Brief History Open Water Swimming
Open water swimming, in modern day, is generally perceived to be related to the sport of triathlon, in part due to the increasing growing popularity of the competition. Many brands such as Ironman, Life Time, WTC and USAT organize triathlon competitions all over the world. It is estimated that over four million people participate in triathlons worldwide and the number is growing.
Open water swimming was popular long before triathlon, in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans. Some date the modern age of open water swimming to May of 1810 when Lord Byron swam several miles from Europe to Asia, across the Dardanelles.
Swimming across the English Channel from England to France was first achieved by Capt. Matthew Webb in 1875. Capt. Webb completed this 21 mile plus swim in 21 hours and 45 minutes. There have been almost 4000 channel swims since this date with an average time of 13.5 hours. An Australia man, Trent Grimsey, holds the speed record at 6 hours and 55 minutes.
The 1896 Olympic Games in Athens Greece held a swimming competition in open water. Beginning In 2000, the Olympic Games included a triathlon with a 1500 meter swim. In 2008, a 10 kilometer swim was added to the games.
The FINA World Aquatics Championships began including open water swimming events since 1992.
Competitors aside, There are a large number of swimmers who participate in the sport of open water swimming for their own personal enjoyment as well as the physical and emotional benefits of what some call “wild swimming”. Outdoor Swimmer Magazine chronicles many of these swimmers and swim locations all over the world and several books have been published about open water swimming
Open Water Swimming Technology
Swimming caps, swimming goggles and wetsuits are all basic pieces of technology that can improve swim efficiency and are familiar to most people. Technology such as the Garmin Watch now exist to help competitors keep track of their performance. Swimming goggles were first commercially manufactured in 1968-1969. While advancements were made over a period of 50 years to lens coatings and gasket materials, not much changed over this period of time, until the creation of OnCourse Goggles.
Most swimmers find it very difficult to swim straight in open water towards a buoy or other target without sighting constantly. In open water, with the absence of swimming pool lines, swimmers lose their sense of direction and tend to “zig-zag” through the open water. This wastes precious energy and slows their performance. Bad form can cause the swimmer to sight constantly and correct course in order to reach the target.
Many athletes avoid both the sport of open water swimming and competing in triathlons because of the swimming component, simply because they cannot swim straight in open water or master sighting. A large number of swimmers suffer from anxiety when they become disoriented in the open water of a lake or ocean. In addition, some triathletes are disqualified because they cannot complete the swim component in the time allotted by race rules.
OnCourse open water swimming goggles began shipping in November of 2019 to solve these problems and help swimmers overcome their anxiety, reduce sighting and swim straight in open water. The patented technology is the only technology that tells you where you are going and will bring new people to the sports of open water swimming and triathlon. OnCourse Goggles have a built-in micro controller, electronic compass, and GNSS module that provide feedback to swimmers and keep them on course.
Bought 2 pairs of these for my wife and I. There was a user learning curve and a few tech issues we had to work through but great customer service got us there. We’re now loving our OnCourse goggles! Highly recommend!
Tried these out, they definitely reduce course anxiety. They do require more sightings and corrections if in a strong cross wind and using the goggles in "Basic Mode". The final leg in the map was down wind. I would recommend. They definitely help me keep my face in the water and improve my swimming efficiency.
I do have a habit of zig zagging. I’ve been interested in these goggles for years but as they’re quite expensive I could never justify buying for myself. I’ve just been given a pair for my birthday 😃 - as I live in the UK - this took a bit of organisation. I’ve tried them this morning and they are fantastic. Superbly comfortable (no marks , no leaking) and the technology is fantastic. Really easy to set up and easy to use. They make the swim much more relaxed and efficient. I’ve also realised I always seem to veer right so wonder if I need to strengthen my left side. OnCourse - distribute to the UK- I already know some swimming clubs who would love to try them.
