pool etiquette

Ahh, swimming. It’s one of those lovely relaxing sports where you can stretch out and wash away the stresses of the day in a soothing cocoon of water…

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Or at least it would be, if they didn’t let other bloody people in.

Whenever I go swimming, instead of emerging from the pool all zen and chilled-out, I leave the water like a dripping ball of rage. Eyes bulging with more than just goggle-marks, fists clenched, teeth grinding. And the reason for all this wrath and ire? Rude sods who don’t understand even the most basic pool etiquette!

In order to make swimming a more pleasant experience for all of us, everyone should follow these simple rules. Anyone unwilling to comply should STEP AWAY FROM THE WATER immediately.

Six Rules For Pools

1. Choose your lane wisely

swimming lanes - pool etiquette

You know when you hit the pool and it’s divided into lanes? Those lanes have signs at the end. Those signs tell you what speed you need to be to swim in said lane.

If you swim like a drowning camel, move down a chuffing lane

Having watched Becky Addlington at the Olympics, or being the proud owner of a penis, does not automatically make you ‘fast’. If you swim like a drowning camel, you are holding everyone up. Don’t be proud, move down a chuffing lane.

Likewise, mowing down those in the slow lane when you’re Michael Phelps’ cousin? You might feel super-speedy with your show-offy butterfly, but you're actually a prat.

2. Thou must not wear swimming costumes that are past their best

Britney Spears body suit

If you’re not swimming regularly, and notice your cossie’s going a bit baggy or faded, you may not think it’s worth splashing out on a new one. (Splashing, ha.)

But It is. Oh please, it really is. What looks like a bit of chlorine-fade and patchy elastic at home, becomes a transparent Britney-style body-stocking when stretched over damp flesh under the strip lights of the pool. We came to swim, not see your bits. Remember: if the elastic’s gone, DON’T put it on.

3. Thou must allow people to overtake

james bond

If you feel a tap on your foot, or see someone trying to swim past you, for gawd’s sake let them pass

If you sense someone close behind you, feel a polite tap on your foot, or see someone trying to swim past you in the centre of the lane, for gawd’s sake let them pass.

If you ignore foot-tapping and block overtaking attempts for around 15 lengths in, say, the Swimathon, don’t complain when the person behind has no choice but to swim over your head. They didn’t mean to elbow your face, and anyway they cut their hand on your bloody goggles.

Err, happened to a friend...

4. Thou must not hang around at the end

pool etiqutte - cocktails by pool

When you’re a bit puffed and  want to take a breather, by all means stop at the end and chillax for a bit. If there’s two of you and you fancy a chat, that’s also fine – as long as you move to the side.

You run the risk of getting a tumble turners feet in your crotch

Standing across the breadth of the lane, legs akimbo, means other people can’t get to the end to turn, and they wind up having to do some weird stop/stand up/push off the bottom of the pool malarkey.

You also run the risk of getting a tumble-turner's feet in your crotch. Ouch.

5. Thou must not race others, unless they are aware it is a race

swimming race winner

Prepare for them to totally spank you over the next 50 metres, flipping you an underwater V as they pass

Having a race is a good way to test your speed and make you train harder, and there’s nothing wrong with picking a random person at the pool and subtly seeing if you can match their pace.

Going all-out to beat them for two lengths, stopping at the end, dry retching, then speeding off a minute or so later when they come round again? That's not so good.

You may feel smug that you beat them, but they’re still going and you’re exhausted. Also, you might think they don’t know they're racing them – but they definitely do. Get prepared for them to totally spank you over the next 50 metres, flipping you an underwater V as they pass.

6. Remember, we can totally see what you’re doing underwater!

underwater fart - pool etiquette

This includes picking out your wedgie, farting bubbles, and checking out other people’s bottoms.

Any annoying swimming habits we've missed? Post them in the comments section below