• Education

Lani Pallister: Open water vs surf swim strategies

Triple World Short Champion and four-time Lorne Pier to Pub winner, Lani Pallister, shares her tips on pacing different types of open water swims.

Triple World Short Champion and four-time Lorne Pier to Pub winner, Lani Pallister, shares her tips on navigating the flat water vs the surf.

“The difference in strategy from a race like Pier to Pub (flat open water) compared to a Summer of Surf race (surf race) is how I start the race out,” said Lani.

“The Pier to Pub race is a water start so it is more of a sprint straight away out in the open water, whereas Summer of Surf is a run start which means you have a little bit more momentum going into the swim.

“I am fairly used to swapping between distances, considering I race the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle in the pool.

“For me, doing the longer swims sits a little closer to my heart and it’s a lot easier for me to get a rhythm going by the end of the race.

“I do think the Summer of Surf races are a bit more splash and dash and there is a little bit more luck involved with the waves on the way in. So because of that, I try to make sure I am at least two waves ahead so that I have my pick and people don’t catch waves on me.”

Lani’s top open water vs surf swim strategies

  • In-water starts you need to go hard from the start to sit in the front pack
  • For a run start use the momentum from your run to carry into your first few strokes
  • Because surf races can be involved luck make sure you are ahead of the pack

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Events discussed in this article

  • Ocean Swim

Lorne Pier to Pub

  • Sun, 26 May 2024
  • Lorne VIC
  • Written by Ocean Swims on 7 February 2023
  • (Updated on 3 August 2023)
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