How To: What Is Afterdrop

Some concepts or acts can be so fundamental to a communal activity that the members of that community can forget that they once may not have known of the concept, let alone the meaning as the activity becomes second nature. These acts, which we might call unconscious assumptions, are not ignored, but accepted, language grows…

Swimming Secrets for New Year Swimmers

For some years, my New Year’s post for those taking up swimming for exercise or weight management has been one of the site’s most popular and has gone viral on a number of occasions. But like with my Christmas Swim post, I wanted to change it up this year. Like so much of what I’ve written,…

Sam Krohn rescues someone who had been drinking and attempted to swim in rough conditions, Christmas Day 2015

How To: Advice for Christmas or New Year swimming in cold water for beginner or casual open water swimmers – What Would Santa Do?

At Christmas time, many people who would never consider getting in cold water will be thinking of a Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day dip. If you are wondering WHY you might or should do it, apart from; taking part in a local tradition in many places; having a hot punch  at the…

Cliffs of Moher in November

The Open Water Swimming Year: November Winterage

This post begins a new series here on Loneswimmer.com. There are certain patterns that I’ve seen repeated over the years. There are certain experiences that recur, certain thoughts that reappear, coming anew each year. Though previously experienced, all feel fresh each time, only deepened by the growing realisation that what were once first-time or rare…

How To: A Guide to Rough Water Exits in Open Water Swimming – Part I – Understanding Rough Water 

Introduction I haven’t previously tackled the subject of water exits specifically, though I have covered it in general terms in a number of articles. Especially those articles which try to condense the basics of open water swimming considerations for beginners and irregular swimmers, such as beginners or triathletes I haven’t written about exits because anyone…

Swimming meme using Walter from The Big Lebowski movie loading a gun with Lane Swimming Rules - Get Ready Granny as the caption

The Return of Furious Bob

Our eponymous hero first appeared in the letters column of H2Open magazine back in 2012, subsequent to Simon Griffith, (editor of H2Open) posting a link to the one of the articles I’d written about pool lane swimming etiquette. Bob was not happy.  Bob was very not happy. I was an elitist. I was…a lane hog.…

How To: Long Swim Recovery Meal

Swimmers love to eat, quite a lot, and to talk about how they eat almost as much. Yet there is little discussion of food on this site. The last time I wrote a recipe here was some years ago with the Swimmer’s Smoothie, which I still heartily recommend for those many people who struggle with early morning…

Golden evening light makes a dangerous water filled slate quarry seem magical

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – III – Estuaries and Man-Made Locations Including Quarries, Reservoirs and Canals

This third and final part follows: Part One on Oceans. Part Two on Lakes and Rivers. I was at the top of the 1000 foot high Cliffs of Moher with the wind was blowing Force 11. I noticed that unsurprisingly most people were unable to move easily. It had never previously occurred to me that somehow over years…

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – II – Lakes and Rivers

This is the second of a three-part series covering the features and hazards of open water swimming locations, the first of which covered the ocean.The Ocean is sufficiently complex and changeable to require its own article. I had intended in this second part to cover the remaining locations but the article was simply too long. Part Three will cover…

Black and white photo of a sudden squall storm in Tramore Bay in Ireland

How To: Understand the Features and Hazards of the Different Types of Open Water Swimming Locations – I – The Ocean

  Open water is open water, right? Well, yes and no.  Sure, water itself is only water, whether fresh, salt water or brackish, and if you can swim, then theoretically you may think that’s all you need to know. Unfortunately, too many beginner and intermediate open water swimmers don’t think about the various conditions and hazards…

A swimming analogue pace clock, with the single hand almost pointing to 60 at the top.

How To: An Introduction to the Pace Clock for Beginner & Improving Swimmers

Following my review of Brilliant Swim’s PaceWatch, it seemed an appropriate time to do an introduction to the Pace Clock commonly seen in most pools. Along with my guide to the different types and uses of swimming googles and the perennially popular understanding lane swimming etiquette, these articles are intended (mostly) for newer and developing swimmers. While LoneSwimmer.com…

Review: Zoggs Swimming Snorkel (aka Centre Snorkel)

In the autumn of 2014 I picked up an injury when I got a Grade 3 ankle sprain. I couldn’t swim much due to lingering chest infection (and didn’t want to either, as open water swimming season was ending). However years of ingrained habit made me swim anyway. I thought some kicking might help rehabilitate my ankle but I found a…

How To: What is Wind Against Sea?

A regular blog reader (hi Gabriel!) left a comment wherein they mentioned wind against sea. My first reaction was that I knew right then that Gabriel was an experienced open water swimmer. My second reaction was to kick myself for not mentioning wind against sea previously. Wind against sea is a condition that most open water swimmers (who…