Swimming is a solo sport for the most part. All you need is some basic equipment and a body of water to get a good workout!

While it’s perfectly ok to swim solo, having a swim buddy can make your experience much safer and more fun, especially in open water!

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Benefits of Swimming with a Buddy in Open Water

Swimming with a buddy is not only safer, but it can help you improve your swimming performance! Hitting the water with a buddy has 5 main benefits:

  1. Accountability: If you plan your swim ahead of time with a friend or teammate, you’re much more likely to show up and get your workout in.
  2. Motivation: Your buddy can help you push yourself, try something new and challenge your skills. And you can do the same for them!
  3. Safety: The more the merrier, especially in busy waterways! Swimming with just one other person makes you more visible to boats and other people in the area. You’ll also have someone looking out for you if you start to feel ill, get a cramp or need to head back to shore.
  4. Spotting: Share spotting responsibilities and stick to your route! 
  5. Drafting:  Drafting allows you to take advantage of another swimmer’s wake to make your swim smoother and faster. If you’re slower than your buddy, try swimming right behind them.

Related: The Best Way to Track Open Water Swims with the Apple Watch

What if I Don’t Have a Swim Buddy?

Swimming with a buddy isn’t absolutely necessary. If you can’t find a buddy, try these solutions:

  1. Join our Global Community Group! Become a member of our Facebook group and connect with swimmers from your area. You may find a buddy!
  2. Use an Open Water Safety Buoy: Use a bright colored buoy to improve your visibility to boats and other people. It’s a good idea to use a buoy when swimming with a buddy, too. Check out some of our favorite equipment here.
  3. Bring a Non-Swimmer Friend Along: Recruit a friend to sit on the beach and watch you or glide alongside you in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
  4. Swim Close to the Beach: There is no harm in swimming back and forth in a smaller area, such as between buoys. Ideally there’s a lifeguard watching you if you’re close to shore.

Related: 5 Tips for Beginner Open Water Swimmers

Open water swimming can be a fun, new challenge, and it’s even more fun with a buddy! Share your open water swimming tips in the comments!

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