Ice swimming – anyone do it?

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  • Ice swimming – anyone do it?
  • Premier Icon epicyclo
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    For some strange reason I quite fancy this. This is a whole different leveI to the swimming I used to do in winter when I was a lad. The feeling you get as you warm up is amazing.

    https://www.internationaliceswimming.com

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    I like your swimming costume.

    scotroutes
    Member

    Big crowd in Aviemore/Strathspey are into open water swimming all year round. I could pass on details if you want? Definitely not a solo activity.

    Silly buggers

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
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    Am swimming through my first winter now.
    although had to take a week off because of a bug.
    I’m planning on getting an ice swim in when we go to Sweden soon.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    I’m planning on getting an ice swim in when we go to Sweden soon.

    Behind the Nationwide?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    scotroutes

    Big crowd in Aviemore/Strathspey are into open water swimming all year round. I could pass on details if you want?

    Yes please. I’ll have to get back into swimming condition first. 🙂

    giant_scum
    Member

    I’ve swam with the Cairngorm swimmers scotroutes has mentioned.
    Really nice group, good cake usually on offer as well!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    This is a whole different leveI to the swimming I used to do in winter when I was a lad

    Is it though? I doubt a scottish loch in winter is going to be much above 4 degrees?

    I’ve done similar – arctic fjords in March, glacial lakes. Love it! One of the norway swims was under some pretty decent northern lights. I’d swum so I was comfortably numb and just floated on my back for a minute, watching the light flash across the sky.

    Premier Icon brant
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    Ullswater was 5deg a month ago.
    4deg is pretty normal for open water here in winter.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    I doubt a scottish loch in winter is going to be much above 4 degrees

    Loch Tay spends the winter at 3.5-4*c.

    We know this because some clever clogs suggested to AALS that there should be a minimum safe water temperature for children to canoe/sail/swim/gorge walk etc at outdoor centres. And 10*c was the suggested figure. Our shallow harbour on Loch Tay managed that for a fortnight in August.

    iolo
    Member

    And for you Kate Humble fans

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    5/4 winter steamer surfing…

    No way I’d jump in in speedos even though the sea down here doesn’t get much below 10C in deepest winer..

    Premier Icon brant
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    Check out #thestoics on Instagram

    IHN
    Member

    MrsIHN has recently started cold water swimming, in fact she’s doing it at this very moment. 5deg ish in a lake. She loves it.

    scotroutes
    Member

    It is sometimes necessary to take an ice axe to break up the surface – especially if the venue is Loch Morlich. Of course, that can mean it’s more of a dip  than a swim, but the health benefits seem worth it..

    Mrs Scotroutes is up there this afternoon.

    On suits vs skins, the prevailing thought seems to be that it’s better without a wetsuit, just to avoid the inevitable cold, wet struggle getting it off before getting dried. Dryrobes are popular.

    Edukator
    Member

    Madame has a colleague who after cancer and chemeo has all sorts of aches and pains which are eased by swimming in cold water, so that’s what she does.

    I don’t have much fat and soon grind to a halt in cold water. Back when the temperature limits for a triathlon swim without wetsuit were lower I came out of a 1500m at 18°C feeling cold and never properly warmed up for the rest of the race.

    Apparently cold water swimmer’s teeth wear out faster due to all of the shivering!

    cb200
    Member

    My sister has been going for a “dook” in the sea in north Aberdeenshire daily for the best part of a year.  Says it has been the best thing ever physically and socially.

    dovebiker
    Member

    There’s a sauna by the river in centre of the city of Rovaniemi in arctic Finland that has an open-air plunge pool – in the winter they break the ice to keep it open. It has quite a high fatality rate as people jump in, suffer a cardiac arrest and disappear under the ice! They usually find the bodies in the spring when the ice melts.

    ton
    Member

    I went for a swim in Norway in may. fantastic beach on sommaroy.
    and as you can imagine it was skin burning cold.

    Premier Icon jam bo
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    5/4 winter steamer surfing…

    No way I’d jump in in speedos even though the sea down here doesn’t get much below 10C in deepest winer..

    i think i’m getting soft. just retired my hooded 4/3 and bought a 6.5/4.5 hooded suit….

    hooja
    Member

    Genuine question – How do you actually do it, are some people just not put together appropriately for cold water shock?
    I generally love a bit of pain and suffering, I really don’t mind being ridiculously cold, winter climbing etc.
    However, cold water… No
    I cannot handle the nuts to nipples section, I just cant ease myself in. Before you say, you just dive in and get it over with, last time I tried that, my lungs panicked and contracted and took in a full lung full of air (well they thought it was air, they didn’t realise I was underwater)

    Id love to do it, my wife loves it, friends love it… It just freaks me out

    Don’t mind surfing all winter in a wettie, hood and boots though.

