Learn to ocean swim

Introduction to ocean swimming

There’s really no better 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.

This introductory-level, 3-hour Learn to ocean swim clinic will familiarise you with the basics of this increasingly popular summer activity with an abundance of ocean swimming tips & techniques to start you on your ocean swimming journey.


The chances are you’ve done nothing like this in the past, and you have absolutely no idea what you’re about to get yourself into (we hear this all the time at the start of every clinic).

The great news is that by the time you finish this clinic, you’ll have learnt more than you ever thought possible, you’ll have skills you didn’t know existed, let alone think you’d be able to achieve, and you’ll have a new found confidence in the ocean that will transform your lifestyle and make every visit to the beach thereafter safer, more relaxed and a whole lot more enjoyable (we hear this at the end of the clinic and years after!).


This is the perfect confidence builder for your first ocean swim, triathlon or open water swim.

It’s also the best place to start if you:

  • don’t want to feel anxious and/or scared of the ocean anymore
  • want to feel in control when you’re swimming at the beach
  • don’t want to feel like you’re battling the waves every time you swim
  • don’t really know how the ocean works, or you need your knowledge reaffirmed.

Hear what previous participants have to say.

Our 2017/18 season of ocean swimming clinics has finished. If you’d like to be added to a list of late season interest, please contact us, and if we get sufficient demand, we may run another clinic. Another option is to join us on our Wet & wild weekend to The Palms on 16-18 March. All our clinic content is taught over the weekend, along with wild swims and social time. Join our mailing list to be the first to know about upcoming clinics.

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What you’ll learn

  • About ocean swimming as a sport and what’s on offer
  • Basic beach safety, including when and where to swim
  • How to read the ocean as an ocean swimmer
  • How to use rip currents to your advantage & lose the fear
  • The efficient way to swim out and back through the waves
  • How to swim straight and see what’s going on around you
  • How to bodysurf from a standing start

We’ll also help you with:

  • Choosing goggles
  • Picking the right wetsuit
  • Best entry-level events
  • Becoming a lifesaver
  • Answering your questions

How you’ll benefit

Once you’ve completed this clinic you’ll enjoy:

  • The confidence to assess the conditions and choose a safe place to swim
  • The ability to swim in and out through the waves efficiently and relaxed
  • Feeling in control when you’re swimming in the ocean
  • Knowing what to expect for your first ocean swim
  • Knowing the ocean isn’t as scary a place as you thought
  • The ocean lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about!

Participation prerequisites

This program requires the following pre-requisites:

  • Swim minimum 400m freestyle
  • Tread water for 5 minutes

Clinic details

Who’s it for?

Choose our most popular clinic if you’re an average swimmer or better, and you’re looking to get into ocean swimming and/or try your first ocean swim or triathlon.




  • 3-hour clinic
  • Minimum two instructors (1:6 ratio)
  • OceanFit silicone swim cap ($10 value)
  • A pair of Vorgee Missile or Vortech goggles ($29.95 value)
  • Have A Go 1km online training program ($49 value)
  • Post clinic advice and support

Clinic size

Capped at a maximum of 12 participants.

What our participants say

I learnt so much about how to be a better ocean goer – from looking for rips and how to manage myself if I don’t mean to get into one, to how to swim distance out on the water. Many thanks, I had a fantastic time!

This was the best swim clinic I’ve done. I learnt so much about reading the ocean, and what to look for when I am coming back in during a race. I’ve been back in the surf already to put it into practice, and highly recommend it to anyone of all levels. Thanks, absolutely fantastic.

The clinic made so much more sense even though I have been involved in nippers and completed my Bronze. The technical details are made easy by the visual examples and being right in front of the beach as you are learning. I feel so much more in control and able to make informed decisions.

Fantastic clinic, loved it! I learnt so much and now look at the ocean with a whole new level of understanding!

A fantastic class run by friendly and experienced crew. The small class sizes were great and I’ve learnt a lot about reading the ocean. Really fun and a great confidence booster for those new to open swimming!

Just thought I’d let you know that I did the Aquathon in the Gong today and I killed the swim (for me anyway)! I mean there were no waves but I felt so much more confident in my ocean swim using the sighting technique. First time I’ve never stopped or had to breaststroke in the ocean!!

Thanks for the exhilarating ocean swimming session at Bondi. It boosted my confidence so much, especially learning to use the currents, and catch waves. I have done a few ocean events since then with more planned, thanks.

I attended OceanFit’s Learn to ocean swim clinic in February. It was a great intro and I particularly appreciated the knowledge I gained about reading the waves and currents, to spot a rip and how to respond and use it responsibly and to best advantage. I would highly recommend.

