Big Island Snorkling Tours Blog

Swimming In Open Waters – 6 Useful Tools & Tips

We offer the best snorkel experience on the Big Island and our staff is professional and cares about safety!  Power Breather gives some tips on swimming in open water.

Whether you’re on vacation at the seaside or swimming at the lake – a snorkel is a great accessory you should have with you. Today we’ll show you the advantages of the Powerbreather, which can give you a special experience when swimming in open waters. This is true for both professionals and amateurs. We would also like to share some tips with you on what you should consider when swimming in open waters.

These are the things you should keep in mind when swimming in open water   

First of all, it is important to distinguish between hobby and professional sports in open waters. While snorkeling and recreational swimming in small bodies of water or near the shore is usually not a problem, competitions and training in open water are not suitable for inexperienced athletes.  Dangerous situations can occur more easily due to natural currents, high waves or a low water temperature, plus in such waters it is not a given that a trained supervisor will be present to come to the swimmer’s aid in an emergency.

If you want to prepare for an open water swimming event (such as a triathlon), you should first train your swimming and breathing technique as well as your endurance by swimming laps at the pool. As soon as you feel 100 percent confident here, you can start swimming in the open water. We recommend that you always make your own arrangements for someone to help in an emergency and never swim alone. Whenever you train, you need to have the right equipment with you – below we have listed some things you should always have with you.

This is the equipment you should have with you when swimming in the open water

Swimming goggles   

A good pair of swimming goggles is a basic piece of equipment both in the pool and in open water. For the latter there are also special models with tinted lenses that protect your eyes not only from water and dirt, but also from sunlight, as the reflection in open water can be particularly strong and harmful to the eyes .


A good neoprene swimsuit will protect you from the cold. The temperature in open waters in the northern hemisphere is usually much lower than in the pool, even in summer. In addition, a wetsuit provides you with a level of buoyancy. This stabilizes your posture in the water, which is especially beneficial for inexperienced swimmers.

Swimming cap   

In the water you lose most of your body heat through your head. A swim cap protects you – similar to a wetsuit – from cooling down. In addition, with a cap you are better protected against water getting into your ears.  When swimming in open water, make sure your swim cap is as visible as possible. A brightly colored swimming cap will help with this. This way, if you get into a dangerous situation and need help, you will be better visible in the water.

Floating buoy   

There are special buoys for open water swimming. They are usually attached to a belt strapped around the swimmer’s abdomen with a cord. During the swim, it glides behind you in the water. The resistance is hardly noticeable. We recommend using a swimming buoy, because it offers several advantages: For example, you can hold on to the buoy and rest in case you get exhausted. In addition, you can store keys, light clothing and valuables in the cavities provided for this purpose.

Floating buoys have an eye-catching color that allows you to be identified in the water even from a great distance (this is important if there are boats on the water).

As an alternative or additional safeguard, you can also carry a buoyancy buoy: These are strapped in a pocket around your waist. They are self-inflating and deploy as soon as you pull the ripcord provided.

Fitness Tracker   

To make your training as effective as possible, you should also think about using a fitness tracker. Of course, such a device is not absolutely necessary, but it offers you the possibility to keep an eye on your vital signs and to document your training progress.

Many commercially available devices are already equipped with standard functions for tracking sports units in open water. High-quality devices also offer the possibility to quickly call for help in emergency situations and to transmit your location.


With a special swimming snorkel – like the Powerbreather – you can perfect your swimming and breathing technique both in the pool and in open water. You can fully concentrate on the rhythm of your movement. Without having to turn your head, without swallowing water or blast clearing water from the snorkel. The Powerbreather always supplies you with 100% fresh air through the two air channels – no matter how long and how intensively you swim. Swimming snorkels and also the Powerbreather are not allowed in all competitions. However, they can give you a decisive advantage when used in training. If you are familiar with conventional front swim snorkels, we recommend you try a Powerbreather – it makes a significant difference. You can find out exactly what makes the Powerbreather different from conventional models at the end of this article.

More tips for open water swimming   

To have fun swimming in open waters and a positive training experience, we also have the following tips for you:

Additional training for specific body areas   

Torso, back and shoulders are put under a lot of strain when swimming, especially in open water. For orientation in open water it is necessary to lift your head more often than in the pool, which can become strenuous. In addition to water sports, you should do regular strength training – especially stabilization training – to prepare your body and muscles ideally for open water swimming.

Train your fitness   

When open water swimming stressful situations can quickly arise because you may be far from land and can be pushed further out into the water by strong currents. Therefore, it is especially important to train your endurance. To do this, you can swim as long distances as possible in the pool without pauses and increase the distance over time. This way you will be prepared to swim longer distances in open water without breaks or even against the current.

Warm-up exercises   

Both in training and in competitions, it is important to warm up. It is not enough to simply warm up before entering the water. As in any other sport you should also do stretching exercises, warm up your muscles with push-ups, for example, and your shoulder area by making circular movements.

Breathe correctly on both sides   

Unlike in a swimming pool, conditions in open water are not always ideal. Strong waves or currents, for example, can make it necessary or possible to breathe only on one side when swimming. You should therefore train breathing on both the right and left side. Or you can use a swimming snorkel like the Powerbreather, where you only have to lift your head for orientation.

Stay close to the shore and do not swim alone   

Especially if you are just starting to swim or train in open water, make sure to stay close to the shore at first. This will make you feel a lot safer. Also, if possible, we advise you to always swim with at least one other person so you can help each other in critical situations.

Reduce the leg stroke   

When you swim with a wetsuit, you get extra buoyancy. This way you can allow yourself to reduce your leg stroke and save energy that way. A light leg stroke helps you with body stability, so you avoid unnecessary movements back and forth.

Slowly increase speed and swim distance   

Your own safety always has top priority. Never overestimate your abilities and increase your swimming speed and distance very slowly in open water.

We would like to give you some more reasons why the Powerbreather is exactly the right tool to support your training in the best possible way.




More Posts

The Hoku Nui

The Big Island In 1927

Join us on the Hoku Nui, our luxurious 50-foot catamaran for an award-winning snorkel or manta ray tour.  Our water adventures are a must-do when


Sea Paradise 2nd Manta Ray Tour

Looking for a moonlit manta ray tour?  Enjoy a leisurely dinner at your resort or favorite restaurant before joining Sea Paradises’ second manta ray tour

Manta Ray filter feeder

The Magnificant Manta Ray

Join our informative and friendly crew of the Hoku Nui, to sail out to Manta Ray Village for a Hawaiian vacation experience you’ll remember forever. 

Man with bike in front of sugarcane

Sugar Cane On The Big Island

Join our friendly crew on the Hoku Nui for a wonderful snorkel tour in the stunning blue waters of the Kona Coast or an amazing