Cold Water Swimming

Interested in trying a Winter swim in the San Francisco Bay? Join us for a Water World Swim weekly workout session on Sunday mornings at Aquatic Park (meet at the bleachers at 10am). In the early season we do shorter sessions inside the cove, focusing on acclimatization, sighting, currents, swimming in pace groups and just having fun.

Winter Swimmers

Winter Swimmers

Here are a few tips and answers to frequently asked questions:

SWIMMING OPEN WATER OR SWIMMING IN THE BAY
BASIC FACTS AND TIPS

Temperatures of the Bay: Currently between 51 deg F. ( 10 deg C.) to 53 deg.F. (12 deg C ). The water temperature in the San Francisco Bay go up between March and September up to 62 deg. F. Local Data: Click on water level for tide chart.

COLD WATER ACCLIMATIZATION

Always start getting in the water slowly, to let your hands, feet and torso acclimate. Newcomers to the Bay or new to swimming will receive instructions from our experienced coaches. Feel free to ask them questions during the session. Pay attention to the areas where you are planning to swim. Look around to get familiar with the temperatures and landmarks. After a couple of minutes you may feel like you are submerged in the water – continue moving to avoid stiffness. After your swim write in a log book how you felt, your reaction, and your later reactions. Keep track of your time in the water.

Always try to relax after the normal pattern of breathing is picked up.

Always Think POSITIVE in the water.

The distance of the swim depends upon currents. You may use this tool to find the basic distance:
Gmap-Pedometer
Click on the manual function and start recording. As you click around on the map it will show the mileage. From the first buoy to the flag is about 260 meters. One cove loop (without going to the extreme) is about 3/4 of a mile.

COLD WATER SWIMMING GEAR

A NEOPRENE or insulated CAP– A must for most of first time Bay Swimmers. Your head is a computer. Keep it alert and working all the time.

Orange or bright colored SWIM CAP (s )
– You must be seen easily by other swimmers, rowers or the pilots, or your relatives that came to see you from the beach.

MACK’S silicone EARPLUGS
– Your middle ear are filaments floating in a nice warm environment. In cold water they will react just like the hair in your leg when you get cold, then voila , then you will go way off balance, causing you to get dizzy, and sick.

GOGGLES– Many out there in the market, the most recommended are those made out of silicone, and CLEAR. They are flexible and easy to adapt to the shape of your face. Wash them with warm water the day before and mold them to your face, before race day or before swimming in open water. Anti fog drops can assist in visibility.

ZOOMERS – Swim fins can help you with your training and especially with your drills.

WET SUIT– Many also out there in the market. BEST recommendation to get them in a place where they know about swimming in cold water and how the suit should fit. Not to tight or not too loose. IF you are seriously considering to keep swimming triathlons or swimming for fun, get a good wet suit for yourself. Do not experiment with diving, surfing, karate, or abalone diver suit from 1954, as they will do more damage to your skin as to your stroke and will ruin your experience. Many swimmers elect to use a sleeveless suit, aka Farmer Johns. If you are used to swimming in cold water feel free to wear your swim suit or speedos.

OTHER ITEMS TO BRING ALONG

TOWELS – very important! But if you forget it I’m sure someone won’t mind sharing.
BODY GLIDE – if you wear a wetsuit, it is important to put a lubricant around the neck and arms where you might chafe.
A WARM HAT – your hair might get wet (!), and so it’s good to bring a beanie or something.
GARBAGE BAGS – for wetsuits, or wet clothes
WARM AND DRY CLOTHING – also very important! There will be someone watching our stuff as we swim so you don’t get stuck commuting in your wetsuit.
HOT BEVERAGE – soup or tea for your coach or to share with your fellow swimmers.
A GREAT SENSE OF ADVENTURE!

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