Getting started - with former Olympic medallist Cassie Patten


Getting started

Getting started in open water can sometimes seem slightly daunting and a little overwhelming at times, but once you are over that initial little bump the pleasure you get from donning your wetsuit and going for a wild swim is huge.

People always ask me “what are the best ways to gain open water experience?” Unlike pool swimming, open water has a lot of variables; the wind, tides, weather, temperature of the water are just a few. Because of this, I always advise people to swim in groups. Open water swimming is growing in popularity each year therefore the number of fresh water swimming clubs and recreational groups is also growing. By searching online you will find your nearest group.

There are also magazines that are just for open water swimmers, H20 Magazine is one of these – it’s filled with tips on how to gain more experience.

What do I need?

Well, for the more hardy among us all you need is a swim suit, goggles, a swimming cap for the ladies and a warm towel for when you climb out. If you are like myself and feel the cold there are a plethora of wetsuits on the market. The Great Swim series is working with Aqua Sphere, one of the UK’s leading wetsuit brands, and there will be a suit just right for any budding open water swimmer.


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