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Negotiating the surf clinic

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As an ocean swimmer there’s nothing more satisfying than swimming out through the waves like they weren’t even there and then body surfing gracefully all the way back to the beach.

This intermediate-level clinic focuses on the surf zone; developing a better understanding of waves, learning to adapt your wave negotiation techniques on the go, and making smarter navigation decisions.

You will get personal realtime feedback on your technique, timing and decision-making as we train within the wave zone.

To finish, we’ll touch on some advanced skills and race strategy that will develop your speed, efficiency and competitive tactics.

Combining this clinic with the recommended pre-requisite Learn to ocean swim clinic will complete a fully-rounded ocean swimming education, and prepare you for a lifetime of ocean swimming.

I highly recommend the Negotiating the surf clinic… within the 3-hours I had gained full confidence to throw myself into the ocean with safety, ease, and a much better understanding of negotiating the wave zone. – Felicia Jagoe


Min swim req.1km freestyle
Clinic length3-hours

What you’ll learn

  • How to go beyond a basic beach assessment to see what others can’t see
  • How to make smart navigation decisions in the moment
  • How to identify multiple types of waves, and the best techniques to negotiate each wave
  • How to get every little bit of assistance from the ocean as you can
  • Adjusting your swimming stroke to the wave-zone, choppy and open water
  • How to swim onto a wave and bodysurf it back to the beach
  • Navigating the shallow inshore zone by wading and dolphin-diving
  • Buoy turns, pack swimming and drafting
  • Tactical competitive decision-making

Clinic details



  • 3-hour clinic
  • Min. two instructors (1:4 ratio)
  • OceanFit silicone swim cap
  • Up The Ante 1km online training program ($49 value)
  • Post clinic advice and support
What to bring

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

  • Swimsuit
  • Wetsuit (optional)
  • Towel
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen, hat, long-sleeved shirt
  • Fins (options, for greater speed and endurance)
Clinic size

Capped at a max. 10 participants.

  • Swim minimum 1km freestyle
  • Tread water for 10 minutes
  • Have completed a 1km ocean swim event (preferred)
  • We strongly suggest starting with the Learn to ocean swim clinic. We will assume you have the foundation skills and knowledge required for this clinic, and we only briefly revisit the precursor clinic content. Previous participants who have not completed the LTOS clinic have felt like they were playing catch-up.
Next steps

Completing this clinic makes you eligible for ENERGY. To take things to the next level, book in for a personalised Private lesson.


Bondi Beach and Gold Coast, with other locations as advised.

Clinic schedule



See our  reviews on Google, Facebook and Tripadvisor.

Ocean swimming is fairly niche and you won’t find instruction on every beach as you will with surfing. The team at OceanFit know their stuff and run their clinics well. – Paul Cameron

Thank you so very much for an informative, successful training session, the confidence you have gave us will definitely set us up for future ocean swims – beyond the sets! – Leanne Connor

Common questions

In Negotiating the surf we build on the ocean awareness session from the Learn to ocean swim clinic by focusing on how we can use our new knowledge of how the ocean works to swim smarter and new ocean swimming techniques are introduced.

The strength of this clinic is in the time allocated to practising your new techniques with your instructor close by to give immediate, personal feedback.

You’ll leave this clinic with a huge bank of techniques you can practice in your own time, in our ocean fitness classes or at your next ocean swim event.

The highlight of the clinic is putting all your new-found knowledge and skills together at the end in a mini ocean swim event out around the buoys and back.

You’ll be surprised at the level you can take your ocean swimming in such a short time.

We strongly suggest completing the the Learn to ocean swim clinic, before participating in this 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.

Please note:

If you choose not to complete the Learn to ocean swim clinic, please be aware that we won’t be repeating the content from the former clinic in this clinic. It is expected that you are proficient in all the skills and knowledge taught in the Learn to ocean swim clinic.

This is a technique-based clinic, and so speed isn’t important. You will need to be able to sustain whatever speed you swim at for the entire clinic to get the best out of it. We’ll bunch swimmers of similar speeds together for all the group drills.

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.


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