Freshwater faster or slower?

Planning a freshwater swim for next year - and a discussion erupted between me and a friend.

He said that freshwater is faster, I said slower (than seawater).

My argument was that freshwater is less buoyant - his argument was that a freshwater swim locations usually has less wind, chop, waves and currents = a “straighter” swim.

I know FINA don’t allow world records from seawater


  • LakeBaggerLakeBagger Central OregonSenior Member

    @andiss great question— so I’ve been slower mile for mile on almost all my big ocean swims than big freshwater swims, because I keep getting stuck in strong ocean currents.

    However, swimming in totally flat, calm saltwater seems easier than totally flat, calm lake water, due to the buoyancy. So, you’re both right! :)

  • andissandiss Senior Member

    I was hoping for a “you are 2 seconds slower over 100m” kind of answer 🫣😅

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    There are way too many factors to be able to give a solid answer one way or another. Temperature, density of the water and even composition of the water all are factors. Same idea as "fast" or "slow" pools. The only statistic that seems to be constant is that I get slower every year. Fortunately not 2 seconds slower over 100m. Yet.

Sign In or Register to comment.