DNOWS Header

Image Map

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

50 Is The New 30, 60 Is The New 40 In The Open Water

With so many individuals getting into open water swimming, especially members of the Baby Boom generation, certain designations like the Half Century Club and divisions over 50 years old are booming with new participants.

From a downward perspective, the open water swimming community is improving is acclimatization to ever decreasing water temperatures for ever longer periods of time. Previously, the community was acknowledged to be able to handle colder and colder water.

Compared to the previous century, the trend seems to be that the new 60°F (15.5°C) is 40°F (4.4°C) and the new 50°F (10°C) is 30°F (-1.1°C). That is, the extremes in the contemporary open water swimming world are getting more extreme than in times past.

From an upward perspective, the open water swimming community is getting older and faster as it grows larger accomplishing more longer and doing it more enjoyably. Previously, an individual like Doc Counsilman was globally celebrated as the oldest man to cross the English Channel (at the age of 58 in 1979). But since that time, there have been 15 individuals who have crossed the Channel at older ages than Doc (see here) - and many more on the horizon planning swims in channels, lakes and rivers around the world.

Back in the day, a celebrated swimmer like Mark Spitz retired from swimming after college and Olympic champions like Donna de Varona retired from swimming after high school. But now swimmers around the world like Barbara Held (USA), Roger Finch (Roger Finch), Dieter Loeliger (Australia) and Yuko Matsuzaki (Japan) are extending their careers for decades.

So it appears 50 is the new 30 and 60 is the new 40 in the open water - a great demographic trend in the sport. Either on land or in the water, the aging population is seeking healthful ways towards the Fountain of Youth.

Ram Barkai of South Africa is shown above - an example of an athlete who is representative of both the downward and upward changes in the sport where Baby Boomers talk about the 60°F's as the new 40°F's, the 50°Fs are the new 30F°s and the 50s as the new 30s and 60s as the new 40s in terms of chronological age and athletic achievement.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program