Goggle Hacks For Openwater Swimming

Any swimmer will know the frustration of having goggle troubles in the middle of a swim. Blinding sunstrike or a bad case of fog can really take away from the enjoyment of open water swimming. We have several goggle hacks that can remedy these irritating goggle problems.

The key to avoiding goggle trouble starts with finding the right pair for your face. There are hundreds of styles on the market but still so many swimmers suffer leakage. Good swimming stores will let you try goggles on before buying them. Comfort, a good seal and maximum vision are the main factors to consider when trying on goggles.


open water swimmers starting a race by running into the water from a beach

Beach starts, especially for the more competitive swimmers, involve entering the water at speed and dolphin diving. This can put pressure on your goggles and they can take in unwanted water right from the word go. Wear goggles that have a low profile or fit snugly into your eye socket as these are less likely to fail when you hit the water at speed.


Swimming with foggy goggles is never fun. Navigation is very important in any open water swimming event and fog can make spotting buoys difficult. There are 4 solutions you can try to eliminate fog from your lenses:

1 – Baby shampoo: a small dab on the inside of the lens, spread with your finger and rinse. It doesn’t sting your eyes!
2 – Anti-fog: there are a few purpose made anti-fog products out there that work extremely well. You won’t see me at an event without anti-fog. Diving or swimming stores stock these.
3 – Saliva: the emergency cure. You’ll often see swimmers licking their goggles behind the blocks or on the start line.
4 – Keep a tiny amount of water in your goggles: this is a last resort. The one positive of leaky goggles is that the water clears your lens!


blueseventy mirror orange goggles and clear blue goggles for open water swimming

While the sun does make event day more fun, it can hinder your swim if it strikes you right in the eyes. I always arrive at an event with at least two pairs of goggles: one with clear lenses and one with tinted lenses. During your warmup and before the start, have a think about the angles you’ll be swimming and what the sun is doing. If it’s a bright day or if the course points you directly towards the sun, wear tinted goggles.


Goggle problems can easily be fixed by trying my goggle hacks. Let’s enjoy a summer of crystal clear ocean swimming!


Carl is head coach at Swim360 Coach, a former Olympian and national champion freestyler. Carl now uses his skills and passion for coaching and competing in the open water.