See original post.
I think Gords makes an important point: that there’s a fine line between valuing the purity of “naked” open-water swimming, and self-righteousness. The latter alienates people, pushing them away when we should be welcoming them and trying to build our sport.
To be clear:
- This discussion is primarily about marathon swims – which I’ll define as swims long enough to require a support craft. In practice, this usually means swims longer than 10K. Swimmers who attempt such swims are – or should be – sufficiently skilled and experienced that drowning-prevention is not a valid excuse for using a wetsuit. (Hypothermia is a separate issue.)
- I have no problem with newcomers to open-water swimming utilizing wetsuit technology to ensure safety, to enhance comfort, and to develop confidence. I believe wetsuits encourage more people to try open-water swimming than would otherwise, and that this is positive.
- I have no problem with wetsuits in triathlon. I’m not a triathlete myself, but they’re certainly free to run their sport however they wish.
- I have no problem with swimmers of any ability using wetsuits in training swims, or leisure swims, to help them swim for longer in cold water than they would otherwise, or to extend the training season.