We all want to keep up our swimming over the holiday season, especially if we’re lucky enough to be venturing away from our home base.
The good news is that there are social swimming groups up and down the coast with local swimmers ready to welcome ‘swim tourists‘ with open arms.
Be prepared to share stories about your local spot and follow in the group’s traditions, like singing happy birthday to a swimmer or catching up for a post-swim coffee.
It might seem daunting to know where to start looking for a group to join but it’s actually easier than you might think.
The two easiest ways to find a swim group is to:
- Search the oceanswims.com swim directory for social ocean swimming groups (or swim buddies), or
- Put a shout out on the Ocean Swimming Enthusiasts Facebook group
Finding a social swim group while on holiday is a great way to enjoy swimming at a new location, meet new people and most of all you can keep up your love for ocean swimming while on holiday.
OceanFit’s safety tips when joining a new group
1. Get there early
Arrive at the meeting point early to give yourself time to find the group and check out the swimming spot and conditions.
2. Ask questions
Talk to the group about the swim location, the planned course and what to expect in the water. Try to minimise any surprises during the swim.
3. Match your ability
Be honest about your swimming ability and confidence and check the swim is within your limits. Find other swimmers in the group who best match your ability.
4. Buddy up
See if you can find a local swimmer to buddy up with and organise check-ins at different points in the swim.
5. If in doubt, stay out
You may have gone to a lot of effort to meet the group and swim, but if the conditions or group goals don’t match yours, simply give it a miss and go for a little swim or bodysurf instead. Then meet up after for a coffee.
In season 1 of OceanFit’s ONSHORE Podcast, join Andre, Jules and little Bailey as they make the most of an opportunity of the times, travelling from Melbourne to Port Douglas on their Great East Coast Road Trip. Along the way, they’re calling into open water swimming groups and meeting swimmers from the open water community to hear and share their stories.