Getting your kit right - wetsuit and goggles Follow our advice to make sure you have the right kit.

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A wet suit and goggles are essential for open water swimming.

They are important to keep you warm and let you see underwater. 

You are likely to be in the water for a long time, so follow our advice to make sure you have the right kit.

Getting your kit right - wetsuit and goggles

1. Find the right wetsuit

Most open water swim events require you to wear a wetsuit.

Their primary purpose is to keep you warm. You are likely to be in the water for a long time, and the wetsuit will reduce your risk of hypothermia.

The other thing that wetsuits provide is buoyancy. Your swim technique will be different with one on as you’ll float a little more. But with a wetsuit on, you’ll likely be able to roll on your back and take a breather if you need one when out swimming.

The wetsuits will also give you some protection from any debris in a lake, river or sea.

Wetsuits come in many different styles. A swimming wetsuit is different from a surfing one. It’ll be more flexible, so you can use your arms for swimming. 

Understanding mm’s will help you get the right wetsuit for you. Often written 3:8 or 3:5, this is, in mm, the thickness of the wetsuit at the upper body and lower body.

The thicker the suit (greater number of mm’s), the more lift you will get from the wetsuit. You can even get wetsuits that are neutral between the upper and lower body.

You don’t need to purchase a wetsuit, and they can be hired for events. They aren’t cheap, retailing for £99, but a hire might come in as little as £30.

2. Making sure your goggles fit correctly is essential

You are going to want a good set of swimming goggles. They’ll allow you to see what’s going on underwater. You’ll protect your eyes from any chemicals in the water. It makes swimming so much more enjoyable.

Getting the fit of these goggles is vital. We all have different nose bridges, so try and find a pair of goggles that takes this into account - an adjustable nose piece is critical.

You don’t need to splash out lots of money on your goggles, but a comfortable pair you like having on your face is so important.