Some reactions from ’round the intarwebs to recent Freshwater Swimmer posts. I am, as always, grateful for the engagement.
In my view, there’s absolutely no substitute for proper training and preparation. … A wetsuit is not going to keep you safe. Swimming competence will keep you safe.
While wetsuits may decrease the chances of an individual person drowning, I believe they actually increase collective risk – by giving people a false perception of safety and encouraging them to put themselves in situations they are not prepared for.
Some interesting discussion ensued. I was particularly gratified by the comment of Audrey D. (bold added):
Anyone participating in an open water swim race should have many practice swims in open water prior to a race. There are multiple conditions that can occur in open water that change the parameters of how you should adjust your swim. Sadly, even skilled swimmers can drown, given changes to the water temperature, unforeseen changes to waves, and unexpected reactions to these changes.