Shark Shield Pty Ltd

Open Water Swimming

Just wondering if anyone is using the Freedom7 for open water swimming? If so do you have to wear a wetsuit? I don't usually swim with a wetsuit and would rather not.

Has anyone come up with modifications to make it better for swimmers? I know that Shark Shield could/would not endorse modifications but I'm interested :)

  • Hi Lara, I swim all year round each day in the Nth. Cott. beach without a wet suit, and I'm not a strong swimmer and have no problems, and don't even notice that l have it on. Cheers Lou Gigante


    1 person likes this
  • Hey thanks Ligigante. I am going to try to borrow one to test how it feels swimming with it. I have heard reports that there is a lot of drag and it really slows your swimming down - maybe that's the older model. Nice to know you're not being zapped by it without the wetsuit.  I appreciate your reply! Happy swimming :)


  • I swim in the Gulf of Maine (grew up in Victoria and spent a year in Perth - swam at Cottesloe regularly 1974).

    I usually do wear a wet suit. Water temp when I swim is here usually in the 50-60 F range. I do not kick much but have not really noticed the unit once I am swimming. You will notice it when you first put it on. If you are not wearing a wetsuit there would be more potential that you could get a bit of a tingle if you stop or are walking to shore and the antennae floated around in a wave.. When you are swimming it will trail away, so in general I would not think it would be any problem. If I can find someone to kayak I attached it to a pull boy and tow it behind the kayak. I have had mine 6 years ago. I ran a test on the battery today and it was still working after 6 1/2 hours. A good friend a swim with (Pat Charette) is signed up for Molokai next year and the pilot is making it mandatory that the swimmer have a Shark Shield in the water an on throughout the swim. Pat will have kayakers towing the unit. I would not be surprised if more of the marathon swimmers/pilots follow suit.

    All the best

  • thanks sshallard -  that's perfect if the kayaker will tow the shield for you though they would need to stay very close to make sure the swimmer is covered by the shield. Also kayakers don't mind doing events but I doubt if I could coerce someone into a slow paddle with me 3 times a week :)


     I've been thinking a lot more about how to set it up and have ordered one of those Chill Swim dry bags that you can tow behind and I'll figure out a way to fix the unit to the underside of that. It will be the complete kit for longer ocean swims: high visibility for boats, hydration and snacks, gps/phone and shark shield.  Will post up info on the kit when it's sorted, which will be a month away given freight time etc. 


  • Lara I would suggest trying it on your ankle first. You will find it is a comfortable fit. I have never felt the "pulse" form the antennae although one of my support crew did and they dropped it quickly. I think it was just the unexpected sensation that made them jump.

    I have attached a link to a blog and if you can down to the 2010 Eagle Is swim you can see how I rigged it on the float. As the time I was using swimming with one of the rigid rescue floats which had handles on either side and I was able to simply loop the velcro angle wrap around the handle. I switched to the inflatable float probably similar to what you used. Fastening will be easy enough. When I initially got the unit I tried using is on the hard rescue float. To get it out of the way of my legs meant running a longer tether. Subject to wave conditions that often did not work well so (it would swing to the side or even float up on me) I quickly went back to my ankle.

    http://patgalant.blogspot.com

    All the best 

    Geoff

  • Thought some photos may help.

    It is easy to use the ankle strap to attach to either float.

    The red rescue can has a lot longer tow strap than my orange inflatable dry bag. On my dray bag what looks like a tow strap is just the waist belt which means it is even closer than it would appear from comparing the photos. Adding to that Shark Shield can attach at the far end - all of which puts the shark Shield further behind you and reduces the risk of it ending up around you legs. So try the ankle first. I think you will find it is fine.

    01a5SIWeTrixrpA6mKy-Mq60c-wluyFbWA.JPG

    QTqfnbZkpzBfeKmf75oHzwf24pcx3DAeAQ.JPG

  • Thought some photos may help.

    It is easy to use the ankle strap to attach to either float.

    The red rescue can has a lot longer tow strap than my orange inflatable dry bag. On my dray bag what looks like a tow strap is just the waist belt which means it is even closer than it would appear from comparing the photos. Adding to that Shark Shield can attach at the far end - all of which puts the shark Shield further behind you and reduces the risk of it ending up around you legs. So try the ankle first. I think you will find it is fine.

  • Brilliant! thanks for sending those through. You're way ahead of me. Either system: ankle or tow bag I can make it work. From the images here I'm thinking if the shield is on the tow bag (towed by swimmer) it is probably going to end up too far away from the swimmer.   


    Sadly this appears to be the end of the simple swim with just bathers, goggle and cap but there is just a little too much shark action around in my part of the world at the moment.

    Happy swimming .. in your VERY chilly water!


  • I think it will work fine if you tow it. But give it a try on your ankle first and see how it works. This is the simplest way  and how I use it 95% of the time. You always know where it is. Our waves here are typically a lot smaller than what you have to I thinking towing it will be more of a hassle. 

    And yes I see the reports and wonder whether I would be quite as happy swimming at Cottesloe in 2016 as I was in  74. 

    Our water temp is now just under 50 F and will drop down to freezing in spots. There folks surf all year but I think most of the swimmers have headed back indoors. Summer water here is a bit like winter water in Victoria. This is a great spot to ocean swim.

    Let me know how it works out.


Login or Signup to post a comment