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10 ocean swimming event tips for first time ocean swimmers

Are you a little anxious about your very first ocean swimming event in the new year?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone – the chances are just about everyone else on the beach will be nervous too!

If you’re taking on an ocean swim for the first time, swimming a longer distance, or heading into conditions that are right on your limit, here are 10 ocean swimming event day tips to help you conquer your goal.

How to make your first ocean swimming event a day to remember:

1. Choose a sheltered still water swim where you can get confident in open water before the added stress of waves and currents.

2. For events at surf beaches, delay your entry until on the day (late entry) when you can assess the conditions and ensure you’re comfortable with conditions.

3. Familiarise yourself with the location by going for a swim in the days beforehand.

4. Enter in the “back of pack’ category if available, this will ensure you’re swimming with others of similar confidence and ability

5. When you’re lining up for the start of the swim, stand towards the back of the group, let the front swimmers race off and take your time to enter the water

6. Don’t be afraid to wear a wetsuit, swim fins or even a snorkel if you’d like that extra level of comfort and support during your first swim – just make sure you’ve practiced using this equipment before the big day.

7. Ask a confident ocean swimming friend to accompany you during your swim.

8. Bring family and friends along to offer support and help calm your nerves.

9. Plan a celebration after the event that you’ll be looking forward to… it’s like a goal, within a goal, and it can help you push through that barrier in your swim.

10. Join an ocean swimming group, swim with them in the lead up to the event, and then find and join swimmers who are doing the same event – it’s super social, and super fun!

First published in April 2013

Andre Slade

Andre is the owner of OceanFit with over 20 years in the swimming education, lifeguarding and coastal safety industry.

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