View Poll Results: Most Efficient Swimming Technique in Ocean, IYO

Voters
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  • Freestyle

    37 62.71%
  • Breaststroke

    7 11.86%
  • Backstroke

    2 3.39%
  • Butterfly

    3 5.08%
  • Sidestroke

    5 8.47%
  • Other

    5 8.47%
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Results 11 to 20 of 37
  1. #11
    freestyle is easily the fastest and most efficient (and best for riding waves if you are headed to shore). if you tire easily and/or need to get your bearings switch for to breast. never heads up freestyle, if your head is above the water you should be doing breast. being a strong swimmer is a HUGE asset as a surfer when it is thumping and has saved me many a time over the years. it amazes me why more surfers do not swim..
    Last edited by 15stwr; Jul 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM.

  2. #12
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    I've been doing a bit of ocean swimming since its summer, and there's not that much surf.
    I find is really difficult... well, at least in Delaware, where the ocean is so murky you can't even see your own arms under water. If your in clearer water, I think that would help a lot.

    I tend to do half and half freestyle and breakstroke. Since the ocean is so murky, I tend to feel lost and not sure if I am going in the right direction, so I swap in the break stroke to get me back in focus.

    Its a ton more challenging then swimming in a pool. And, if you have any current or chop, its really hard.

  3. #13
    you may want to try wearing a pair of fins when open ocean swimming. i find it adds a layer of confidence and flow to combat the chop and current.

  4. #14
    Freestyle is by far the fastest way to get from point A to point B.
    Back in my guarding days, I did very well in open water swimming competitions. However, I definately was not the fastest person if we were competeing in a pool. Some of the keys to efficient ocean water swimming is knowing where you're at, knowing where you're going, and the fastest way to get there using the ocean's currents. Sometimes the current is stronger closer to shore, other times it's further offshore. The use of Rip Currents to get out to sea, and riding waves to come in, etc
    Also, a lot of people cant swim freestyle in a straight line, but they don't realize which way they're going because they have little to reference. I see it every time I watch a beach patrol during a training session. Experienced guards swimming 30 degrees in the wrong direction for 30 seconds before they realize they're off course. Or when the guard needs to go in for a rescue, the neglect the sideshore current and enter the water straight in front of the victim instead of entering 60 yards past the victim. This results in much more swimming and costs valuable time if a person is in danger of drowning.
    I always bi-lateral breath, and keep my eyes on the beach when I breath to that side, making sure I'm parallel to the beach each time.

    Breaststroke has its place. In big surf, it's usually required to keep your bearings straight and if you ever need a breather or go into panic mode, this is the stroke to use.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15stwr View Post
    never heads up freestyle, if your head is above the water you should be doing breast.
    why do you say that?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cresto4 View Post
    why do you say that?
    its very inefficient and usually slower than a good breast stroke

  7. #17
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by ND081 View Post
    its very inefficient and usually slower than a good breast stroke
    maybe...but for short sprints i find heads-up freestyle to be way more intense and aggressive while providing better visibility of what's going on around me and further outside - especially when i'm trying to get through a set. but that's just me, i guess.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cresto4 View Post
    maybe...but for short sprints i find heads-up freestyle to be way more intense and aggressive while providing better visibility of what's going on around me and further outside - especially when i'm trying to get through a set. but that's just me, i guess.
    yeah, they're both useful in the right circumstance i suppose

  9. #19
    I’d say which stroke you should use depends on the given conditions. If its flat it doesn’t make much difference but if its sloppy, choppy or gnarly, it does. Paying attention to the waves and timing your breathing accordingly is important. For me freestyle (or crawl as I learned it) is the preferred stroke mainly because its efficient, I like it and I’m good at it.

    If I’m swimming from the beach out to the line up, ie against the direction of the waves, no matter what the conditions are, its freestyle because you can smoothly dive a wave. If I’m swimming in to the beach I usually use breast because wave direction is at your back and if a wave breaks over your head its no big deal. If I’m swimming parallel to the beach, outside of the impact zone, its whatever I feel like.

    Some years back I snapped my leash on a big NE swell in like late March on an ugly wipeout. It was breaking a good ways off the beach that day so I was a long way out. The first thought through my head was, sheeeeeet how long is it going to take me to get in, because I had been out for a while and was starting to lose body temp. So I started swimming freestyle and I quickly found that the amount of rubber I had on was very inhibiting to that stroke. At that point I’ll admit to being a bit scared. I then turned to a vigorous side stroke which was much easier to do. After a while I realized that vigorous wasn’t necessary because the push of the fetch was moving me along a lot faster than I thought.

    Anybody that wants to play in water over their head should be able to swim and IMO every surfer should be able to swim a good 100 yds in any conditions they are willing to surf in.

    Just for a laugh try paddling your board butterfly, its interesting.

  10. #20
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    Aug 2011
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    I picked "other": I prefer to have my dive fins, a mask, snorkel and either spear or spear gun. Not only am I efficient horizontally, I am also efficient vertically up to my comfort level holding my breath around 40' and not to mention very deadly to any tasty looking sea creature.

    My favorite swims are off the beach on WB South End and around the jetties at slack high tide and off the beach at Kure on one of the three days every year the water is clear enough to spear on Sheepshead Rock. It's about 1/2-3/4 of a mile offshore and can get interesting on the way in if you are pulling a stringer full of fish....

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