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  1. #26
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    Women are better suited to this extreme swimming because of their greater layer of stored body fat but a wetsuit will permit most to swim without risk of hypothermia.

    By all means wear rubber shoes, your feet in anything much under 11c will turn to blocks of ice quickly and cramp up, but leave out the head cap. The brain truly benefits from the head getting immersed in the cold water and this is where the buzz comes from.

    I've surfed in 9c in a wetsuit which was exhilarating enough.

    I grew up swimming off the coast of Donegal, Antrim and Down.

    Now, it'd kill me.

  2. #27
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    an alternative viewpoint.


    Even a wild swimmer like me is fed up of hearing about the benefits of a cold dip.


    We've reached 'peak wild swimming' according to our writer, who fears she's become a lockdown cliché

    ABIGAIL BUCHANAN

    2 April 2021 • 12:00pm

    Before lockdown, I avoided cold water like the plague. It was only when faced with an actual pandemic that swimming in the grey-brown North Sea at Aldeburgh in Suffolk, close to where I live, began to appeal. Clad in a swimming costume (OK, I'll admit it, sometimes a wetsuit) and my newly purchased gloves and swim socks, I’ve become a fully fledged cold water swimming bore.

    And I’m not alone. At last count, Sport England figures show 4.1 million people in the UK go open water swimming but, given the number of amateur Wim Hofs huddled on beaches and riversides and the rushing back to lidos we've seen on social media, I bet the post-pandemic figure will become higher still.

    However, even as a sucker for a fitness trend with a newfound love for so-called wild swimming, I am so fed up of reading about it.

    There’s a certain irony, of course, in my complaining about wild swimming coverage while contributing to the genre. But when yet another long read about how sea swimming can turn your life around was published last month, it prompted readers to joke that the newspaper in question must have hired a dedicated outdoor swimming correspondent judging by the number of articles about its benefits. We can’t move for think pieces, Instagram posts, and musings on how cold water has healed heartbreak, forged unlikely communities and cured all manner of ills. Even Joe Wicks has swapped talking about the benefit of burpees and started taking plunges in an icy bath in his back garden instead.


    I’ve no doubt the life-changing stories about cold water are true. But just as a smash-hit Netflix drama suddenly seems less appealing when it’s all over social media and every front page, my new hobby is that bit less enjoyable now I know I’m just a massive lockdown cliché.

    The scene was set before Covid even hit; we were already perfectly primed to reach wild swimming saturation point. As satirised by the Twitter personality Bougie London Literary Woman, Hampstead Ladies Pond had become a status symbol among young, urban-dwelling female professionals, much to the chagrin of women who had been swimming there for years. One friend said to me, without a hint of irony, that the pond is a “great place to network”. But, since our enforced isolation began, interest in outdoor swimming reached new heights as people have sought to find exhilaration that, in normal circumstances, they would have found elsewhere.

    Last summer, as the Outdoor Swimming Society removed the crowd-sourced map of the UK’s best swimming spots from their website as beauty spots were “overtaken”, new swimmers were undeterred and, in October, the National Open Water Coaching Association reported a 323 per cent rise in swimmers year on year. But it quickly became apparent that not all longtime devotees of the sport are pleased their ranks have grown.


    “I can understand the irritation as we don’t want our special places to be spoilt,” a fellow Suffolk swimmer tells me. She has seen a “prolific explosion” of new faces at her local swim spots, and told me that among the year round local swimmers, there's no clearer sign of a 'newbie with all the gear and no idea' than a £150 DryRobe, a fleece-lined changing robe, sales of which have soared in lockdown.

    In November, signs popped up on a beach in county Dublin saying “No DryRobe types”; similar signs have allegedly been spotted in Cornwall. A viral TikTok pokes fun at the number of middle-class mums wearing the camouflage and neon pink version in Brighton and Hove. (No, I don’t have one. And secretly? I’m jealous of those who do.) A Dryrobe shows someone's “got a new hobby and thrown money at it,” says Leaf Arbuthnot, acting features director at Tatler and a dedicated outdoor swimmer (since pre-pandemic times). “It’s like sad Lycra for men,” she jokes.




    These politics don’t negate its benefits: swimming outdoors can boost wellbeing, self-esteem and immunity, ease symptoms of depression and protect against dementia. But you’ve already heard all that, of course, as it’s a pandemic pastime as well-documented as sourdough baking and trudging round the local park with a takeaway coffee – just a little chillier.

    Even as a newbie myself, I’m inclined to side with the old guard of outdoor swimming; it was probably more enjoyable when we talked about it less. Lidos and outdoor swimming pools have recently opened, which is great, but please spare us your thoughts on the matter. Although, if you see me in the queue, do say hello.

    Even a wild swimmer like me is fed up of hearing about the benefits of a cold dip

  3. #28
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    In pikey Kent the indigenous folk cannot be expected to understand the high from OWS. They get most of their highs from non prescription pharmaceuticals. Of course there's a smattering of swimmers with dry robes, myself included. £150 to stay warm, or at least prevent hypothermia, seemed like small change. The locals get UC and free food from the food banks. They can well afford one too, if they wanted.

