I’m hosting a workshop in San Francisco in a couple weeks and I’ve got a hunger for the Bay. There’s a reason- everybody who has open water experience in different types of water knows that the buoyancy in salt water is a lot kinder to dragging legs. But I see this as a learning opportunity

What I wanted to know (and am also checking out this weekend in Santa Barbara)  is how my stroke changes between fresh and salt water. If the body balances differently, I don’t need the same priority list of balance adjustments when I swim in salt water. This means there might be more opportunities for speed if I allow my stroke to be more about streamlining. I can be a bit more relaxed, but shifts of weight might be a bit different if they don’t need as much of a down-and-out adjustment. In just the simple physics of the motion, it SHOULD be a different stroke, even if just by a little.

So I’m getting my stroke filmed in the Bay and in the pool to compare differences, both at the start of my swims and at the end. I would guess that by 30 minutes into a mindful swim, I’ll have made some adjustments to the salt water, and I’m interested to see if both before and afters look the same regardless of my relative buoyancy, or if I maybe make unconscious changes as I go along.

What’s your experience? Do you have a different stroke for fresh or salt water?