50 Things Open Water Swimmers Shouldn't Do

The open water might feel freer than a lap pool, but that doesn't mean it's an anything-goes kind of environment.

From animal encounters to restroom emergencies, use this list of 50 things you shouldn't do in the open water to avoid danger and angering fellow swimmers.

Never ever ?.

1. Swim alone.

2. Assume boaters and windsurfers see you and will move for you.

3. Assume conditions get better.

4. Take coral from a reef.

More: 6 Tips for Open Water Beginners

5. Pollute the ocean.

6. Leave trash on the shore.

7. Skip acclimatization and just "gut it out."

8. Assume additional layer of bioprene (natural fat substance) to keep you warm is good enough without proper acclimatization to cold water.

9. Assume you know more than the local swimmers.

10. Try to outswim a pack of experienced swimmers.

11. Trip on a seashell or in the sand during an onshore start.

More: Open Water 101

12. Trip and fall short of the finish line on an onshore finish.

13. Miss a turn buoy.

14. Continuously slap the feet of the lead swimmer while drafting.

15. Ignore the shape of the pack while racing.

16. Swallow lots of water.

17. [If an elite woman], go out slowly.

18. [If an elite man], go out fast.

More: How to Transition From the Pool to Open Water

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