With Bondi Beach closing for a number of weeks and recently reopening for exercise purposes only, we have seen a surge in interest and participation in ocean swimming in the Eastern Suburbs. If you are typically quick in and out type of swimmer or haven’t had much experience in the ocean you may now be more interested in ocean swimming for exercise. We are here to help all those interested in swimming in the ocean for exercise purposes. Check out our tips and advice:

Tip 1 – Know Your Limits

  • Don’t go out the back if you are not 100% confident in your swim ability
  • Choose safer, more protected swimming areas like Clovelly or Bronte ‘Bogey Hole’
  • Do short in and outs and get your heart pumping. Run in and swim 10-20 strokes turn around, swim back in and run up the beach and repeat. Practising the simple skills of wading, porpoising, duck diving under waves all with high energy will give you a great work out. For how-to’s on all of the above check out our blog on this here.
  • Check the weather and surf conditions online before heading out for a swim. If in doubt, don’t go out!

Tip 2 – Identify where is safest to swim

  • Sandbanks are the safest place for swimmers to swim because water will always gravitate towards the shore. The red and yellow flags indicate where there is a sandbank.
  • Sandbanks can also be identified by looking at where waves are breaking and you can see white water washing all the way to shore. These areas will appear lighter in colour in comparison to rips which are darker in colour.
    If you are swimming on the sandbank you still need to be aware of what direction the water is moving, depending on the conditions you could still be pulled sideways into a rip.
  • Remember where you entered the water and have a landmark on the sand to remind you so you will be able to notice if you are pulled north or south.
  • Swim sessions ideas – in and outs on the sandbank working on getting through the break and coming in. Or if you are swimming at North Bondi you can go out in the permanent rip at North Bondi then swim across and come in on the sandbank.

Tip 3 – Navigating

  • Be aware of your surroundings and consistently check your navigation so that you maintain a straight course as well as not crash into people.
  • To ‘sight’ whilst ocean swimming means you should be lifting your head – just enough so that your eyes can check your surroundings.
  • ‘Lift and look’ every 2-4 strokes to keep yourself swimming in a straight line.
  • Using landmarks on the land also helps you monitor your direction and navigation.
  • Lift and look to check in front and back-breath looking behind to check the landmark you are swimming away from. This will save you from zig-zagging your way through your swim and accidentally increasing your swim mileage!

Tip 4 – Sharing with other water users (surfers)

  • The red and yellow flags help to separate swimmers and surfers. It is best to avoid swimming in areas where they are surfers if possible.
  • If you are swimming where there are surfers observe which direction they are going in – left or right – so you can avoid them as best as you can.
  • If you do find yourself crossing paths with a surfer, dive down as deep as you can and come up with your hands first instead of your head.

We hope this guide has helped anyone interested in starting ocean swimming, if you have any questions feel free to get in touch, we are always happy to help and introduce people to the world of ocean swimming 🌊🏊‍♂️

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