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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 31 to 39 of 39
  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    VA Beach
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    110
    I would say if you're trying to get back to the beach after losing a board, and you're like the rest of us on the east coast where you are basically going back in through a heavy beach-break, your best bet will be either breast stroke or side stroke. One advantage of side stroke is you can actually see what's coming down on you from behind, keep your head out of the water for constant breathing, and make fairly good progress if your side-stroke kick technique is pretty good.

    Keep in mind that efficiency in swimming comes from control over your rhythm and timing, especially your breath timing. You will quickly become exhausted no matter how in-shape you are if you start flailing in the water and gasping for air. Whatever stroke you choose, you want strong, deliberate (not rushed) strokes, and as controlled and consistent a breathing rhythm as possible. I often personally like to count my strokes to make sure they are happening to a consistent beat. You do not want to constantly find yourself having to accelerate/decelerate in the water ... THAT will wear you out very quickly.

    It's these criteria that make me believe that in heavier surf, freestyle is a poor choice. Efficient freestyle is all about relaxing and gliding through the water, but none of that is going to be possible in heavy surf. Additionally any breathing rhythm you may attempt to maintain will be shot each time you tilt you head and get a mouthful of water. In order to avoid that, you're going to have to over-rotate to really get your head to the side or even out of the water, but at that point, you're actually in the correct position for side-stroke, and in very bad form for freestyle.

    While freestyle is definitely much faster than any other stroke in ideal conditions, when the surf gets big and the water is rough, you're going to lose a lot of the efficiency that normally makes freestyle fast. In order to maintain the ideal scenario of consistent rhythm with strong, smooth strokes, a swimming style such as side-stroke or breast-stroke will most likely be the best bet, even if it's not the fastest way back to the beach.
    Last edited by jasorod; Apr 10, 2013 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,084
    Quote Originally Posted by jasorod View Post
    I would say if you're trying to get back to the beach after losing a board, and you're like the rest of us on the east coast where you are basically going back in through a heavy beach-break, your best bet will be either breast stroke or side stroke. One advantage of side stroke is you can actually see what's coming down on you from behind, keep your head out of the water for constant breathing, and make fairly good progress if your side-stroke kick technique is pretty good.

    Keep in mind that efficiency in swimming comes from control over your rhythm and timing, especially your breath timing. You will quickly become exhausted no matter how in-shape you are if you start flailing in the water and gasping for air. Whatever stroke you choose, you want strong, deliberate (not rushed) strokes, and as controlled and consistent a breathing rhythm as possible. I often personally like to count my strokes to make sure they are happening to a consistent beat. You do not want to constantly find yourself having to accelerate/decelerate in the water ... THAT will wear you out very quickly. It's these criteria that also make me believe that in heavier surf, freestyle is a poor choice. Efficient freestyle is all about relaxing and gliding through the water, but none of that is going to be possible in heavy surf. Additionally any breathing rhythm you may attempt to maintain will be shot each time you tilt you head and get a mouthful of water. In order to avoid that, you're going to have to over-rotate to really get your head to the side or even out of the water, but at that point, you're actually in the correct position for side-stroke, and in very bad form for freestyle.

    So while freestyle is definitely much faster than any other stroke in ideal conditions, I feel when the surf gets big and the water is rough, you're going to lose a lot of the efficiency that normally makes freestyle fast. In order to maintain the ideal scenario of consistent rhythm with strong, smooth strokes, a swimming style such as side-stroke or breast-stroke will be best.
    ^^^ THIS, perfect explanation

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    long branch
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    225
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    Quote Originally Posted by ND081 View Post
    its very inefficient and usually slower than a good breast stroke
    I always use heads up freestyle and I do fine

  4. #34
    I was out last summer when my leash broke and came to the conclusion that I need to swim better. I have been doing mostly breaststroke at the pool over the winter because I figure that I need to look around to find my board and I tire fast when doing the crawl. I hope that I have more confidence this summer when I'm stranded.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    in the grace of the most holy FSM
    Posts
    3,082
    Quote Originally Posted by jasorod View Post
    I would say if you're trying to get back to the beach after losing a board, and you're like the rest of us on the east coast where you are basically going back in through a heavy beach-break, your best bet will be either breast stroke or side stroke. One advantage of side stroke is you can actually see what's coming down on you from behind, keep your head out of the water for constant breathing, and make fairly good progress if your side-stroke kick technique is pretty good.

    Keep in mind that efficiency in swimming comes from control over your rhythm and timing, especially your breath timing. You will quickly become exhausted no matter how in-shape you are if you start flailing in the water and gasping for air. Whatever stroke you choose, you want strong, deliberate (not rushed) strokes, and as controlled and consistent a breathing rhythm as possible. I often personally like to count my strokes to make sure they are happening to a consistent beat. You do not want to constantly find yourself having to accelerate/decelerate in the water ... THAT will wear you out very quickly.

    It's these criteria that make me believe that in heavier surf, freestyle is a poor choice. Efficient freestyle is all about relaxing and gliding through the water, but none of that is going to be possible in heavy surf. Additionally any breathing rhythm you may attempt to maintain will be shot each time you tilt you head and get a mouthful of water. In order to avoid that, you're going to have to over-rotate to really get your head to the side or even out of the water, but at that point, you're actually in the correct position for side-stroke, and in very bad form for freestyle.

    While freestyle is definitely much faster than any other stroke in ideal conditions, when the surf gets big and the water is rough, you're going to lose a lot of the efficiency that normally makes freestyle fast. In order to maintain the ideal scenario of consistent rhythm with strong, smooth strokes, a swimming style such as side-stroke or breast-stroke will most likely be the best bet, even if it's not the fastest way back to the beach.
    other than the 2nd paragraph, i have to respectfully disagree. a *skilled* swimmer/surfer...or, ahem, a waterman, will have no problem timing sets, swimming freestyle, & bodysurfing his or her way in through the whitewater. many (i'd say most) surfers are awful swimmers & have a very distinct stroke that is short, almost clipped, & inefficient. but that's a function of not spending enough time smoothing out their strokes, not an inherent inefficiency in the freestyle stroke itself.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    MAINE
    Posts
    124
    Dudes check out the ( combat stroke navy seals ) on youtube. Not the fastest but if I was shipwrecked 5 miles out this is the one I want.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Cackalacky
    Posts
    192
    sorry to hijack the thread, but if any of you guys train for swim in the ocean, what do you wear, for warm and cold water?

  8. #38
    I wear a full triathlon wetsuit. It's different than a surfing wetsuit; the shoulders have real thin neoprene to allow your arms to move freely and thicker floaty material in the legs so your body stays more horizontal, efficient in the water. I have tried surfing in this suit and love how easy it is to paddle, but it has a super slick surface so it's difficult to stay on the board.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    VA Beach
    Posts
    110
    Quote Originally Posted by njsurfer42 View Post
    other than the 2nd paragraph, i have to respectfully disagree. a *skilled* swimmer/surfer...or, ahem, a waterman, will have no problem timing sets, swimming freestyle, & bodysurfing his or her way in through the whitewater.
    Yeah, I think the "waterman" qualification is actually pretty important here ... The experiences involved in ocean swimming vs. pool swimming are completely different, and become even more divergent when you enter a heavy surf zone. So I completely agree with you. If someone is an experienced waterman, they shouldn't have any problems, and will know how to work with the ocean rather than fighting it. For someone whose experiences with freestyle swimming are pretty much confined to laps in a pool, I think the surf zone will be a completely different experience, and their best bet is a different stroke that will allow them to cope better with the conditions without wearing themselves out. At least that's my humble opinion :-)

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