Thermal Aquatic Wear Psychology

                  PROFESSIONAL AQUATICS:

The important differences in the need to stay warm in structured aquatic programs  versus the need to stay warm in casual water recreation (e.g. going to the beach) enable you to understand the natural and important role that thermal aquatic wear plays.

Imagine going out on a cool day intentionally choosing not
to bring along a sweater or light jacket knowing that you will
eventually become uncomfortably chilled. It’s a peculiar thought
isn’t it? Since most of us have an assortment of sweaters, sweatshirts,
and jackets we wear to keep warm, why would we choose to be
cold? Of course, we normally wouldn’t. Why, then, do many tolerate
becoming cold when participating in aquatic activities when thermal
aquatic wear
 is so readily available.


For most people, going into the water is a possibility largely determined
by air and water temperatures. Most go to beaches or pools to enjoy
brief swims and the cooling comfort of being in and around the water on
warm, sunny days. Empty beaches on rainy days support the argument.
Since staying cool is often their intent, becoming chilled in the water is of
minor concern since they can spend as little or as much time in the water
as their comfort dictates. Most have a lifetime’s experience passively
maintaining their comfort levels in this way and are not concerned about
extending their comfort in the water.


But for others, going into the water is more than a possibility determined by air and
water temperatures and becoming chilled is a concern. They spend more
time in the water. Passively awaiting perfect conditions it too limiting. For
comfort they must adjust to the conditions at hand through the use of wet suits
and thermal aquatic wear. Divers, surfers, sailboarders, jet skiers, and water
skiers are examples.


There is another distinct, aquatic world where people spend longer periods of time in the water to learn to swim, exercise, or rehabilitate; the world of professional aquatics. Like  the diver and surfer, cooling off is not their objective. Although professional aquatics typically conducts its business in controlled environments, a specific, ideal temperature may not be possible and individuals become cold.

Thermal aquatic wear is an ideal solution. Aquatic professionals, however, should
recognize that because many individuals are accustomed  to passively relating to 
the water rather than actively adjusting to it, thermal aquatic wear may be unfamiliar.
They may not understand how thermal aquatic wear actually works to preserve
body heat. Aquatic professionals who recognize when thermal aquatic wear
will benefit certain individuals and are able to knowledgably discuss its use will
be able to contribute to the success of their programs for those cold students and
prevent attrition when their pool conditions are not able to please everyone.