    Edukator
    Member

    People die of hydrocution for sure, but more often in the Summer when they’re hot and the body has lots of blood near the surface keeping it cool. Dive into cool (not even cold) water and that blood cools very quickly to the point it’s dangerous when it circulates to vital organs. In cold conditions you’re going to be cold and shutting down the blood supply to the surface before you get near the water – unless you are Scandiavian and insist on going from a sauna into a frozen lake. In answer to the quesiton “how do you do it”, the sensible answer is “slowly”.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
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    There’s a sauna by the river in centre of the city of Rovaniemi in arctic Finland that has an open-air plunge pool – in the winter they break the ice to keep it open. It has quite a high fatality rate as people jump in, suffer a cardiac arrest and disappear under the ice! They usually find the bodies in the spring when the ice melts.

    Ah, that’s probably what happens in the new Bond film trailer.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    i think i’m getting soft. just retired my hooded 4/3 and bought a 6.5/4.5 hooded suit….

    Nothing wrong with thick wetsuits, the technology in them over the last few years has made the warmer and lighter..

    Why ruin a decent dip?

    Premier Icon jam bo
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    indeed, long waits between sets on the south yesterday and I sat there thinking, I’m cold now and its only december.

    new finisterre NIEUWLAND 5 in the post this afternoon.

    taxi25
    Member

    I did the Wolverhampton tough guy event once. They were breaking the ice on the lake thing we had to go through before the start. Totally traumatised me !!! Coldest water I go in now is the Med in summer. Chapeau to all you cold water swimmers harder than me 👍

    Premier Icon leffeboy
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    Tried it once in Denmark when there was snow on the ground.  Felt like my feet were being sawn off and I really couldn’t get in further than my waist.  Liking the socks that Kate had in that video – that might be a solution to that problem.  Still not sure it was pleasant but never got fully in so that might also be part of the problem

    scotroutes
    Member

    Neoprene socks are very popular, as are gloves and a swim cap. Keeping the brain warm is vital.

    cowgirlyvo
    Member

    I do this every week; I’d go every day if I could. It’d be fair to say I’m reasonably obsessed with it. Start outdoor swimming in the summer and then just keep going. You can then acclimatise to the colder water as the temperature decreases. I’d agree a wetsuit is too much faff and you get too cold taking it off, but if it works for you, go for it! Dryrobes are good. Neoprene gloves and boots with a swimsuit are useful, but don’t adhere to the Ice Swimming Association criteria (only swimsuit, normal swim hat and goggles for their events and if you want to do an official ‘ice mile’). Diving in is not recommended for the reasons hooja experienced. Put a woolly hat on as soon as you get out and warm up with a brew!

    scotroutes
    Member

    I’m more of a wateralls type. I mean, who could look at this and not want to jump in?

    scotroutes
    Member

    There’s even somewhere to park your bike!

    Edukator
    Member

    Start outdoor swimming in the summer and then just keep going.

    I tried that when I lived in Sitges, every day until the end of November. It was then about 15°C and I cracked. My main sport at the time was climbing, I wasn’t a really skinny climber but not enough fat to cope with 15°C let alone ice swimming.

    Premier Icon stever
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    I’ve got a few swimmer mates, I petered out a month or 2 ago and will probably start getting back into it (with ice cream heads) around April. Some of them are out in skins all year. I tend to think of it as ‘exercise’ but a lot of them don’t actually do that much swimming, it’s more about the buzz and the experience and coming back from the drop. And cake. There usually seems to be cake.

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
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    As said above.
    go on slowly, I find it easier to acclimatise in skins or at most a shortie sleeveless swim skin that is 1mm thick.
    I have found that a neoprene hat underneath my swim hat works a treat too, but don’t wear socks or gloves.
    I really enjoy it but as said above not really exercise this time of year as you are not on long enough for a proper swim.
    I do max 700m and at present less.
    hoping to get out again at the weekend

    shermer75
    Member

    Looks amazing but that part called the ‘after drop’, where your core body temp drops from 34° to 30° would worry me a great deal. 34° is already bad enough!!!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    BTW what’s a Dry Robe?

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