It’s that time of year when gift-giving has us all in a frenzy...
Subtle hints drift back and forth. Ideas are planted. Then forgotten. Book titles and chocolate brands fade beyond reach. Remote-controlled helicopters and festive egg cups suddenly litter our social feeds. And it looks suddenly so appealing.
Luckily, if you’ve got a swimmer in the family, you can skip the charade and probing questions and head straight to a reliable handful of aquatic gifts. Here’s a few things every respectable mer-person will likely need at one point or other:
10. The Tracker
Improvement is in the detail. Most swimmers benefit from technical feedback and the quirk of having exact readings of distance and timing, whenever they hit the water. This year we ran a Swim Watch Buyer’s Guide and put 3 brands and leading models to the SwimTrek test. Find out what our swimmers had to say about everything from battery life to GPS tracking.
9. A Special Festive Suit
Tis the season to whip out budgy smugglers and festive suits from dusty closets! Head to a few of the major swim outlets and find your family swimmer a suit to draw a crowd and make the oncoming waves blush. We've relied on an Australian/UK brand called Budgy Smuggler many times for Christmas dress-ups over the years!
8. Gift Vouchers
Gift vouchers are always a winner, especially if you might not be able to see someone in person or get them a physical gift in time.
Of course we recommend a SwimTrek Gift Voucher as that extra special gift! This gives a lot of flexibility for that someone special to find their new favourite swim.
We also offer vouchers for our expert coaching sessions at our endless pool in Brighton, which is a fantastic gift for that swimmer in your life taking on a personal swim challenge!
7. Swim Gear
Form goggles, waterproof headphones, fins, tow floats, booties, dry robes… the list of swim accessories is long and filled with things that add to the fun of it all. So, if your family swimmer is ready to gadget up and hit the open water like James Bond in Thunderball, it might be worth breaking out the comparison guides and checking what suits their needs.
6. Yoga Lessons
If the massage alone didn’t cut it, yoga is a useful discipline for swimmers and a new hobby in waiting, which could unlock a few fresh ideas and training benefits in the water. Those stretch postures help to relieve bodily tension and the general focus on meditation and breathing techniques also aid a swimmer's ability to take on longer endurance swims.
Feed the furnace. Offer up a motivational film, new album or that coveted Outdoor Swimmer magazine subscription! It all offers submersible inspiration for the next time your family swimmer wants to break out and leap over the neighbour’s sprinkler system.
4. A Swimmer’s Journal
Maybe it’s time for your resident water-holic to go the way of Roger Deakin and start keeping an account of their various tangles with murky rivers and the open briny. Journals are a great way to record training progress, or to keep a log of those rare thoughts that occur after a bit of long-awaited submersion.
Recipe books are especially great because baking is a swimmer’s secret tool – cakes, stodgy foods, hot treats and steamy dinners all surface regularly in a well-watered imagination. It might be time for your family swimmer to explore new ways to warm up and refuel in winter, expanding those big post-swim feeds.
There's also a huge selection of classic aquatic literature out there. Check out our 2020 list of great reads from waves, ponds, lakes and other wild places: Top 10 Swim Adventure Books.
2. Filming Kit
Ross Edgley showed us how to map out a swim journey for viewers with his weekly Red Bull updates during the Great British Swim. A GoPro or waterproof phone case are useful tools for opening up new worlds of personal content production. The community of swimmers feed off each other’s shots of spots and recorded dips. Maybe it's time for your swimmer to throw their swim cap into the digital mix!
1. A Ruckraft!
You might’ve seen swimmers lumbering into shallows strapped with this inflatable raft/large drybag, called a Ruckraft. We run a few adventures in association with this awesome brand, including our tailor-made River Cam river expeditions. The Ruckraft offers an ingenious way to extend your adventures and store kit you might need once you leave the shore, from a pop-up tent to a picnic.