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Open Swimming (Leinster)

  • 31-12-2022 2:03pm
    Registered Users Posts: 261 ✭✭

    Hi I'm interested in taking up open swimming, joining a club and doing races.

    I've looked around online and many of the sites are out of date or don't have much info.

    Is it a case of waiting until the season starts? What time of year is that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 51 ✭✭somespud

    Check Facebook to see if you got groups or clubs active in the area most suitable to you in Leinster all the suitable swimming spots would have openwater swimming, even this time of year you'll have people swimming if you go to a location introduce yourself swimmers are not a secret society and will be more than happy to guide you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,160 ✭✭✭✭tom1ie

    Hi all,

    Im interested in this myself.

    Im in south Dublin and I’m a fairly good pool swimmer- I’ve never really done open water swimming but I’d love to give it a try but I don’t know where to go or what to even start off with.

    Do I get a wetsuit- I presume yes.

    What safety precautions should I adhere to?

    Where is open water swimming relatively safe for beginners in south Dublin? For example I presume Shelly banks would be a bad idea considering the proximity to ringsend water treatment plant?

    Do the beaches have places for changing or is it a wrap the towel around you at the back of the car Jobbie?!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,780 ✭✭✭griffin100

    If you are in South Dublin Killiney Beach is probably the best / safest spot IMO. It has no changing facilities so it's a towel job. You can also swim off the Great South Wall and Half Moon Club have changing sheds there but I'm not sure when they are open. If you are very far south Wickow Harbor is also a good spot.

    You will only need a wet suit if you want to swim over the Winter. Most people swim Leinster Open Sea races with no wetsuit. Pre Covid they didn't allow wetsuits enter many races but the've relaxed a bit over recent years.

    I'd suggest you find what Masters Swimming Clubs are close to you and make contact. Most will do pool sessions over the Winter and then you can do some open water sessions as the weather gets warmer with them. You could also try and find a local triathlon club that does open water sessions and get some experience with them, although they will be wet suit swimmers.

    Usual open water rules on safety are swim parallel to the shore and stay in your depth. Don't underestimate the impact of cold water on your body. Use a tow float for visibility.

    As I said in another thread if you join a swim club in Dublin you can register next Summer to do Leinster Open Sea swims ( There are usually 2 swims on most weeks (most around the mile) with the Liffey Swim at the end of the Season (which i think every swimmer should do at least once). The swims are great fun, very relaxed and have all sizes, shapes and ages taking part. They used to be skins only, but most will allow you wear a wet suit now, although wet suits swims wont count towards Liffey qualification. You have to do a certain number of swims to be allowed to enter the Liffey Swim so it's a great motivator to get out and race.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,160 ✭✭✭✭tom1ie

    Ah that’s great info thanks.

    Im in the Rathfarnham/ Templeogue area so killiney beach car park is actually only 25 mins away outside of rush hours.

    So I’ll have to purchase a tow float and a set of goggles. Would I get a tow float in elverys or something or is online the best bet?

    I presume the water would be about as warm as it’s going to get around about now following the heat from the summer? Getting colder from now on?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,780 ✭✭✭griffin100

    You can get a two float online or in a bricks and mortar shop. I know Cyclesuperstore in Tallaght have them. If you get one that has a dry compartment you can put car keys, etc into it for safe keeping (inside a zip lock for extra protection).

    Water is still quite warm now but it will get colder quickly as air temperatures drop and sunlight lessens. You can swim all winter if you're hardy without a wet suit, but you won't be spending too long in the water unless you become very acclimatized.

    Have a read of this -

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  • Registered Users Posts: 592 ✭✭✭TheWonderLlama

    Decathlon have the tow floats as well.

    Seapoint is a good place to start open water distances. It has a series of bouys in the water that you can build up to. See diagram below

    It is tidal though, so when tide is out there, I usually go to the forty foot down the road.