The Lexie Kelly Signature Collection Courtesy of Alex Young, Ryte Sport, California
, co-founder of
, to create the
Lexie Kelly Signature Collection
, a series of custom swimsuits designed and manufactured by Ryte Sport, a Southern California-based swimsuit manufacturer and designer. The
Lexie Kelly Signature Collection
Neon Coral swimsuit
Deep Sea swimsuit
. The 32-year-old former professional marathon swimmer has done hundreds of open water swims ranging from 800 yards to 57 km. “
My favorite distance is probably 5 km
,” said Kelly who described her swimming career with Ryte Sport: Q1. When did you start swimming?
I first started swimming when I was very young with swimming lessons, when I was 3 or 4 years old.
Then I started on a summer swim team when I was 8 years old in northern California. I started year-round swimming when I was 12 and haven’t stopped since.
Q2. What are you doing now in the sport?
I focus mainly on coaching now, but I still swim nearly every day and try to keep in the best shape I can so I can still be competitive. As of now, my next event is the Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands in June where I will swim the 1 mile and 10 km races
. Q3. How do you prepare for open water swims?
A lot of open water events that I go to are all dependent on the venue, atmosphere, and distance. They are all unique. Ideally, I like to get a warmup in, check out the buoys, course, and scene. I also have a little down time to change into a race suit, stretch, relax, talk to other swimmers, or maybe put my headphones on and listen to some music. If it is a longer race, I will be preparing my nutrition and talking to my coach, paddler, or whoever will be assisting me about a game plan
. Q4. What do you love about open water swimming?
I love everything about the water and in particular, the open water. I have received many opportunities to swim in so many different types of bodies of water all over the world, rather than just swimming pools. Open water, to me, is more than just times and numbers; it is about an experience – the course, the currents, wind, waves, navigation, temperatures, water types (rivers, lakes, oceans), locations, the people, the aquatic life (fish, coral, shells, etc.) so the collection is inspired by those things.
Q5. What do you love about your responsibilities?
The best advice that I have received is to follow your heart and be you. I get to do what I love on a daily basis all centered around the sport of swimming and piece it all together so my life never really feels like a job. Open water has brought me so many places and allowed me to meet so many like-minded, yet unique, people all over the world with the common interest of aquatics.
Q6. What do you do on a daily basis? What does an average day look like?
On my days off, I end up doing what I would do for work. I love coaching, swimming, and being around the water. Outside of that, I am into anything active – I love my spin classes at SoulCycle, going on hikes, paddleboarding, running, yoga, group fitness classes. I also enjoy finding healthy lunch spots and boutique coffee shops. An average day for me would be coaching a masters swimming workout in the morning, hopping in for a swim myself, then typically going to a spin class. I then go into SBR Sports, a swimming skincare, hair care company where I have been working for over the years. Then, I go back to the pool for more coaching and private lessons until the evening. Then I like my quiet time back at home. If I am finished early enough, I always try to catch the sunset from the beach.
Q7. What is your main focus in open water swimming?
I am at the point in my career where I do open water events for fun. Of course, I love being competitive and still have an urge to do my very best, but I try not to put a ton of pressure on myself and just enjoy the experience. I have a huge passion for coaching and mentoring others and sharing the things that I have learned and had the opportunity to do, so that is my main focus.
Q8. How did you get into open water swimming?
My first real step into launching my career for open water was meeting Steven Munatones training at 5 am at a small elementary school pool in Seal Beach, California. He is known around the world, has written books, helped promote the sport, etc. I am so blessed that I got to know him. He saw that I still had a passion for swimming even after I finished my college pool career so I had the opportunity to be his right hand man back in 2009. He has been my mentor, my coach, my boss, my guide all throughout this time and I cannot be more grateful to him. If it were not for those early morning swims before work and having the opportunity to meet him, I would not be where I am today. He showed me there is more to swimming than just a black line and I have gotten to see so much because of him
. Q9. What have been some of your most memorable open water swims?
There are so many amazing experiences that I have had in my career. Several, where I have gotten to swim for a cause or charity that are memorable. One that stands out in my mind was Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Lake Memphremagog, a 34 km professional marathon race in Quebec, Canada where I dedicated it to my very first swim coach ever who had recently passed away. It was one of the hardest swims that I have done mentally. Getting through it and being able to finish a 7+ hour swim in honor of her was one of the most rewarding feelings that I ever had
. To shop the Lexie Kelly Signature Collection, visit
to receive a special discount. To visit Ryte Sport, visit
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World Open Water Swimming Association
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