Open Water Swimming Tactics And Moves

Open Water Swimming Tactics And Moves

Open Water Swimming Moves and Tactics

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. What is the difference between the racing tactics and mindset used at the highest levels by Olympic and professional marathon swimmers and other open water swimmers?

Nothing, if the amateur swimmers are competitive and seek every tactical advantage in an open water race.

In pool swimming, an age-group or masters swimmer cannot replicate the strength, power, flexibility, grace or stroke technique of a Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte.

However, open water swimming is an environment where age-group and masters swimmers and triathletes – with competitive zeal – can replicate the racing tactics and move utilizing the same mindset as Olympians like Thomas Lurz, Spyridon Gianniotis, Keri-Anne Payne or Melissa Gorman. Lurz once told Craig Lord of SwimNews, “I very often think of and look at my rivals. I watch their stroke frequency and find out where the big favourites are swimming. Mostly I can see every good swimmer in the race. I have my eyes on them, but I also concentrate on my stroke and on the course and my tactics.”

Besides the basic moves like dolphining, drafting, bodysurfing, impeding, negative splitting, railroading, sheltered-side breathing, slip streaming, shooting the gap (see video below), zip lining, self-screening, veering, side-dolphining (see photo above) and dive turning, there are also specialty moves like the Lateral Laze, Tack ‘n Turn, The Ilchenko, Circle Move, Seek and Spot, Reach and Roll, Gulp and Go, and Toss and Turn.

Copyright © 2008 – 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones