Your just-keep-swimming plan when faced with strong waves and currents
By Moi Yamoyam
Swimming against the current or huge waves is inevitable in races. Organizers and officials should always exercise extreme caution for the participants’ safety. But in order to battle it out in such water conditions, specific training and a different skill set are required, which are best practiced in open water. Here are revealing approaches to avoid going under.
Against the Current
- It’s important to check out the course prior to the event as there are cases where the current changes over time. There is a possibility that you will swim with the current at a certain point, so learn to take advantage of it.
- Try to know the current flow. If you have the opportunity, try to cut it through at the side or use it to your advantage. Your position at the starting line is important.
- If the two options are not available, pace yourself a little harder, especially at the point where current flows at its strongest.
For huge waves, you have to ride on them but for choppy water, you have to cut through it.
Against Huge Waves (and Choppy Water)
- For huge waves, you have to ride on them but for choppy water, you have to cut through it. This might not be a straightforward rule but it still boils down to comfort and individual preferences.
- Breathing is a challenge in swimming with huge waves, so time your breathing on top of them or during sighting. For choppy waters, it’s best to breathe at the spaces in between waves. Although, this skill is difficult to master as the situations vary all the time.
- For huge waves and choppy conditions, it’s better to swim beside the lane lines attached to the buoys. In case there are none, make sure that logistical references (e.g. tip of the mountain, tall trees, etc.) are within sight to keep you on course. Most of the time, at such conditions, buoys are not visible when you are in the water.