Andre Slade

Andre is the owner of OceanFit with over 20 years in the swimming education, lifeguarding and coastal safety industry.

Posts by Andre Slade

Open water swimming wetsuits

A black T1 wetsuit top on a mannequin Open water swimming wetsuits: Swim fast, stay warm

The biggest mistake swimmers make with wetsuits is to buy a wetsuit designed for surfers.

Keep away from the surfing brands and purchase a proper open water swimming wetsuit or triathlon wetsuit.

Surfing wetsuits are designed to be a little looser and for sitting up out of the water, swimming wetsuits are designed to be a bit tighter and move through the water fast.

Wearing just a wetsuit top is a great way to keep your upper body warm but still keep the lower body free. The increased buoyancy also helps make swimming easier.

OceanFit Favourite: Andre wears a T1 Wetsuit Top when he’s teaching, or when it’s really cold. If he’s staying in the water for extended periods of time he wears a Blueseventy full wetsuit.

A swimming vest can help make sure you’re seen

Some ocean swim events may require the wearing of a lycra swimming vest for safety or sponsorship purposes.

Wearing a swim vest for the first time may feel restrictive, and you might feel a little more resistance when you swim.

Choosing and fitting a swimming vest

When choosing a vest size always ask for a size or two smaller than you would usually wear so it fits nice a snug.

If you still need to tighten it try gathering the loose material together and tying a knot in the back.

Swimming caps are practical, safe and warm

OceanFit's yellow silicone swimming cap.Not just for the girls to keep their hair out of their face, swimming caps are great for personal and event water safety and keeping your head warm in cooler water temps.

Latex swimming caps are thinner and cheaper, silicone swimming caps are thicker, longer lasting and warmer.

To keep your head extra warm in cold water wear two silicone swimming caps at the same time.

Related Lessons

Choosing the best goggles for open water swimming

Goggles for ocean swimming and open water swimmingGoggles: Your window to the ocean

Choosing the best goggles for open water swimming is important to ensure you have the best experience in the water.

Goggles come in many shapes and sizes and the best pair is usually the one that fits best.

Choose from a range of lens: clear lens are great for pool swimming; smokey, tinted or polarized for open water swimming.

Throw out that pair of goggles you bought two years ago, get yourself a new pair of and replace them regularly from now on.

Good goggles will open your eyes to the ocean environment above and below the water.

Browse our range of goggles

Tips for your open water swimming goggles

  • If you’re worried about size choose a pair with an adjustable nose clip or for thinner faces look in the junior range.
  • Slim style goggles that sit in your eye-socket are best for the rigours of surf swimming/body surfing.
  • Larger ‘snorkelling’ type goggle are nice for open water cruising, but they will come off easier in surf.
  • Make sure your goggles are fitted and feel comfortable before you hit the water. Stopping to adjust them breaks your rhythm.
  • Create fog free goggles by spitting in them while dry to create a barrier on the lens. Rinse in ocean water before wearing.
  • Wait until you’re in deep water where there’s less sand in the water before cleaning them.
  • Don’t leave your goggles in the sun or in hot places (like seat of car). The heat will warp them & they won’t fit properly again.

OceanFit Favourite: Vorgee Missiles. They’re the best surf swimming goggle on the market and we think they’re the best pair of goggles for open water swimming. The best thing about them is they won’t come off when dolphin-diving or bodysurfing. Plus they just look cool.

Related Lessons

The Ocean Swimming Attraction

Competitors run into the water to start their ocean swimming event.

There’s really no better all-round fitness activity than swimming. But 50m back and forth, back and forth in a pool staring at a black line isn’t exactly for everyone.

Ocean swimming allows you to swim as nature intended (no, we don’t mean stark naked) and there are fantastic opportunities to swim socially, participate in an event or travel the world swimming in exotic locations.

Ocean swimming is (obviously, some might say) a lot different to swimming in a pool. For one there’s no lanes or a black line to follow like in the pool, you can’t stop and stand up or hold the edge when you’re tired, and being a natural environment you’ll have to contend with elements like waves, currents and wind chop.

As one of the fastest growing recreational participation sports, ocean swimming is challenging, loads of fun and the best part is that it all takes place in the natural ocean environment!

Ocean Swimming For Body & Mind 

As an ocean swimmer you can enjoy the benefits of becoming one with the natural ocean environment and harnessing its energy.

Being able to enjoy the greatest playground on earth with your friends and share your tales of taming the ocean over a coffee after is addictive.

Swimming itself is a great aerobic activity, and ocean swimming through waves will help increase your anaerobic fitness and build your swimming strength.

Ocean Swimming Safety


The ocean is a hazardous environment at any time and ocean swimmers must always respect it.

Conditions can change in the blink of an eye and can catch out even the most experienced ocean swimmer. Ocean swimming safety should be your first priority, to stay safe follow these ocean swimming safety tips.

Ocean swimming safety tips

  • Always swim with a friend at beaches patrolled by lifeguards
  • Wear a fluro swim cap to identify yourself in the water
  • Know your limits and if in doubt stay out
  • Before your swim, check conditions at the start and end points

Learn about avoiding risks by following OceanFit’s Ocean Responsibility Code.

Ocean Responsibility Code logo that says 'Keep to the code, have fun and stay safe. Know your ocean responsibility code.'