As a newbie to Open Water swimming i was keen to keep myself safe as i know i will have to do some of my swims on my own. After spending some time out in Spain and seeing lots of OW swimmers using tow floats to store their kit and keep them safe i decided it would be a good thing to look into.
The guys at Lomo Wetsuits offered me a tow float to test and since it’s arrival i have used it in the pool (To check i liked it (yes i did look silly!)) and on a few sea swims and a river swim.
When the Tow Float first arrived i was impressed with the quality and size. The material looks very heavy duty and the valves look good quality. This particular float works as a dry bag for your kit too. It is big enough to put key’s, Phone (I suggest putting your phone in a smaller dry bag for extra security) and Flip flops in. Once you have rolled the top over you can then use the valves to inflate the 2 separate chambers to give it more buoyancy. It has 2 handles running along its side to allow for easy carrying as well as holding on to in the water if you need to pause.
As i said i tried it first in my local outdoor pool, mainly to check that i liked it and it wouldn’t annoy me. I was concerned i may kick it or feel the drag but i have to say you vary rarely kick it and with the adjust ability both in waist size and length of tether you can make this very personal. I didn’t notice the drag but was interested on how it would fair in a swell or high winds.
Well i had perfect conditions to test it on my first open water swim of the year. On a very cold, windy bank holiday Monday i had a chance to test it out on a 600m sea swim with a group of other Triathletes. On the swim i never noticed it getting pulled or pushed about by the swell or wind and loved it at the turn around as i didn’t have to tread water whilst waiting for the rest of the group. The yellow is great for visibility. My wife says she can see me on my swims regardless on how far i travel away from here and i’m sure boats and other water users will be able to too.
I have tried it on several occasions now and find the dry bag to stay dry, the valves stay inflated and i continue to not notice pulling it along. I love the peace of mind that i have it with me when i’m swimming as being new to OW swimming it allows me to take a breather when i get a mouthful of water when trying sighting drills!
At a price point of £19.99 this is cheaper than many of the other dry bag style tow floats on the market but the quality is great. The dry bag has always been dry (Must make sure you roll the top enough though) and the ability to inflate separate chambers to stop the contents moving but also for safety is great.
If you swim on your own or lead groups or even do lots of open water swimming and want the safety then i think this is a great investment. £19.99 investment for that 1 time you get cramp or run into difficulties whilst out training is nothing if can save you life too.