Can You Swim Laps In A Wetsuit?

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz 22 Min Read
22 Min Read
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Hey friends!

So, I was chilling and watching a training session of Kanoa Igarashi (yep, that super cool pro surfer!) a few days ago.

And you know what caught my eye? He was zipped up in a wetsuit while just doing regular laps in a swimming pool. Interesting, right?

I mean, Kanoa didn’t dive deep into why he was wearing that sleek wetsuit in the pool, it just seemed like second nature to him. But that little detail kept me thinking. 🤔

It’s kind of like wearing your game-day jersey when you’re practicing at home, you know? Kanoa was getting into the zone, in the actual gear he’d use to ride those gigantic waves. It makes sense, doesn’t it? To practice in the same outfit you’re going to compete in to get the full feel and be 100% ready. But hey, that left me with a fun curiosity bug: Can all of us just swim laps in a wetsuit whenever we want?

Guess what? Absolutely, we can! 🏊‍♂️

As a general thumb rule, yup, anyone can swim those pool laps in a wetsuit. But, it’s not something you see every day. It’s kind of like seeing someone wearing rain boots on a sunny day – a bit unusual but totally doable.

Wetsuits aren’t usually the go-to attire for your regular pool session. They typically make their appearance when the pool’s feeling a bit chilly or when someone, like a triathlete, is training and wants to get completely comfy with their race-day outfit.

So, if you’re thinking about trying on that snug wetsuit for your next swim – go for it! Just know it’s a tad unconventional in the usual pool scenario. Most folks stick to swim caps and traditional swimwear. But hey, if it’s chilly, or you’re prepping for a big event (or you just want to pretend to be a cool surfer for a day 🏄‍♂️), why not?

Enjoy the waves (even the small pool ones) and happy swimming, buddies! Let me know if you try doing laps in a wetsuit and how it feels! 🌊😄

When Might You Swim Laps In A Wetsuit?

Ever wondered about those times when slipping into a wetsuit for a swim in the pool might actually be a pretty neat idea? Let’s dive into that!

1. Cold Water Pools

So wetsuits, they’re basically like our cozy winter jackets but for swimming, designed to keep us warm when the water’s being all chilly and cool. If you’ve ever dipped your toes into an outdoor public pool or perhaps an unheated indoor one, you might have wished for something to ward off that cold. And voila, that’s where a wetsuit comes in!

Now, let’s talk numbers for a bit. Your average public swimming pool is hanging out between 25°C and 28°C (that’s 77°F to 82°F for our Fahrenheit friends). It’s a zone that’s generally too toasty for a wetsuit because if you’re splashing around and getting your exercise on, your body’s gonna be like, “It’s getting hot in here!”

When Does Water Feel, Brrr… Cold?

General speak, if the water is under 21°C (that’s about 70°F), you might start getting those shivers unless you’re a bit of a cold-water pro. Some outdoor swimmers, especially the ones who have kinda gotten used to chilling (literally!) in lower temperatures, might start feeling the coolness at around 13°C.

There’s this place, the National Centre for Cold Water Safety, that tells us temperatures between 15-10°C (that’s 60-50°F) can be “Very Dangerous/Immediately Life-threatening”. Sounds pretty intense, huh? And let me spill, cold water can shock our systems whether it’s 15°C or even a freezing 2°C!

Choose Your Wetsuit Moment

So, deciding when to zip up into a wetsuit is really your call. But here’s a lil’ tip: when the thermometer dips below 15°C (that’s 60°F), it might be a good time to consider it.

Remember, most public pools, especially the indoorsy ones, keep things warmer than that, so no need to rock a wetsuit there usually. But if you find yourself staring at an unheated outdoor pool or just love being extra prepared for a chilly adventure, knowing when to suit up might just make your swim that bit more snug and fun!

So, keep splashing, stay warm, and always swim with a smile, my friends! 🌊😁 And let’s chat again soon about all our swimmy adventures, alright?

2. Preparing For Competition

We’re continuing our deep dive into the whole “wetsuit in the pool” topic, and this time we’re zooming into the competitive side of things! 🏊‍♂️🏅

Trying on That Competitive Edge

Here’s a peek behind the curtain: our sporty friends, like triathletes, sometimes slip into their competition wetsuits for those practice swims. They’re not just making a fashion statement, but ensuring that on the actual competition day, they’re super comfy and already pals with how their suits feel and move.

