A Swim Buddy makes you more visible to boaters, jet skis, kite boarders, sail boarders, kayakers or waterskiers while you are swimming, lessening your chance of being accidentally run over by any of these watercraft. Knowing that you will be seen also allows you to relax more, concentrate more on your swimming, and increase your enjoyment of open water swimming.
With the use of a Swim Buddy, swimmers’ progress can be more easily monitored by others, either on the water by support paddlers, or during an event by lifeguards/swim support crew, or just from shore by those monitoring your safety while training. It is a lot easier to see a bright orange buoy than a mostly submerged swimmer in a black wetsuit. Even a brightly coloured swim cap may be mostly submerged most of the time. Race directors of open water swims and triathlons are charged with keeping participating swimmers safe, so anything that improves the ability to see swimmers on the open water enhances safety and response times to assist any swimmer needing timely support.
Check out this video of how a personal swim buoy is used to monitor open water swimmers in the 5.25-mile Lake Coniston Swim in the UK.
Given its dual air chambers and buoyancy when inflated, a Swim Buddy can be used as a floatation device when you need it in the case of cramps, dizziness, injury, fatigue or anxiety. Still, a Swim Buddy is intended to be used only by competent swimmers and not relied on as a personal floatation device; open water swimmers are encouraged never to swim alone or without monitoring, given that a personal floatation device can’t do everything for you.
The Swim Buddy can also be used to rescue others who are in any kind of distress, without risking being pulled under by a desperate swimmer. The buckle can be easily and quickly undone to share with another swimmer for this purpose. The buoyancy can easily keep a 200 lb man at the surface, and provide a calming effect when floatation is provided.
Besides the dual inflatable air chambers, the Touring model of the Swim Buddy has a large storage compartment, allowing you to store things, such as your valuables, or a change of clothes. Whether your keys, your watch, your Garmin, your cellphone, or your wallet, you can keep your valuables safe and dry; and whether your flip-flops, a towel, a shirt, and shorts,you can take things along with you, especially useful in a point to point swim. Your “stuff” stays safe while you’re swimming if you don’t want to leave your valuables on the beach or in your car–No more need to worry about where to put you keys! You can even bring snacks or water to drink; your Garmin will work more accurately without being submersed with your arm stroke; you can even attach a flashing light for evening swims.