adjective, noun - An assisted swim is an open water swim where the swimmer wears, uses, or benefits from a wetsuit, protective swimwear (e.g., stinger suit), technical swimsuit, fins, paddles, snorkel, shark cage, buoyancy of any sort, protective jellyfish cage, or any other equipment, tool, object, material, boat, materials that helps increase the natural buoyancy, heat retention or skin protection during the swim whether for extreme temperatures (water or air) or marine life.
Marathon Swimmers Federation
Swims that use nonstandard equipment as defined by the Marathon Swimmers Federation is an assisted swim. Nonstandard equipment is anything not specifically included in the list of standard equipment. While it is impossible to exhaustively list all potential nonstandard equipment, the Marathon Swimmers Federation categorizes equipment as either (1) performance-enhancing, or (2) non-performance enhancing.
Performance-enhancing equipment is defined as nonstandard equipment that benefits the swimmer’s speed, buoyancy, heat retention, or endurance. Swims using such equipment cannot be considered unassisted. Examples of performance-enhancing equipment include:
- Equipment that may retain or increase warmth – e.g., wetsuits, neoprene caps, booties, gloves.
- Equipment that may increase speed – e.g., flippers, paddles, shark cages.
- Equipment that may increase buoyancy - e.g., pull buoys, wetsuits.
- Auditory pacing aids - e.g., music players, metronomes.
- Wearable electronic devices that transmit information to the swimmer beyond the time of day and elapsed time.
- Underwater streamers.
- Performance-enhancing drugs on the World Anti-Doping Agency List of Prohibited Substances.
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