Apologies I haven’t posted for a long time, here’s a little insight in to the use of Swim Buoys / tow floats in open water.
First and foremost people think that they can be used as a life saving device – I need to make this clear that they are not a life-saving device!
Swim Buoys are intended to increase the visibility of the swimmer in the water, hence all of the interesting bright colours (which I love!). I work with a few swimmers who have found solace in using them in the open water from a confidence point of view, which is absolutely fine! The added advantage of these devices is that they add hardly any resistance through the water and make your presence known to others around you. If you’re swimming in an area that has support / rescue boats, they should be able to see you at all times, so the use of tow floats is a great addition to anyone’s kit bag!
Some options available can allow you to carry your water bottle on the top – so if you’re focusing on long distance swims in rivers/seas these are an ideal addition to your swim. I’ve also known people to carry energy gels in their tow floats / swim buoys to help keep energy levels up on long swims.
Another amazing use for swim buoys is to track your swim if you don’t have the most expensive watches or want to ‘splash’ out on expensive kit. What I find is that I have purchased a waterproof phone case and put that case inside my swim buoy to track overall distance! I usually use Strava to track my swims (other applications are available…) as it can upload pretty quickly and on the basic package can give you enough data to get you through.
In my assorted bag of goodies I have a tow float, but rarely use it just out of preference of my swim style, if I do use it, it is usually when the weather conditions are, let’s say ‘interesting’ as I want to ensure that my visibility is clear to others in the water.
I do think that everyone should use them if swimming on their own, that should be an absolute necessity! However you take it at your own risk as to whether you want to use them or not.
What are your thoughts on tow floats? Would be great to hear some feedback.
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