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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Surfing In The Swim

As the surf kicks up and the summer ocean swimming season kicks off in Southern California, the importance of body surfing among competitive ocean swimmers always comes up.

As swimmers approach the shore taxed physically, it is often aerobically difficult to pick up the kick and body surf in. Matty Mitchell and Hank Wise often conduct pool swimming sets to help replicate a fast-closing body surfing onshore finish.

These sets include swims where the last 25m or 25 yards of a series of swims are done with either no breaths or as few as possible in order to replicate the finish of an ocean swim where there is large waves.

The sets can be 200-400 yards or meters in distance with the last 25 holding your breath as you may have to if you are caught up in the whitewater and trying to kick it in and get the very last propulsion out of a wave at the finish.

To catch a wave at the finish, swimmers must perfectly time their launch to get full benefit for a body surfing finish. Most experienced swimmers kick and stroke fast right before the wave picks up. As they feel the power of the wave underneath them, we meld themselves to be slightly ahead of the wave. Once they are picked up by the wave, they outstretched their arm(s) while still kicking hard as they ride down the face of the wave. At all times, they want to be slightly ahead of the wave, not engulfed in the whitewater. If the wave is strong or the swimmer is caught within the whitewater, then the experienced swimmer drop the head, kicks even harder and strokes with one arm while he other arm remains outstretched. In this position, a veteran ocean swimmer can ride a strong wave a long distance, often picking up distance and passing other swimmers ahead. As the wave's power is reduced as it enters the shallows, the swimmer can then begin dolphining to the onshore finish.

Photo above shows swimmers finishing the annual Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach. (Sean Hiller, Staff Photographer) Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
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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.

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