Open Water Swimming Is Getting More And More Extreme

Open Water Swimming Is Getting More And More Extreme

As swimmers communicate faster, the extremes at which they are willing and able to go seem to become greater.

In the 1960s and 1970s, open water swimmers used to communicate via letters sent via post…in an era where sub-15°C was considered cold. In the 1980s and 1990s, open water swimmers gradually took to the fax machine and communicated quicker via fax…in an era where sub-10°C was considered cold.

Now in the 21st century where open water swimmers communicate instantaneously and constantly via mobile phones, computers, Internet-connected devices and online social networks, the open water swimming community is gradually moving towards single digits as its cold standard.

As more and more people practice this art of extreme cold water swimming, the science behind the sport will become more and more widely distributed.

The Czech Republic has a lot of good data and open water swimming clubs that practice in sub 5°C water, but they limit their practice sessions to 22 minutes and have qualification standards.



Film by Jack Bright about the members of 1.PKO, a swimming club based on the banks of the Vltava river in Prague that specializes in winter swimming.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association