    We're usually referred to as DFLs by the native Kentish. It stands for "Down From London". It's abbreviated to make it easier to spell for them.

    Swimming in the sea in the UK-96a96665-0f5e-402d-a6e0-85aea1f5ca5c-jpeg
    Last edited by Lostandfound; 14-04-2021 at 07:11 PM.

  4. #29
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    Now nudging 700 metres and 20 minutes a day. Aiming for 2km by May when the sea is over 10-11C

  5. #30
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    A I’ll reckon you’re mad

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Women are better suited to this extreme swimming because of their greater layer of stored body fat but a wetsuit will permit most to swim without risk of hypothermia.

    By all means wear rubber shoes, your feet in anything much under 11c will turn to blocks of ice quickly and cramp up, but leave out the head cap. The brain truly benefits from the head getting immersed in the cold water and this is where the buzz comes from.

    I've surfed in 9c in a wetsuit which was exhilarating enough.

    I grew up swimming off the coast of Donegal, Antrim and Down.

    Now, it'd kill me.
    sure you did

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    Now nudging 700 metres and 20 minutes a day. Aiming for 2km by May when the sea is over 10-11C
    TD Nutter Award goes to...

  8. #33
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    TD Nutter Award goes to
    a masochist.

  9. #34
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    Great pics! Good for you, I read that there are some benefits to swimming in frigid waters.

    The Case for Cold Water Swimming - Fraser Riverkeeper

  10. #35
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    Another great swim today. 25 minutes. 8.8C. There was a chilly NE wind that made part of the swim more challenging. The warmth of the sun on the face was heavenly. Small mercies! To sum up the experience? Being alive is fucking amazing!

    Swimming in the sea in the UK-80a1e1cb-7937-40a0-bb39-1882bb4a4e7b-jpeg

  11. #36
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    Can somebody please explain what is the "Dryrobe"? How it works? How it helps to protect you? How convenient it is to swim with the coat on?

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    To sum up the experience? Being alive is fucking amazing!
    You should try that Russian ice diving, you fucking weirdo

  13. #38
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    I used to enjoy Jomtiem Sauna in Thailand and going from a hot sauna into the ice pool, then relaxing on a sunbed.

    I don't get going from cold to freezing then cold again though

    Do you take it to the next level and put the aircon on in the car on the way back, bollock naked?

  14. #39
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    A few years living near the coast in East Devon, and would sometimes swim in the sea. Average water temperature during mid summer was 17/18C, which isn't too bad. Spent quite a few years living in North East Scotland, where the average sea temperature year round was only 5-7 C.

  15. #40
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    The marines and SBS are spoilt down south in them mild sea temps

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    Being alive is fucking amazing!
    It certainly is. My strategies for staying alive do not involve leaping into near freezing water. Unless wrapped up warm.


    Swimming in the sea in the UK-weezle-extreme-jpg

    Swimming in the sea in the UK-ribdive-jpg

  17. #42
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    23 mins. 7.6C. 560 metres today.

    Swimming in the sea in the UK-ab551d90-4f54-4644-88fc-1740b8bcf352-jpeg

  18. #43
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    Swimming in the sea in the UK-8a6f2ce5-e3cf-4631-b47c-f07cf76a3d09-jpeg

  19. #44
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    I feel cold just looking at those pics

  20. #45
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    It's all in the mind. You won't feel i when you're dead.

  21. #46
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    It’s not all in your mind. I recall floundering in July in Melbourne, waist deep in water, with a spot light (attached to a motorcycle battery) and a spear. An hour in the water, the cold could be felt in the bones of my feet, and took almost an hour in the car with heater blasting to thaw out!

  22. #47
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    I was determined to swim in the sea last year for my birthday.

    Seeing as we couldn't go abroad to warmer waters, I braved the Irish Sea at New Brighton.

    Was very refreshing, but my only concern was the jelly fish.

    Have swam in a few local reservoirs since and can quite see where L&F is coming from.
    Shalom

  23. #48
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    Swimming off the beach today. There was a heavy sea mist/ fog. The sea was a milky grey, blue, brown. 7.8C.

    30 minutes. 2 minutes's shock. 10 minutes' mild, but comforting pain. 20 minutes' growing euphoria.

    Fortunately I live 50 metres from the beach so just a short walk home. There's a "cold drop" on exit that requires management. A 20 min hot shower, a couple of layers of thermals and an extra duvet to sleep does the trick.

    Swimming in the sea in the UK-7daa08ff-a1c9-4040-abea-47b045859b64-jpeg

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    10 minutes' mild, but comforting pain. 20 minutes' growing euphoria.
    You need to see a therapist!

  25. #50
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    Fortunately I live 50 metres from the beach
    Lucky git

    I pine for the sea atm.

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