Seeing someone in a wetsuit during your regular public pool visit is kinda like spotting a unicorn, right? Mostly because pools are like warm, cozy baths and trotting around in a wetsuit can quickly turn into a mini sauna session! 😅 Plus, let’s not forget, the chlorine in pool water might give your precious (and often pricy) wetsuit a tough time, even with a good rinse afterward.

The Overheat and the Athlete

Did you know we still break a sweat while swimming? So imagine donning a wetsuit in warm waters and trying to bust out those laps – hello, overheating! Beyond our triathlete buddies, other water sports champs, like some pro surfers, might do wetsuit laps, but usually, it’s in cooler waters and all planned out as part of their training routine. They gotta be totally at ease in their suits, especially when battling those powerful ocean currents!

3. Body Confidence & Modesty

Now, switching lanes to a topic that’s close to heart: feeling good in our swim gear. 🏊‍♀️❤️

When Modesty Takes the Front Stroke

Swimming does put our bodies on display, and hey, we’ve all got our comfort zones and beliefs. Some folks might feel more at home covering up due to body consciousness or religious practices, and that’s perfectly okay!

But if it’s the body coverage you’re seeking, don’t rush to the wetsuits just yet! There are other cool options like swim skins and full-body swimsuits designed for a comfy and modest swim without turning into a boil-in-the-bag situation that you might get with a wetsuit in warm pool waters.

Alternative Swimsuits? Yes, Please!

Later in this chat (or article 😉), we’ll explore some alternative swimwear options, ensuring you find something that makes you feel fabulous and confident in the water. 🩱👙

Let me be your swimwear guide and remember: we might all be too busy doing our own paddle and float to notice what everyone else is up to in the pool. But your comfort is key! So do whatever makes your swim a splashingly good time!

Can I Wear A Wetsuit In A Public Swimming Pool? (I asked)

Ever found yourself pondering if you could glide into your local swimming pool donned in a sleek wetsuit? I’ve wondered that too! So, I decided to splash around and fetch some answers directly from various types of pools.

Dipping Into Different Pools for Answers

Imagine: three pools, all warmed up and inviting, but with their own unique vibes and rules.

  • Pool Type 1 – The 25m public pool, kept afloat by our local council.
  • Pool Type 2 – Another 25m public pool, but this one’s managed by a big gym brand.
  • Pool Type 3 – A slightly smaller, 20m pool at a private health club, nestled within a well-known health spa and gym brand.

And here’s the scoop on wetsuits, straight from the source:

Pool Type Description Heated Waters? Wetsuit-Friendly? What the Pool Peeps Said
Type 1 25m public, council-run pool Yes No Reply Still waiting on their splashback. Will update once they respond!
Type 2 25m public pool, managed by a renowned gym brand Yes No “No wetsuits, please – it’s a Health & Safety thing.”
Type 3 20m private health club pool by a known spa and gym brand Yes Yes “Go for it, wear that wetsuit! Just swim safely!”

The Unwritten Wetsuit Rulebook

Isn’t it fascinating? No written rules about wetsuits, yet such varied responses! But if you’ve ever experienced the warm, embracing waters of a heated pool, you’d nod in agreement that sweating it out in a wetsuit might not be the coolest idea (literally!).

Type 2 pool pointed to a “no” due to Health & Safety, and it’s likely they’re waving the red flag at the risk of overheating. It’s an unwritten rule, but an important one, yeah?

Private Pools: A Hotter, But More Relaxed Dip?

And then there’s Pool Type 3 – sizzling in temperature yet chill in rules. Even though it’s the toastiest of them all, making a full 3mm wetsuit a bit of a sauna situation, they’re cool with it! Since it’s a private, no-lifeguard zone, and members pay a decent chunk of change to be there, they lean towards “You do you (safely)!”

Dive Safely and Respect the Rules

So, wrapping up our swimmy inquiry: Popping by your local pool in a wetsuit? 🤔 Maybe, but always best to check with them first and be super clear on the why. If you’re eyeballing a heated pool, tread carefully—overheating and fatigue in a full wetsuit is not something to mess with.

