothing better than open water swimming! You’re free, you have no worries and you’re constantly laughing because wild swimming is the best experience of your life.
I remember my first-time open water swimming so vividly because I had such an amazing time. I pulled on my Mountain Warehouse wetsuit, snapped on my cap and placed my vibrant goggles over my eyes. I stared at the water, then at my mum and back at the water. Was I really about to submerge myself in here? I hesitantly dipped my toe in the cold, yet surprisingly relaxing water and quickly pulled out again. I was nervous, but all my nerves were relieved when my feet touched the squelchy, mushy mud at the bottom of the river, I instantly started giggling. I slowly moved further and further into the beautiful water, I then crouched down and let the icy water gently flow into my wetsuit by the neck. From that moment on the pleasurable surprise of the water entering the wetsuit was my favourite part of wild swimming, you’ll always find yourself giggling at the shock you experience when doing this.
Open water swimming is honestly one of the best and most thrilling activities one can ever do. I love doing handstands and splashing about with my friends and sister. Open water is for everyone, so be willing to try something new.
Swimming in open water is very relaxed and chilled, however there are some safety points you should pay attention to. You should never, ever go swimming on your own, as this could potentially endanger yourself; so always make sure you bring a friend or family member. You should always ensure you’re wearing a bright coloured swimming hat, as this will allow you to always be seen by lifeguards, friends, family or even members of the public. Finally, never get into dangerously strong water with strong currents without the assistance of a professional who knows what they’re doing.
Wetsuits are a key part of open water swimming however they’re not to everyone’s taste and therefore aren’t a necessity. My preference is to wear one as this makes the experience more enjoyable because you aren’t focused on being cold, as well as acting as a buoyancy aid. However always feel free to swim in skins with your favourite swimming costume, if you’re feeling particularly daring and adventurous- trust me the thrill is breath taking and addictive!
There you go, that’s open water swimming from a teenager’s point of view in a nutshell!