How Open Water Swimmers Can Learn From Nature

How Open Water Swimmers Can Learn From Nature

Biomimetrics is a term for taking product design ideas from nature. As scientists, researchers, doctors and engineers are exploring nature to gain an understanding of how novel materials, products and compounds can be designed and developed.

Velcro, waterproof glue and turbine blades are just a small sampling of what has been inspired by nature. The possibilities are also applicable to the open water swimming world.

While the triathlon community and its researchers have determined that drafting directly behind the feet is the optimal way to draft in the open water, Open Water Source and a few other open water swimming coaches are looking at nature for hints, specifically the flocking behavior of birds, the positioning of fish in a school and the way a dolphin swims alongside a boat, for inspiration on how humans can best draft and race in the open water. Based on their studies that admittedly need further research in (near) real-world conditions, they believe that drafting between the hips and feet is optimal during many competitive situations.

The aim of these coaches is to study the natural processes as a starting point, gain insights, adapt where possible with humans so their athletes’ performance.