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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Alooooha, Honolulu. No Ka Oi In The Open Water

In creating a list of great American areas for open water swimming (see here), we purposefully put Honolulu, Hawaii as Number One (no ka oi).

After swimming around the world and observing swimmers and reporting on events on five continents, there are many scenic locations and wonderfully hospitable communities of open water swimmers, but there were many reasons for listing Honolulu (on the island of Oahu) first.

Here is our list of the top 25 reasons:

1. Open water swimming has been a tradition on Oahu for centuries.
2. Great swimmers have come from Oahu from Duke Kahanamoku to Keo Nakama, from Kathy Shipman to Nadine Day.
3. Dozens of open water swimming competitions from 1 km to 7 km are held throughout the year.
4. Waikiki Beach is one of the most picturesque, crowded, open water swimming-friendly beaches in the world.
5. Honolulu City & County Lifeguards are extraordinarily knowledgeable, well-trained and constantly on alert year-round.**
6. Surfers - willing to help swimmers in need - dot the coastline.
7. Great marathon swims including solo Oceans Seven crossings across the Molokai Channel and competitive relay competitions like the Ka'iwi Channel Swim are held.
8. Gorgeous marine scenery never hesitates to fascinate.
9. Wonderfully comfortable water temperatures are always inviting.
10. Tropical scenery, resort hotels and volcanos serve as landmarks.
11. Original home of the Ironman Triathlon and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim.
12. Wonderful aloha spirit of the local swimming community and the hundreds of thousands of residents of Honolulu.
13. Plenty of hotels and accommodations for visitors.
14. Warm showers and changing rooms available at every beach park.
15. Challenging conditions can be found from the North Shore in winter to wind-whipped days on the island's South Shore.
16. Marine life is abundant and can always be seen dotting in and out of coral reefs.
17. Ample parking at most beach parks.
18. Numerous restaurants and local eating establishments are available within minutes of getting out of the water.
19. Sandy beaches with warm sand friendly to your feet.
20. An active, healthy, hospitable open water swimming community including the long-established Waikiki Swim Club.
21. An active, energetic, friendly triathlon and multi-sport community where watermen and waterwomen abound.
22. Arguably the most used ocean swimming venue in the world: the Ala Moana Beach Park.
23. Local post-swim delicacies like pupus and plate lunches.
24. Rainbows, sunrises and sunsets that never cease to amaze.
25. Experienced coaches, race directors, escort pilots, lifeguards, paddlers and kayakers can be easily found.

Great Cities In America for Open Water Swimming:
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
2. San Francisco, California
3. La Jolla (San Diego), California (shown above)
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. New York/Brooklyn, New York
6. Atlantic City/Ocean City, New Jersey
7. Miami, Florida
8. Washington D.C.
9. Indianapolis/Noblesville, Indiana
10. Chicago, Illinois
11. Austin, Texas
12. Miami, Florida
13. Laguna Beach (Orange County), California

** The Honolulu lifeguards and local volunteers proven their abilities to respond to emergencies when 600 swimmers competing in the 2003 Waikiki Roughwater Swim got in trouble and 361 swimmers were rescued and all were safe. The situation and background are explained below by Ralph Goto, the Ocean Safety Administrator of the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division of the City & County of Honolulu in Hawaii.

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