Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

“Her swim was epic,” is a phrase often bantered about after a particularly impressive open water swimmer.

Epicity is the essence, quality or state of being epic. Epicity is a measurement of how epic a given swim, situation or achievement is.

The World Open Water Swimming Association created a visual representation of Open Water Swimming Epicity. “Having the essence of being epic is particularly evident the longer, colder, faster and more extreme an open water swim, assuming that swimming in longer, colder, rougher swims faster is more difficult than the opposite,” explains Steven Munatones.

The epicity of an open water swim is in direct proposition of the swimmer’s speed, water temperature, distance traversed, abundance of marine life encounters, height of waves and ocean swells, direction and speed of the wind and currents, and remoteness of the swim location.”

There are various other Open Water Laws and Observations of Open Water Epicity:

OWS Observation #1: The bigger the landmark, the longer it takes to reach it in the open water.

OWS Observation #2: Swims that begin under relatively easy conditions tend to end in more difficult conditions.

OWS Observation #3: Perception of time slows and distance increases the longer the swimmer remains in the open water.

OWS Observation #4: Perception of distance increases the longer the swimmer remains in the open water.

OWS Observation #5: Perception of distance covered in the open water in darkness is less than the distance traversed in daylight.

OWS Observation #6: The pain and discomfort of a jellyfish sting in the open water is in inverse proportion to its size and visibility.

OWS Observation #7: Time spent in salt water is in direct proportion to the swelling of the tongue.

OWS Observation #8: Time spent in the open water is in direct proportion to the degree of Third Spacing.

OWS Observation #9: Cost of an escort boat is in direct proportion to the amount of diesel exhaust produced by the boat.

OWS Observation #10: Fear of marine life increases with the number of visible teeth.

OWS Observation #11: The amount of equipment needed expands to fill the space available in your carrying bag.

OWS Observation #12: Swimming into the night is more difficult than swimming into dawn.

OWS Observation #13: Landing on a sandy beach is easier than finishing on a cliff face, over coral or at a bouldery exit.

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