Prior to OnCourse Goggles, I was zigzagging my way through the triathlon open water swim. Ugh! Wasted effort and time. OnCourse Goggles have me seeing a clear direction and staying on course! Highly recommend for swimmers who want to transfer their pool lane lines to lakes and open water!
These goggles make a massive difference. Over the years I have often swum a few extra hundred meters, and been directed by the event staff that I am off course. All very frustrating and exhausting. With the OnCourse goggles, I am swimming in a perfectly straight line, and only have to sight at each boy, allowing me to relax and concentrate purely on swimming. Have swum my fastest ever 1.9K in an IM70.3 using these goggles. Much better value for money if you are looking to save time and energy in a race compared to super expensive carbon wheels that may only save a minute or two. Below is tracking from my Garmin for a swim without, and with (in a race).
I enjoy my new goggles. They Are comftable to wear, easy to use, and are working exactly as described.
I bought these on Kickstarter and I'm very happy that they do what they promise.I need all the help I can get sighting and this may just be the answer. They are super easy to calibrate and use, and I found that it was simple to reset the course (when you turn a corner in the swim) to a new heading - it just takes a simple tap on the side. The lights are super easy and clear and are in the periphery of your vision (on top) and do not interfere with your field of vision. They do not blind you in any way.
They just work. I love them and I can't wait to start racing with them.
I did a review of them on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/WfDVYY2Juf0
I was a skeptic, so I put the goggles to the test with a buddy during a lake swim. I usually zig-zag and correct a lot when I swim. I really could not believe how well these googles work to keep you on course. I set the target, then swam freestyle for 700 meters while my buddy followed me in a kayak. I did not sight the target at all and only turned my head to breathe. As I neared the end of the course, my buddy sounded an air horn for me to stop and I found myself about 20 feet from the target. The feedback was easy to follow and I was able to focus on my breathing and pace. For the return trip, I set the target and once again swam without sighting. When my buddy blew the air horn, I sighted and found myself at my target near the shore.
Those two swims should have convinced me, but my friend suggested that I turn the goggles OFF, then try the course again without sighting. With the goggles OFF, I was only able to swim about 50 feet before I heard the horn signaling me to stop because I was so far off course. We tried this a few times and I could not swim straight without the guidance in the goggles.
For the final test, I swam and sighted 'normally" while my friend watched the line from the shore. I followed the feedback in the goggles and my friend said that he saw me swim off course but then correct slightly. He could tell when I was receiving feedback to correct. It was so cool to see the target right in front of me every single time that I sighted while using the goggles. Swimming with the goggles gave me more confidence and really kept me on course. Buy these goggles.
Living at the sea I always wanted to do my swimming training directly from the beach. But it is always so hard to really swim and practice full of concentration among those breaking waves. I sometimes found myself far out in the sea. Now after 3 days trading with these on course goggles the trading in the waves is a pleasure, because I no more lose track and clearly arrive close to the Targeted bouys. The training efficacy is much improved. So far this is a tremendous success.
On the other hand I wonder how long the USB socket will resist corrosion in the salty sea water ?
I love swimming and challenging myself. I especially love OWS. I readily admit, I am never the fastest- trust me, it's been confirmed! I am what some refer to as a 'completer'. My goal is to complete the race. I love the freedom, serenity, wonderment and oneness of OWS. What I don't like is my inability to swim straight. actually this is no surprise, I can't walk straight...I'm a natural wanderer. Generally this doesn't matter on casual swims, but in more than one race, I have added more than 200 yards due to poor sighting. The angst associated with veering and drifting is a huge distraction and takes away from the fun of the competition. Enter OnCourse, a real OWS game changer. How big of a game changer? The technology has been approved for use by many of the governing boards for races. This is not surprising, as in many ways, it is an added safety feature.
So, after online research, I bit the bullet and made the purchase. I received my order in 8days. The product was well packaged. The directions were so easy, I thought I has overlooked something. I was ready to use the OnCourse goggles after less than 15minutes (including opening the box, watching the OnCourse online video and reading the directions).
