When we build a new product, we like to make sure that it's fit for purpose and stands up to rigorous scrutiny. One way of doing this is testing it with people who know their stuff, and who won't be afraid to give us honest feedback!
Introducing Jess and Poppy. Key members of the Wheal Kitty Workshops team, together they are the driving force behind the Finisterre Lunchtime Swim Club - getting in the water all year round regardless of conditions or temperature. So, with the perfect product testers found, we headed down to the tidal pools to put our new Yulex® suits through their paces.
What were your thoughts on the swimsuit? What do you love about it and what do you see yourself using it for?
I love that we have made the switch to Yulex, which is a more sustainable neoprene alternative. It has loads of stretch, feels great and is really supportive, plus the panelling it is really flattering too.
The suits are really versatile and can be used across all water sports, from paddleboarding to surf and swim. I’ll probably be wearing them mostly for swimming, but they’ll be great for surfing on the really hot summer days, or in warmer waters.
The long sleeved Yulex suit was great, as it just takes the wind chill out of the arms if it’s a particularly deep winter day. Once you get in the water nothing matters but for before and after, having that extra warmth to the core and arms really helps.
Swimming in them just felt amazingly comfy. The flexibility meant you could move freely and the front zip is perfect for frozen fingers, instead of a tricky back zip or doing the wiggle dance to get it off!
Jess was the development lead on this project, so how important do you think it was having the experience of being a swimmer in developing a product that is fit for purpose.
The fit on these suits was so important. We really wanted to make a product that women would feel confident in. It was really important that they flattered all shapes and sizes, and were functional at the same time. Being able to test the suits on different bodies and different sports along the way was a no brainer, and we are really happy with the end result.
As founders of the Finisterre Lunchtime Swim Club, what is it about getting in the sea regularly that you love so much?
I’ve always swam in the summer but this year (like so many others!) I set myself the challenge to swim year round. For me it helps promote a feeling of calm and focus. Being in the water is a place to escape the day-to-day and feel completely free. I’ve had the best time swimming all through the seasons, and have connected with new friends and old.
It means a lot to have Jess and the other lunch time swimmers to all walk down have a chat and motivate each other. If it was just me i think it would require a lot more will power, but the chat and embracing the sea together is just the best feeling. And as a bonus, it gets done at lunch on a work day! I love it.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into wild swimming, but is unsure and doesn’t know where to start?
I think the best way would be to rope a friend in to do it with you, or find a local group or community page to go along and join. For safety, make sure to go somewhere where you are seen and not a secluded spot. It's also a good idea to check your tides and lifeguard patrol times.
Being prepared is key, so do your research into health risks and cold water immersion shock before you go. Maybe start in a wetsuit and work you way into it. Don’t be worried about going in with your wetsuit and not being hardcore by starting in your swim costume. Just getting in the sea is the main thing.
Honestly I can’t recommend it enough! I started in the summer and have just carried on through the winter, so it was less of a shock to the system. The outdoor swimming community really is a friendly bunch and there are so many groups out there who do coastal and inland (rivers, lakes, etc.) swimming for you to link up with. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, the benefits of cold water swimming are incredible. You got this!