Do I need a wetsuit for open water swimming?

No, a wetsuit is not always necessary for open water swimming. Wetsuits provide warmth and flotation. Some competitive open water swimming events don’t allow the use of wetsuits and the rule in triathlon is that if the water temperature if over 22 degrees Celsius then wetsuits are not permitted. However, if you are unaccustomed to or don’t enjoy cold water; or if you are a novice swimmer who would benefit from the extra flotation; then a wetsuit is advised. If you wish to be competitive in a triathlon swim where your competition are wearing wetsuits, then you need to wear one. Increased flotation amounts to a better body position and faster swimming. Without a wetsuit you’ll be at a disadvantage