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Our top tow floats for open water swimming

Views: 17     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-05-11      Origin: Site

Tow floats are vital pieces of kit for open water swimming. Want to know why and which one to go for? Here's our guide to everything you need to know...


What is a tow float and what do they do?

A tow float is a floatation device that open water swimmers use to increase their visibility in the water. They are lightweight to keep drag to a minimum and are brightly coloured, normally florescent orange, pink or yellow, to stand out from the water. This should alert your presence to other water users, including boats, and help you attract attention in case of emergency.

Another use of a tow float is as an inflated aid to hold on to in the water, to either use in an emergency or grab hold of to take a much needed breather during a hard workout. Many floats are now made with a ‘dual chamber’ which splits the inside of the float into sections: one side holds air to create buoyancy, and the other side acts as a handy dry bag for valuables, with extra layers to protect the insides in case of puncture.

Tow floats are often mandatory for ‘skins’ swimmers (those swimming without a buoyant wetsuit), beginners, and children, as they offer that bit more security and peace of mind to a nervous newbie.


How do you use a tow float?

Simply stuff your valuables in the ‘dry bag’ section of the float, if your float has this feature, and roll up the top to seal. Then attach the float around your waist like a belt, allowing the adjustable leash to trail behind you when swimming. If the conditions are choppy, you may find that the float bumps against you when in motion, so try and arrange the float to flow away from you with the direction of the wind.

Take a break by wrapping your arms around the float and floating, or use as a kick board if you don’t want to put your head beneath the water. Tow floats are especially handy for those susceptible to cramp, offering a safe means of rest until the cramp subsides.