All Your Questions Answered in Relation to Swim Buoys

All Your Questions Answered in Relation to Swim Buoys


Here are the most frequently asked questions when considering the use of a swim buoy tow float for open water swimming:

What does a swim buoy do?

The main purpose is to increase your VISIBILITY from the shore and to other users of the open water. It also provides support if you are tired or have cramps and offers waterproof storage.

Do I need a swim buoy?

In short, yes! A swim buoy not only enhances your visibility to other water users but also comes in handy if you need to take a rest during your swim. Some versions, like the Tow Donut swim buoy, have an integrated dry bag that allows you to carry a small water bottle, snacks, or inhalers with you.

How does a swim buoy work?

The swim buoy/dry bag is pulled behind you while swimming, attached via a waist belt and short leash. It floats out of the range of your arms and kick zone.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to inflate and deflate a swim buoy/dry bag:

Does a swim buoy slow you down?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but swimming with a swim buoy does not actually cause enough drag to be noticeable. The bow wave created by your shoulders and upper body creates an eddy behind you, which pushes the buoy forward and virtually eliminates any drag. Additionally, the short leash attachment keeps the tow float floating above your knees/thighs, staying clear of your arm stroke, and since it doesn't reach beyond the upper calves, your kick is unaffected as well.

How do I choose a swim buoy?

The best product for you depends on your intended use during open water swimming. Do you need storage? Are you looking for a small amount of storage or a larger capacity for clothes? Visit our Product Comparison page to find your ideal swim buoy. 

How to attach the Waist Belt & Leash to a swim buoy?

Here is a video for you to watch on how to do this:

Can you use a swim buoy as a buoyancy aid?

A Swim Buoy/Dry Bag is not a buoyancy aid. While it is buoyant and can provide support when you're tired, have cramps, or simply want to take a breather, it should not be relied upon as a primary lifesaving aid. You can hold onto it and float along, engaging in conversation with other members of the group or attracting attention if you require help.

Will a swim buoy keep you afloat?

As mentioned earlier, the main reason to swim with a swim buoy is to increase your visibility in the water. They are not designed to be a lifesaving aid but will support your weight if you need to stop for a rest during your swim.

Can you use a Dry Bag as a swim buoy?

Yes! All our dry bags come with a waist belt and leash that allow you to tow them behind you while you swim. The water takes the weight of the bag, resulting in very little drag, so they won't slow you down! Plus, you'll be able to keep your gear safe and dry while you swim.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at

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