What Is The Best Type Of Wetsuit For Swimming?

Ah, the world of wetsuits: an ocean of choices, all promising to keep us cozy while we’re making waves. And if you’ve dived into wetsuit shopping, you’ve probably noticed…they’re not all cut from the same cloth! So, let’s navigate these waters together and figure out the best type of wetsuit for our swimming adventures!

Unzipping the Wetsuit Mysteries

You might’ve realized this, but if you haven’t: wetsuits aren’t a one-size-fits-all-deal. They’re crafted with various water activities in mind!

Years ago, I got my first windsurfing wetsuit and had that “Aha!” moment. Wetsuits for different water activities, like windsurfing and swimming, are designed to offer that extra wiggle room where you need it most. In this case, it’s all about those shoulders and arms moving freely and smoothly as we swim.

So what should a swimming champion like you look for in a wetsuit? 🏊‍♀️🥇

  • Swim-Specific Design: Ensure the wetsuit is actually tailored for swimming! This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial to keep those arm strokes unrestricted.
  • Flexibility where it Matters: Additional flexibility in the shoulders and arms is key! No one wants to feel like they’re swimming in a straight jacket, right?
  • Buoyancy Boost: Look out for wetsuits that offer core support and buoyancy panels. These little helpers will keep your body in a good position in the water, making your swims sleek and efficient.

Personal Wetsuit Recommendation

For me, the ORCA Openwater Core Wetsuit – Black Hi-Vis swam its way into my heart! 🖤🏊‍♂️ Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s also crafted with open water swimming in mind.

Exploring Alternatives to Wetsuits

And hey, if you’re on the fence about wetsuits or just want to explore other options, you’re in luck! 🎉

In the ocean of wetsuit choices, making the right pick means smoother sailing (or swimming!) through your water adventures. 🌊🤿 Until our next swimmy chat, keep making those waves, friends! 💙🌊

Is It Easy To Swim In A Wetsuit?

For many aqua adventurers, the answer is a solid yes! Whether it’s combating cold waters or seeking some extra buoyancy, wetsuits have been lending swimmers a helping hand (or fin?) for quite a while.

Let’s Unpack: Is It Really Easier to Swim in a Wetsuit?

In a nutshell: yes, it generally is! But as is the case with anything water-related, there are some waves of thought to surf through.

🥶 1. Navigating Cold Waters

Imagine this: submerging yourself in water below 15°C without a layer of protection. Brrrr, right? Wetsuits, with their neoprene magic, allow a thin water layer to get cozy between the suit and your skin, which your body heats up, providing a personal warmth shield. Result? More comfortable, prolonged swims in chilly waters!

🎈 2. Floating on the Buoyancy Benefit

Ever noticed that extra lift while sporting a wetsuit? That’s the neoprene doing its floaty thing, making you more buoyant! This does wonders for your body positioning in the water, elevating your legs and overall form, which means less drag and a smoother, swifter swim.

🚀 3. Propelling Your Performance

Speed demons, listen up! The inherent buoyancy and crafted streamlined form of wetsuits mean less drag, elevated body positions, and perhaps an easier time rolling those hips for those adept at the freestyle stroke. So, not only might you see a speed bump, but your overall swim stroke may just become more efficient, enhancing your overall performance.

First Dive Feels: It’s a Little…Different

Tight, snug, and a bit odd? Your first swim in a wetsuit might have you feeling a touch out of your depth. But, once you and your wetsuit become better acquainted, it’s likely that you’ll feel its absence on those swims when it’s left hanging at home.

💡 Quick Tip:

Wetsuit thickness matters! The material thickness will dictate how toasty you stay in colder temperatures. So, be sure to check the thickness (measured in millimeters) suitable for your intended water escapades.

Final Splash: Embracing the Wetsuit Wave

Easier swims, enhanced buoyancy, and a new, streamlined you – wetsuits bring quite a bit to the swimming party! Whether you’re ploughing through colder waters, seeking an extra floating boost, or chasing down a new personal best, strapping into a wetsuit might just be the wave you want to ride. 🏄‍♂️🌊

Do You Swim Faster With A Wetsuit?