Andre is knowledgeable, patient (and funny too!) I learned how to body surf!! Disappointingly it was the end of the season, otherwise I would have totally booked into the next clinic, but am now waiting with antici…wait for it…pation for VITALITY starting in November and I am PUMPED!!!!

I did the Learn to ocean swim clinic as I wanted to start ocean swimming events. It was really worthwhile. It gave me the confidence to swim in open water, be able to read the conditions, use the currents, and feel more at ease. It was also fun being with others who had the same goals.

I had a wonderful morning last Saturday with OceanFit. My confidence and knowledge of the ocean have both improved and I have learnt some new swimming techniques that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I would thoroughly recommend this clinic to anyone.

I would highly recommend the Learn to ocean swim clinic for anyone who wants to learn how to “read the ocean” and gain confidence with ocean swimming! Despite some trying post-storm conditions, Andre’s easygoing and confident manner ensured that everyone would felt confident.

Thanks for the exhilarating ocean swimming session at Bondi. It boosted my confidence so much, especially learning to use the currents, and catch waves. I have done a few ocean events since then with more planned, thanks.
Nicole Holyer
Mary Dupre
Penny Claiborne
Lara Tomaz
Tiffany Leung
Jo Doughty-Roberts
Ann Hofmeyr
Wendy Butler
Alicia Barnett

Common questions

During the summer we run clinics in Sydney (Bondi & Manly), Wollongong, Central Coast, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast (Currumbin), and the Sunshine Coast.

We’re looking to take our clinics on tour throughout Australia in the summer of 2017-18, so if you’d like us to visit you, and you think there’d be plenty of interest, please contact us.

We’ll start off with an ocean awareness session will completely transform how you look at the ocean – including popular myth-busting & 3D sand formation sessions – and it will change how you approach your ocean swimming from that moment on.

We spend our water time establishing the core ocean swimming techniques for sighting and efficiently and effectively diving under waves while swimming.

You will learn how to use the ocean to your advantage and be aware of how to to make smart decisions when navigating in and out of the surf zone.

The highlight of the clinic is a tie between the rip current swimming experience – where you’ll get to swim in a rip current and learn how ocean swimmers use them to their advantage – and the body surfing session at the end.

Participants in this clinic leave looking at the ocean in a completely different way, have a heap of ocean swimming tricks up their sleeve and appreciate what it takes to be an ocean swimmer.

This clinic isn’t about going for an ocean swim, its focus is on developing your techniques. You will need to be able to swim out about 100m offshore, and then tread water/float in-between practising skills that will last for 45-60 minutes. Then you’ll need to swim back to shore.

So, there aren’t any long swims, you won’t be swimming in and out of the surf (that’s level 2), and there’ll be plenty of rests as you watch demonstrations from your instructor.

The short answer to that is no. You just won’t get enough out of the water-based technique session, as all the techniques taught are built off a freestyle base. We have had people participate and only do breaststroke, and some of them have really enjoyed it.

We would suggest you focus on developing your freestyle stroke with a coach in a pool environment, and if you’d like to learn beach safety and basic confidence, sign up for our Ocean confidence clinic.

Yes, you can start with our Negotiating the surf clinic, however, we strongly suggest starting with the Learn to ocean swim clinic.

This is because when it comes to ocean awareness, it is often a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. We guarantee you will learn things you didn’t know previously, and we will bring everything you do know into a clearer picture of how to get the most out of your knowledge from an ocean swimmers point of view.

When it comes to the ocean swimming skills, your actual swimming skills will definitely help, but the focus is on learning techniques, and not doing lots of ocean swimming. So if you’re a great swimmer, we’d expect you to be able to pick up the techniques faster, and perform them better than others, but you still need to master the core techniques.

We are also very good at spotting great swimmers, and we will help you get even more out of your technique session by having you move onto advanced skills, or we’ll tweak them down to the last 1% of efficiency.

The last clinic of the season is usually towards the end of February, although we do run clinics in March if the weather is nice and there is demand that meets the minimum numbers required.

We suggest if you’re looking to get your training in this season that you do the earliest clinic possible so you don’t miss out.

Next steps

Completing this clinic makes you eligible for MOCEAN and VITALITY ocean fitness classes, and the next clinic is Negotiating the surf. We strongly suggest completing the Negotiating the surf clinic to complete a well-rounded ocean swimming education.

What to bring

For your comfort & safety, please bring the following items to your lesson.


Upcoming clinics

Clinic locations: NSW | Northern Beaches | Gold Coast