How to Huub

Some of you may have noticed the appearance of a number of Huub logos around the beach of late.  The Huub Capsule – not to be confused with a wetsuit – is the latest phase in the ongoing race to invent ways to be able to enter the sea, choose a destination and arrive there shortly afterwards with a minimum of effort.

Huubing is significantly different from old-school swimming – but some new Huubers are unaware of this.  It was when I noticed one Huuber in the sea moving his arms and legs that I realised he was unaware of key Huub vs Swim points. Thus, in the inimitable style of LoneSwimmer, I felt a helpful “How To” post on this site might be beneficial. 

The Huub experience begins outside the water, with the Insertion or Injection stage, when the passenger is inserted/injected into the Huub Capsule.  This process is not dissimilar to making sausages or black pudding.  Indeed, the look of the passenger in the Capsule once insertion is completed may bring to mind a large bit of Clonakilty Black.

The Insertion stage often requires assistants.  Teams of trained Inserters are available in Myrtleville – known as Huuber Helpers.  Unlike old-fashioned “wetsuits”, the Huub Capsule wears the passenger, not the other way around.  Thus Insertion / Injection is required, rather than “putting on”.

James Slowey being inserted in his Huub.

James Slowey being inserted into his Huub by the C&G Huuber Helper Insertion Team.   No idea what the gang-rapper hand signals are about.

Kieran Murphy quite enjoying his Insertion, assisted by Breda and overseen by Anne.

Kieran Murphy quite enjoying his Insertion by the AB Huuber Helper team.

Such is the complexity and arduousness of the Insertion stage that delusions of grandeur can overwhelm the Huub Capsule Passenger simply on completion of Insertion.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

‘I’m Huubed up! Nothing can stop me now.  I look so good I’ll wear it running too – with my laces open – and I won’t trip.’  

Indeed, for some new Huubers, just semi-insertion into the Capsule can lead to overwhelming euphoria.

'Feck the top half - I'll be like a rocket with just my legs in!'

‘Feck the top half – I’ll be like a rocket with just my legs in!’

Once Inserted in the Capsule, the Huuber enters the sea.  This is where the difference between Huubing and Swimming takes over.  In swimming, co-ordinated movement of the arms and legs and engagement of the core are key success factors.  In Huubing, the passenger must do as little as possible to impede the movement of the Huub Capsule through the water.  The only thing that must be engaged is the Capsule’s internal propulsion system, which starts as soon as it gets wet.

Thus, for Huubers, moving your body at all is absolutely frowned upon, apart from occasional breaths and sighting (expensive models have pre-programmable GPS so you can do away with the sighting too).  The Huuber must simply enter into the position shown below with arms extended over their head, point in the right direction and the Huub will do the rest.  

Huub technique demonstrated by the Norseman himself.

Huub positioning – demonstrated by the Norseman himself.

Any extraneous movements by the passenger (previously known as taking swimming strokes) will cause the Capsule to slow down.  So – lie down, reach out and let the Capsule do the work.

It’s too late to work on this required Huub positioning once you enter the sea.  At that point the Capsule will just take off.  Put it in water and it just flies.  If you’re not prepared it can start off and you’ll be thrown off your feet.

An unprepared passenger as the Huub Capsule engaged once it touched water. Note that his left arm positioning is completely wrong for Huubing.

An unprepared passenger as the Huub Capsule engaged once it touched water. Note that his left arm positioning is completely wrong for Huubing.

It’s a good idea to get in a bit of practice on the positioning out of the water, as shown below by a Huuber and his Helper.  Unlike the Insertion Helper, this is a different kind of helper, known as the Hoiker.  Hoikers hoik Huubers up to prepare them for the weightless feeling of doing nothing, which they will encounter once the Capsule hits the water.

A Huuber working on his positioning with a Huuber Hoiker Helper.

A Huuber working on his positioning with a Huuber Hoiker Helper.  Again, work needed on that left arm.

I hope this “How To” has been helpful for current and future Huubers.  Just get yourself inserted and let it rip.  You won’t even break sweat.  

I would also like to point out that – despite what you might think – none of these pictures  were staged for this article (bar one – thanks, Mr. Norseman).  They did all of that stuff themselves in what passes for normality at Myrtleville beach.

As if it wasn’t crowded enough on the beach!

Lots of new and returning swimmers arriving at the beach over the weekend.  It’s great to see new faces and welcome back chlorine-pickled, sea-deprived old friends!

