So there is the question of challenge – when swimming in open water is challenging enough already, why add the additional challenge of being cold? As Ian pointed out yesterday, when you’re cold water swimming you expect a bit of shivering afterwards, but shivering in the water is no fun. It’s bad enough when you’re able to get out in a few minutes, but if you’re in the middle of a much longer swim, contemplating a further hour or more in the water, it’s horrible.
And more than being horrible, it can be actively dangerous. During the last Suits vs Skins debate on the Facebook group Did You Swim Today?, the usual “Ditch the wetsuit!” comment appeared. Another commentator was quick to respond; no, she said, don’t, if you’re going to create problems for yourself. She had been at one of the Outdoor Swimming Society’s events the week before, the Bantham Swoosh, which is a longish swim down a river, and she commented that “Even with wetsuits, there were a lot of very cold people”. Organisers of open water events don’t want to have to deal with a lot of mildly hypothermic people because of an imagined decree that wearing wetsuits is somehow “wrong”.
And now, to paraphrase LOLCats, I cannot brain today, I has the tired. So, More tomorrow.