38 - Pool Swimming Vs. Oceanic Swimming

TL:DR | When you are in a safe environment it makes it easier to learn, but once you get to a more open one; Then the dangers build up. From Sharks to riptides, but here are the differences.

4 min read
38 - Pool Swimming Vs. Oceanic Swimming

From the cool water to relax your body, to the resistance of the waves. There are a lot of reasons why you may choose to swim in the ocean.

Growing up I mainly stuck to the pool, given that I am landlocked, but I have been to the beach. Also know a lot about how waves and oceanic waters work, so I thought today we would discuss that dichotomy a bit!

Why + Philosophy:

Depending on where you are in the world you may not have access to an official swimming pool. Resorting to creeks, lakes, or something along those lines. However many places around the world have access to the ocean.

With the strong waves to swim in or surf on, to the beautiful aquatic settings under the waves. There are many reasons why you'd venture forth off of the beach.

Why going for a swim in the ocean can be good for you, and for nature
Ocean swimmers often wax lyrical about the benefits of a regular dip in the salt water.

How + Physics:

One things you need to look out for though are the dangers. Yes, there can be sharks, but that honestly doesn't happen as much as you might think. You're more likely to get into a car crash on the way to the beach than get bit by a shark.

However what you really DO need to look out for, ironically you can't really see it, are riptides. Dangerous areas in the ocean that take the form of circular currents, that sweep you into their domain.

One false move and you can get pulled under. People think they can swim against it, and they fail. They get too tired real quick, and then they drown. I've seen this in a mini-scale (not the drowning part), with the lazy river component to the pool I worked at in my life.

The river isn't that powerful, but it does push you back quite well. I'd often make my swim lessons swim against it to strengthen their mind and body. You had to delay the gratification to breathe in order to surpass the hard point in the river.

The same thing goes for riptides, as you have to think logically. Not with your physicality, but that of planning in the moment. The key point of advice you'll see online is that of swimming parallel to the beach, perpendicular to the current. To try and escape it's grasp.

What is a rip current?
Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes. </p><p>Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer.

What + Psychology:

Now both pool and ocean swimming have their benefits, and honestly I haven't swam hardly in the ocean myself to give an opinion. Although from what I understand from other people's experiences, is that it is a fantastic experience.

Especially in places where you can scuba dive, and the water is extra clear.

Pools are meant for more recreation and strength building, and the ocean is more for exploration and challenge.


While this post is short and simple, there is merit to it in a newsletter about swimming. As I said before not everyone is going to have access to a pool, and being able to safely use the water that is around is important!

I'm trying to make sure I share plenty of educational resources, so that you can prepare yourself or family when swimming in the ocean.

Ocean Swimming Safety - Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)
Rip Currents - Currents: NOAA’s National Ocean Service Education
National Ocean Service’s Education Online tutorial on Corals?
6 Things You Need to Know Before Swimming in the Ocean
Before you hit the waves on your next ocean-side trip, there are a few questions you need to know the answers to.


This is advice for people to level up their swimming, or perhaps get started in the first place. While you swim you should make sure you are doing so in a public facility with a lifeguard on duty for safety.

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