Two newcomers from Blarney made it easy for the rest of us at 8.15 by going in around 7.30 on Saturday and warming the water up.  Thanks, lads!

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

John McDonnell and Kevin Hedderman from Blarney – started early on Saturday. Thanks for leaving the immersion on for us, lads.

There’s a bit of learning to be done about who to avoid on the beach as well, of course.  Recent arrival, Susanne Deane, made the mistake of engaging a known menace in conversation – “How’d you like to buy this bit of carpet, missus”, went yer man’s sales-patter. “Pure synthetic wool-plastic, like.  Only a few left, missus”.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Never, ever talk to this guy, Susanne – dodgy, dodgy, dodgy.

Carol Cashell has been doing a bit of running with Carrigtwohill AC and brought a couple of club-mates, Dave Ronan and Marvin Board, down for a swim on Sunday morning. Being Carol, she no doubt gave them a complete, written briefing on what to expect and how to prepare for a safe swim.  I think possibly the mention of optional, orange personal-flotation devices got lost in translation for Marvin.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Marvin Board – Carol said ‘swim safe’ and he listened.

I haven’t got pics of everyone but welcome and welcome back to Fintan, Robert and others!  See you all in the sea.   Where else would you be?

Munster Open Water Swims 2016

While June 18 is the only one you really need to know, here is Draft 1 of a few other swims for you to consider over the Summer 🙂



Waiting for Eoin(ot)

Waiting for Godot (/ˈɡɒd/ GOD-oh[1]) is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot.

How’s that for a fancy first line?  I copied it from Wikipedia.

Whatever about Godot, Mná na Myrtleville do not wait in vain for their Eoin(ot).

According to Denis unnamed reliable sources, on swim days now it’s all “Oh no, I won’t swim now, I’m waiting for Eoinot” and “Oh no,  I don’t want to swim with you, Denis unnamed person – I’m going to the Dutchman with Eoinot”.

Then it’s, “Thanks, Eoinot” and “You’re great, Eoinot” and “Have another bun, Eoinot.”  It’s enough to make Denis unnamed persons sick, they say.

“Fjlkin Eoinot this and Eoinot that – it’s all about Eoinot,” said a not-at-all-bitter unnamed person in Myrtleville on Sunday. “Not swimming with you, oh no, with Eoin, not you, oh no – Eoin”, he says that they say.  Poor unnamed person gets a tough time from the Mnás.

And as for Eoin(ot) – how does he get away with it?

Waiting for Eoinot - Myrtleville Style.

Waiting for Eoinot – Myrtleville Style.

Ardgroom Lake Swim: July 31st, 2016

Now in its fourth year, this event is organised by Brian O’Shea and entries are now open. They have a Facebook Page here or you can email

The first year in 2013 it was billed as a 5km event and we were all delighted with ourselves when we finished and got our times.  Ned The Fun-Ruiner Denison then announced that it was, in fact, more like 4km, so it became a 4km event and our times didn’t look so good.  These feckin’ precise people would just annoy you.  Wouldn’t they?

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Ned The Fun-Ruiner Denison – 4km my A$%.

Glenbeg Lake in Ardgroom was the scene of a momentous event in Open Water Swimming history,  of course.  The 2013 swim was the first 5km swim for a young man called Denis Condon – just setting out on his star-studded OWS career.  “It’s feckin’ 5k no matter what yer man says”, Mr. Condon was quoted as saying at the time.

Open water sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Denis Condon finishes a great swim in Ardgroom Lake.  August 4, 2013.

So, get entering now.  Any excuse to visit the beautiful Beara Peninsula should be grabbed.  There’s a misconception that you go to West Cork if you visit Schull or Baltimore etc.  These are just suburbs of the City.  To really go West – go to Beara.

Not advocating repeated voting, but…

As many of you will be aware, this site is completely against blatant manipulation of online competitions by spurious and repeated voting (other than the ILDSA awards that time, of course).

So, we do not in any way encourage Myrtlevillians to log on to the H2Open Facebook page and “Like” and comment favourably on all five of Siobhan Russell’s entries for the June/July edition of the magazine.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Baywatch in Myrtleville – when Denis’ back was turned, look what he missed!

That guy on the left looks like a great swimmer. You can just tell by the stand of him.

That guy on the left looks like a great swimmer. You can just tell by the stand of him.

She got second place in the last competition and a first place would be nice this time.  Or even a first, second and third.  I’m sure the judging panel would be completely impervious to massive numbers of Likes and Comments but sure, why not do it anyway?