Do we need an ocean swimming etiquette?

A birds eye view of the water off Bondi Beach where two ocean swimmers are nearly impossible to see.
There are two ocean swimmers in this photo who won’t have to worry about bumping into each other! Can you spot them?

The ability to swim freely in the ocean is one of the true magic moments of ocean swimming, but as ocean swimming gets more popular it also means it gets more crowded out in the deep blue.

Do we need an ocean swimmers etiquette to allow ocean swimmers to share the freedom of the open ocean in harmony?

Why an ocean swimming etiquette?

Autumn is truly the best time of the year to be ocean swimming; the water is warm, the morning light is back and the summer crowds have dispersed leaving the beaches to the locals and hardcore.

Yesterday I was swimming a few laps across Bondi Beach and as usual, my mind started coming up with all sorts of crazy ideas.

One of the ideas came about because as I was cruising parallel to the beach I was abruptly taken out by a swimmer heading out from the beach.

As is the case with ocean swimming, we simply apologised to each other and carried on our merry way. But it got me thinking whether one of us should have, or could have, avoided it happening.

So, for the remaining laps I came up with an ocean swimmers etiquette I reckon would allow ocean swimmers to comfortably share the freedom of the open ocean.

OceanFit’s ocean swimming etiquette

  • All swimmers should sight regularly
  • Parallel swimmers have right of way
  • Swimmers returning to the beach in the wave zone have right of way
  • Swimmers bodysurfing have right of way
  • Keep a body length between other swimmers when passing
  • Backstroking swimmers should regularly sight in front


Subscribe to our Newsletter to get more articles like this in your inbox over summer

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *