In recent times, wild swimming has seen a huge upsurge in popularity. And it’s obvious why – it’s a fantastic way to reconnect with nature, submerge yourself in the natural environment – and get a mighty endorphin buzz from the cold water! Irish beaches offer some of the most beautiful settings for a swim in Europe and are often a great way to enjoy the seaside without the crowds.

However, with Irish weather not known for its warmth, it’s wise to invest in the right swimming gear before enjoying your al fresco dip. At The Edge Sports, we provide specialist equipment to allow you to make the most of the great outdoors in maximum comfort. From hiking to cycling, and triathlon to surfing and swimming, we love helping you get active and get out there. Here’s our expert guide to all the swimming gear you’ll need for Irish beaches.

Swimwear Basics

Everyone needs a good swimsuit to enjoy the beach. However, with a wide range of swimwear options, your choices will depend on how you intend to spend your seaside time.

If you’re just a casual swimmer, comfortable board shorts for men or a fashionable bikini for women might be what you’re looking for. However, if you’re spending a lot of time in the water, or you’re training for a competitive sporting event such as a triathlon, you might want to invest in some high-performance swimwear to help you on your way.

High-tech swimwear can aid speed, comfort, and flexibility. Innovative features can include ultra-lightweight fabric with horizontal carbon bands that offer intelligent muscle compression. These specialist pieces smooth the body into a streamlined shape with the added benefit of minimal stitching, giving zero chafing and minimal drag. Elite swimmers chose this level of swimwear to give them unrestricted movement and a second-skin feel.

Cold Weather Gear

Womens Wetsuit


A wetsuit is a go-to item for those wishing to swim or surf in colder climates. Wetsuits come in a range of designs, from those, especially for women, to children’s sizes, and different weights according to temperature. When selecting a wetsuit, consider whether a back or side zip would be more convenient. Opt for a shortie wetsuit (one that finishes where a pair of shorts do on your leg) if you will mainly be using it during the summer months. Long wetsuits and those featuring heavier fabric are more suitable for all-year use. If you are thinking of swimming long distances, or want a little boost in the water, some wetsuits feature built-in buoyancy aids.

Rash Vests

If you’re going to be using a wetsuit a lot, it’s worth investing in a corresponding rash vest. A rash vest is designed to protect your skin, stopping the wetsuit from chafing and also providing a layer of UV protection. If the weather isn’t warm, it’s easy to forget to protect skin from UV rays, so a rash vest is a great investment from this point of view too.

Swim Gloves

With cold water swimming, it’s really important to protect your core temperature. But don’t forget your extremities – your hands and feet will lose heat really fast. A high-quality pair of swimming gloves can transform your outdoor swimming experience, with thick neoprene protecting your fingers and allowing you to enjoy your swim in comfort.

Swim Socks

These work similarly to swim gloves, except protecting your feet from icy temperatures. Swim socks often feature a convenient silicone grip on the sole of the foot, and bootie styles can usually be adjusted around your shape. This allows you to prevent water from getting in. A good swim sock will have a close fit, meaning you won’t even notice them once you are swimming.

Swim Caps

We lose the most heat from our heads, so if you’re worried about sea temperatures, a thermal swim cap is an important bit of gear to get hold of. Swim caps come in a whole range of styles, from full hoods to beanies. Offering watertight options to keep your head drier and your ears comfortable, neoprene is the usual material for swim caps, often featuring a quick-dry thermal lining.

Handy Accessories

Dry Bags

If you’re spending time in the water, you might not fancy leaving your valuables alone on the beach. Here, a dry bag can come in really useful. Specifically constructed to provide a waterproof container, dry bags are highly effective and can be used for phones and wallets.

Swimming Watches

A watch that can stand up to the rigours of open water is a real asset to anyone who is serious about cold water training. These tasty bits of kit not only tell you the time – they can be set up to monitor your heart rate, and track distance, pace, stroke count, SWOLF and more in the pool as well as in open water.

Anti-Chafe Cream

Open-water swimming can be hard on the skin, and time spent in salt water can leave you raw unless you take measures to protect yourself. Specialist anti-chafe cream rehydrates, replenishes, and reduces the risk of irritation and inflammation. It will also be designed so that it doesn’t damage your swimming gear.

Safety Musts

Sea swimming is a wonderful experience, but it’s important to respect the waves and take safety precautions seriously. Always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to be back – especially if you are headed for a remote beach without many people around. A swim buoy is a very good idea – providing an extra buoyancy aid as well as a pop of visibility, just in case you do get into difficulties and need help.

Sun Cream

It’s easy to assume that the weather isn’t kind enough to necessitate sun cream, but UV rays can catch you out. On a cooler or windy day, you might feel fine – only to get home and discover you’re an unpleasant shade of lobster and you’re suffering from sunstroke. It’s not a good look – and so it’s best to always apply plenty of good sun cream, and remember to regularly re-apply it when having a day at the beach. Look for broad-spectrum protection with UVA and UVB filters. Bonus points for creams that give your skin a boost of moisturiser too!

Getting Dry

Kids Dry Robe

Dry Robes

With the huge increase in the popularity of wild swimming has come to the massive dry robe trend. It’s such a handy piece of kit, helping to restore your core temperature and also maintain your dignity, giving you some privacy to get changed! Designed to stand up to the wear and tear of an outdoor lifestyle, a dry robe is waterproof and windproof, with a super warm lining. A perfect way to finish your day at the beach in comfort – and now fashionable enough to wear straight from the beach to your seaside drinks at the bar.

If you’re planning the ideal day out at the beach in Ireland – or if you’re a regular sea swimmer – you’ll know the importance of having the right gear to allow you to enjoy all the beauty the Irish seaside has to offer. Explore The Edge Sports’ selection of specialist outdoor swimming equipment and explore Irish beaches in comfort, year-round.


Love to cycle, run and swim!

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