Swim Buddy's are NOT mandatory for this swim.

With the growth in popularity of triathlon and open water swimming in the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the need to keep all swimmers safe in a mass start, open water environment. The ATLS Society recognizes that wellbeing and enjoyment of our participants is our number one priority, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends to enhance water safety. Wave starts, on-the-water lifeguard support, emergency planning, medical support, our white-cap system, and our Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics are all part of our commitment to our swimmers’ security.

swim buddyEnter the Swim Buddy. This safety tool has been developed and used worldwide over many years, especially in Asia, and is now used as a required safety device in many swim events. So, what exactly is it?

The Swim Buddy is specifically designed to provide a safety aide for open water swimmers, serving three important functions without hindering performance or hindering your stroke.  When considering personal safety and peace of mind for you and those who care about you consider the following advantages of this device:

  1. It makes you visible to boaters, jet skis, kite boarders or other potential human hazards while you are swimming, and your progress can be more easily monitored by others from shore;
  2. It can secondarily be used as a float to rest on if need be, since it can provide enough buoyancy to hold up a 250lb person;
  3. Larger models can keep your “stuff” safe while you're swimming or allows you to take along your “stuff” (flip flops, towels, cell-phones, wallets, shorts and shirts can all easily fit in the Swim Buddy) on one-way swims across rivers or lakes—no more need to worry about where to put you keys!

Several triathlons and open water swims have made their use mandatory already, and we expect this trend to increase, including here in the Okanagan.


How to get one:  Swim Buddy's are available online at OpenWater.ca, or in store and online at Fresh Air in Kelowna.


  1. […] can also rent or purchase our SWIM BUDDY and our super cool, vintage 65th Anniversary […]

  2. 17 Days Till The Channel: Dress Rehersal | leoraenglishchannel on July 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    […] to have the company. On the way to strathcona park we stayed quite shallow even though we had our swim buddies. But on the way back we were out quite deep and I freaked out a one point when I suddenly saw […]

  3. BG on December 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    where can I purchase a swim buddy?

    • Peter Rudd on December 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Currently, a Swim Buddy can be purchased by emailing: racedirector@acrossthelakeswim.com

  4. Karen on March 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Are swim buddies mandatory? I’ve been open water swimming since 2005 and your swims are the first ones I’ve seen them using them.

    • Peter Rudd on March 28, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      No, Swim Buddies are not mandatory for this swim.

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