Indeed, the streamlined silhouette and buoyancy offered by a wetsuit are two primary factors contributing to enhanced swimming speed. A harmonious blend of reduced drag and improved body posture allows swimmers to navigate through water more efficiently and potentially faster. So, your wetsuit isn’t just a thermal shield; it’s also a subtle speed boost under the waves!

How Tight Should A Wetsuit Be For Swimming?

When it comes to wetsuits, achieving that “second skin” feel is paramount. The pursuit for the right fit – tight enough to avoid water logging yet sufficiently flexible to prevent restriction – is crucial. Here are some fit-finding tips:

  • Snug but Not Squeezing: It should be tight enough to prevent water from seeping in but not so much that it restricts blood flow or breathing.
  • Neck Nuisance: The neck is often a tricky area. Ensure it’s not so tight as to chafe or hinder neck movement, particularly vital for open-water sighting.
  • A Wrinkle-Free Relationship: Few to no wrinkles should be visible when adorned, highlighting a fitting that adheres well to your body contours.

What Thickness Wetsuit Is Best For Pool Swimming?

Deciphering the right thickness is a balancing act between thermal protection and flexibility. Here’s how you might want to navigate this:

  • 3mm to 5mm Wetsuits: These provide substantial thermal insulation for colder, unheated pools while still granting reasonable flexibility.
  • The 3/2mm Variant: Often, swimmers might opt for a wetsuit that has varied thickness – for instance, 3mm in the torso and 2mm in the limbs. This provides core warmth while ensuring limbs have enhanced flexibility.
  • Pool Temperature Considerations: If you’re venturing into a heated pool, a wetsuit might not be the best choice due to the potential risk of overheating.

Final Thoughts

You know, wetsuits might not be your favorite thing to wear when you go for a swim, but they sure do help to keep us warm when we’re splashing around in cold water. Imagine them as cozy jackets, but for swimming!

If you’re thinking about swimming laps in a pool that feels like ice, wearing a wetsuit is totally okay! It’s like wearing a sweater in winter; it just makes sense.

Now, if you’re hopping into a warm, heated pool, you might want to leave that wetsuit behind. Why? Well, you’ll feel like you’re in a sauna! And, oh boy, you’ll heat up super fast. Just like you wouldn’t wear a heavy coat in the middle of summer, right? So if you do decide to wear one in a warm pool, make sure you’re drinking lots of water so you don’t get too thirsty.

If you’re getting ready for a big swim event like a triathlon or maybe swimming really far, it’s a good idea to practice swimming in your wetsuit before the big day. But here’s a tip: try to train in water that’s about the same temperature as what your wetsuit is made for. That way, you’ll feel just right when it’s go-time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you swim laps in a wetsuit?

A: Yes, you can swim laps in a wetsuit. A wetsuit is designed to keep you warm and allow for greater buoyancy in the water, making it easier to swim for longer distances.

Q: What are the benefits of swimming laps in a wetsuit?

A: Swimming laps in a wetsuit provides several benefits. It helps to increase your body's buoyancy, making it easier to maintain proper body position in the water. The wetsuit also provides extra insulation, keeping you warm in colder water and allowing you to swim comfortably for longer durations.

Q: Can I wear a wetsuit in any swimming pool?

A: Wetsuits are generally allowed in open-water swimming areas such as lakes, rivers, and the ocean. However, some swimming pools have specific rules regarding wetsuits. It's best to check with the pool's management or lifeguards to determine if wetsuits are permitted.

Q: Do I need special swimming skills to swim laps in a wetsuit?

A: You do not need any special swimming skills to swim laps in a wetsuit. However, it's always recommended to have some basic swimming abilities and be comfortable in the water before attempting to swim laps in any gear, including a wetsuit.

Q: How should I choose the right wetsuit for swimming laps?

A: When choosing a wetsuit for swimming laps, consider factors such as the water temperature, your body size, and the intended use (e.g., recreational swimming or competitive swimming). Look for a wetsuit that fits snugly but still allows for comfortable movement and range of motion in your arms and legs.

Q: How should I take care of my wetsuit after swimming laps?

A: After swimming laps in a wetsuit, rinse it thoroughly with clean, fresh water to remove any chlorine, salt, or dirt. Hang the wetsuit inside out in a shaded area to dry. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it can deteriorate the material. Store the wetsuit flat or on a wide hanger to maintain its shape.

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