News Satire People Food Other

Getting Into The Swim Of Things

By Andre Slade on October 9, 2014 in News

Photo: Andre Slade

Photo: Andre Slade

You look out in envy as they dive effortlessly under the waves and head for open water. It looks so easy for them; nothing seems to faze them. They’re the folks who meet up with their friends at the beach, take a leisurely swim behind the breakers, then catch a wave and bodysurf it all the way back to the shore with ease.

They’re the ocean warriors you see spending hours in the water without fear of ever getting into trouble and becoming one of the 20,000 people who need assistance from Australian lifeguards each year, those who often end up as spluttering rescue victims on Bondi Rescue.

You marvel at their confidence to take on the big waves without fear, and you think to yourself, “There’s no way I could do that.” That is where you are wrong. You can do it, and there are thousands of people just like you who are doing it every summer!

Riding a wave of popularity (excuse the pun), and growing in numbers each year as a recreational activity and a sport, ocean swimming lets you break free from the black line of the pool and swim as nature intended. Swimmers of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities are taking on the elements and celebrating what was once unimaginable.

So, how do you get started?

The good news is that you don’t need a great swimming base to start from. You will, however, need to start swimming again. There’s really no substitution for a bit of hard work in the water. Get a few stroke correction lessons then hit the pool – lap swimming is a bit boring, but it’s a necessary evil.

When it comes to the ocean environment, you’ll make some quick progress by developing your ocean awareness and learning to read the ocean through the eyes of an ocean swimmer.

Swimming in your first rip current and realising that it is actually your friend will be an early highlight and a great confidence booster – and it won’t be the only myth that’s busted along the way.

Ocean swimming requires a number of unique skills. First up is learning to swim straight and navigate your way in the open water. Then, you need to know how to negotiate waves and bodysurf. From there it’s all about developing your surf sense, but that’s the fun part because it just means more ocean swimming.

Where can your new skills take you?

If you like the idea of setting a goal and participating in an organised event, ocean swims are held nearly every weekend throughout summer with local swims like the Coogee Island Challenge at the end of November and the Bondi To Bronte at the start of December up there amongst the most iconic on the calendar.

Once you’re hooked, and you will be, the opportunities are endless, with ocean swims providing the perfect excuse to visit new beaches, explore incredible underwater marine environments and take on exciting challenges.

Summer is well and truly on its way, so visit to learn more about starting your ocean swimming journey.