Here’s the set-up I use this time of year when the lake temperatures start to dip below 50F:
- Tyr swim jammers with dri-fit underwear
- ONeill 13 Ounce Thermo-X Short Sleeve Crew
I can’t say enough about the ONeill Thermo-X. Candidly, I think this is the most critical piece of equipment in this set-up. This “rash guard” is built for surfers who are out cavorting in 50F water, but it works great for swimming. Not only does it allow for a full range of swim motion, but it also keeps heat in my core and wicks water away from the surface of my skin. This is especially important for me since I have very little body fat. Consequently, the Thermo-X shirt gives me that extra layer of “seal blubber” that I need!
- Full body triathlon wetsuit
- Deep See neoprene diver gloves
- Deep See neoprene diver booties (7mm)
- Deep See neoprene diver hood (3mm/7mm)
- Aqua Sphere swim goggles or a Cressi Minima freediver mask
- Petroleum jelly
Ideally, the only exposed areas of your skin should be your forehead, your mouth, and the lower part of your face. This is where you will want to apply the petroleum jelly to protect yourself from the cold water.
The diver hood covers your head and neck, and I usually tuck it into my wetsuit to add an additional layer on top of my upper torso. Some of the other swimmers prefer to swim with it outside. Regardless, it makes a HUGE difference in preserving the heat in your core.
So far this set-up is working great for me. I prefer to use the goggles over the freediver mask since the goggles are much less cumbersome – and I still do a fair amount of breathing through my nose. However, I may switch to the mask in the lower temperatures.
That’s it! Now you have no excuses for missing any of our meetups…