There’s really nobetter all-round fitness activity than swimming. But 50m back and forth, back and forth in a pool staring at a black line isn’t exactly for everyone.
Ocean swimming allows you to swim as nature intended (no, we don’t mean stark naked) and there are fantastic opportunities to swim socially, participate in an event or travel the world swimming in exotic locations.
Ocean swimming is (obviously, some might say) a lot different to swimming in a pool. For one there’s no lanes or a black line to follow like in the pool, you can’t stop and stand up or hold the edge when you’re tired, and being a natural environment you’ll have to contend with elements like waves, currents and wind chop.
As one of the fastest growing recreational participation sports, ocean swimming is challenging, loads of fun and the best part is that it all takes place in the natural ocean environment!
Ocean Swimming For Body & Mind
As an ocean swimmer you can enjoy the benefits of becoming one with the natural ocean environment and harnessing its energy.
Being able to enjoy the greatest playground on earth with your friends and share your tales of taming the ocean over a coffee after is addictive.
Swimming itself is a great aerobic activity, and ocean swimming through waves will help increase your anaerobic fitness and build your swimming strength.
The ocean is a hazardous environment at any time and ocean swimmers must always respect it.
Conditions can change in the blink of an eye and can catch out even the most experienced ocean swimmer. Ocean swimming safety should be your first priority, to stay safe follow these ocean swimming safety tips.
Ocean swimming safety tips
Always swim with a friend at beaches patrolled by lifeguards
Wear a fluro swim cap to identify yourself in the water
Know your limits and if in doubt stay out
Before your swim, check conditions at the start and end points
Rip currents are our beaches hidden danger. On any beach with waves you’ll find rip currents working like rivers of the ocean. They return water brought to the beach by waves back out to disperse behind the waves again.
How to spot a rip current
To spot a rip current take 5 minutes from an elevated position and look for patterns in the waves. Rip currents exist where there are deeper channels between shallow sand banks. Identifying features will be darker calmer water, less broken waves than on nearby sand banks or surfers using them to get out behind the waves.
How to survive a rip current
Should you find yourself out of your depth and moving away from the beach; float with the current and converse your energy. Your chance of survival increases the less you panic, so remain calm and look around and call for assistance from nearby swimmers or surfers.
To take direct action to escape a rip current aim for the shallow sand banks where the waves will be breaking, here you can use the waves to assist you towards beach until it’s shallow enough to stand up.
You can avoid rip currents by swimming between the red and yellow flags on beaches patrolled by lifeguards.
Breaking rip current myths:
Rip currents don’t pull you under the water – there is no such thing as an under tow
Rip currents don’t take you ‘way out to sea’ – they will disperse behind the waves
Sand banks don’t collapse – large waves wash people off their feet into rip currents
FLOAT, THINK & ACT
The rip current won’t pull you under, so float – keeping your head above water, conserve your energy and ride the current.
Your chance of survival increases the less you panic, so remain calm, look around for assistance and think through your options.
Raise an arm and wait for assistance OR once the current has stopped, swim towards the breaking waves where the water is shallower.