Took the goggles out this morning. Clicked the on button. Eyed the buoy, locked in my direction and started swimming. The goggles are super comfortable. The feedback of green, yellow or red is unobtrusive and innate as we are already attuned to responding to red, green and yellow. I did experience going off course without immediate yellow or green notification, but it was due to lateral drift. OnCourse HAS a feature to address lateral drift, but mine was so minimal that instead of changing modes, I simply refocused on my destination and locked the target from the drifted direction. Easy breezy. Took seconds. Mind you, I still manually sighted during my swim but guess what, each time I was on track. An added note, I tested the goggles at sunrise. Generally the marker is quite difficult to see due to the sun's position. This can waste time or be disorienting. ONCOURSE is great for markers masked in the horizon. Overall, I felt more confident swimming and was able to spend more time focusing on my rhythm and stroke and honestly just enjoying the gift of our earth's wonders. This morning was my first use, but the product performed as promised! I'll update it anything should arise. But for now, well worth it!
The guiding LED's are very easy to follow you can just set your direction with a single tap of a button and you're good to go. Before trying these googles I thought the guiding light would be a bit distracting but they are just enough to give you direction, the lights sit outside the google so you only see enough to know how to correct your course but they don't blind you or provide unnecessary distraction. Also they fit really comfortably, I really liked how these googles are tinted and they minimize the glaring and ghosting when you come in and out the water.
I definitely recommend you to try these out and you will love them.
The OnCourse Goggles are very intuitive to use and they do make a difference when swimming in open waters. I did swim in a lake few times and I barely had to sight because I just followed the indication of the lights inside the goggles. Much straighter swim, less anxiety and faster time!
Was an early adopter of this product. Company was still ironing out the details... was professional and excellent communication. Final product came out so I repurchased it. Online ordering was very simple and smooth. Delivery was error free and perfect. Product performs as promised and more. Well worth the money for all open water swimmers. Highly recommend this product and the company.
After a lot of assistance from the very helpful people at OCGs I am pleased with the goggles. From March to November I swim over a mile each day in open lake water. I don’t compete with anyone but myself, but l keep close track of my times over the courses I swim. Remarkably my times have improved nearly 15 to 20% immediately after using the goggles . You just stay on a very straight line!
I actually heard about the concept of OnCourse Goggles back in 2016. They were not available then, but jumped at the chance to order when offered. While not a “competitor”, I am a “completer”. I enjoy open water swims for the physical and mental challenge. The goggles perform just as I imagined back in 2016 and as advertised. They make average to good swimmers better. Less sighting required, less zig-zag swims. Verified on my iWatch. For high level elite swimmers the benefit may not be as great, but for the rest of us, they are a great assist. The fit, feel, and function just works. I need to get a another one for my daughter who swims with me. Well done.
OnCourse Goggles Get Results
Performance Gain 1500m Swim
Minutes Shaved Off 1500m Swim
Cost Compared to Others
- OnCourse Goggles Performance Boost 15% 15%
- Swim Skin Performance Boost 5% 5%
- Wet Suit Performance Boost 8% 8%
- Aerodynamic Helmet Perfomance Boost 1% 1%
- Aerodynamic Wheels Performance Boost 4% 4%
Swim: 1500m at a pace of 2:00/100m - Bike: 40k at a pace of 18 mph
Open Water Swimming Goggles with an Amazing Advantage
OnCourse Goggles get results. At half the cost of a wet suit, and less than one tenth of the cost of aerodynamic bicycle wheels, OnCourse open water swimming goggles will help you swim straight in open water and can deliver up to a 15% performance improvement, even for an accomplished swimmer. We analyzed a variety of performance enhancing gear such as swim skins, wet suits, aerodynamic helmets and aerodynamic bicycling wheels. Nothing compared to the time savings that are realized during triathlons by swimming in a straight line in open water with OnCourse Goggles.