View Full Version : August 4-9 looking for California Swim

July 8th, 2003, 12:00 AM
I'm vacationing to California on August 4 and I am staying until August 9. I will maily be in the Los Angelos area but I am willing to travel if I need to. I would really like to swim in an open water meet sometime during the week I am there. Does anyone have any info. on any open water swims? Also, I would just like to do some open water swimming while I am in California but I am not very experienced with ocean swimming. Is there any Masters who swim in the ocean who I could swim with? Thanks for all your help.


July 8th, 2003, 03:13 AM
Do a search for SCAQ, southern california aquatic masters, and there is a link on their site to competitions... I believe it will get you to info on open water races. (sorry, I lost my bookmarks when I wiped out my harddrive a few days ago, or I'd refer you directly to the site.) For most if not all of the ocean races here, you have to qualify first if you have not swam that race before; sometime before the race (week or two), you have to swim a partial course. So, you might have trouble finding an open water race you can enter, if you are just here that week. I believe SCAQ has ocean swim workouts, but I am not on the team and don't know if they'd welcome a visitor. You might try calling or emailing them.

For ocean swimming, I suggest going to Hermosa or Manhattan Beach (South Bay area of L.A.) and swimming in front of a lifeguard tower, in a swim zone marked by red flags on the beach. Your best bet for swimming is Hermosa, I think, as much of Manhattan (El Porto/North Manhattan area especially) is full of surfers and doesn't have as many designated swim areas. And Manhattan has a bit more of a south swell, I think, so the surf is sometimes a little bigger there. (Wherever you go, take parking meter money and plan to arrive early!) The flagged swim areas are maybe 75 meters wide, and you can swim back and forth, parallel to the beach, just outside the surf. If you end up outside of the swim area (into surfing zone), the lifeguard will wave you back into the swim zone (so you are out of the way of boards). The lifeguard will also signal you to swim to the side if a riptide is forming where you are swimming, to get you out of the rip. (Listen for the lifeguard's whistle when you are swimming, and always look to see who/what s/he is signaling when s/he whistles.) If you can negotiate the waves and get just past the surf, you will really enjoy it. You can also find buoys to swim out to in some places, but you will be going a lot further out than swimming between the flags just outside the surf will take you. If you are not familiar with ocean swimming, you might not be so comfortable swimming to buoys.

I'd avoid swimming in an area of beach that is not under partial control of a local city. There are areas that are just county patrolled (life guard and sheriff), and local city police do not patrol those areas (unincorporated county areas). There are also more people fishing from shore on these beaches. I'd also avoid Venice for swimming, although you might want to take a walk through during the day to see the sights... Some time ago, there was a needle warning on part of a Redondo beach, just by the breakwall where Hermosa meets Redondo. So avoid that area. (I'm not sure if that warning is still in effect, but I'd avoid it. There is an area of Redondo where the city doesn't have easy access to the beach for patrolling, so it was a favorite place for drug users and dog owners. It is near the harbor, so not great for swimming anyways.)

In addition to the guard on the beach (often two per tower during the summer), the county lifeguard patrols the beaches by helicopter and boat. And there are always people in the water, so you won't be swimming too alone (unless you head for a buoy).

I am not on a team but swim in the ocean just about every weekend. I often have the intent of swimming between flags of the swim zone when I go, but I mostly end up frolicking in the waves and body surfing...

Have a fun trip!

Sabretooth Tiger
July 8th, 2003, 04:48 PM
Here is the link to thw So Cal ocean swim schedule: http://www.swim.net/ocean/schedule.cfm

Unfortunately, you appear to be coming and going right between the Sunday swims on August 3 and August 10.

carl botterud

Tim Hedrick
July 9th, 2003, 01:32 PM
If you are willing to travel up the coast to Santa Barbara (1.5-2 hours north of Los Angeles), there is a weekly summer event hosted there called Nite Moves, that is both a 1K ocean swim and/or a 5K run. This event goes all summer long every Wednesday evening.

Here's the web link to the event:

I have done them in years past, but due to scheduling issues, cannot do any of them this summer. I can tell you from my past experiences that they are FUN, and of course, what could be better on a weekday eve than an ocean swim, some local music, food, setting sun with a gentle breeze, and as many as several hundred competitors?!


July 11th, 2003, 02:02 PM
In addition to the Nite Moves in Santa Barbara, which I cannot recommend enough for a great weekday experience, complete with food, band, and beer afterwards on a beautiful beach, there is a Thursday night event in Los Angeles, called Playa Del Run, which is emulating the Nite Moves. Its website is http://www.playadelrun.com/pdrevent.html. Its a low key fun event with a swim that is probably 1100 meters, and an optional 5k run along the beach aferwards. The website has all the details.

I don't know where you are staying in southern california, but there is also a group of swimmers who swim at Corona Del Mar in Orange County on thursday nights, meeting at around 5:45. Take the CA-73 SOUTH/SAN DIEGO VIA TOLL RD exit 0.8 Merge on CA-73 SOUTH 2.1 Take the MACARTHUR BLVD exit towards NEWPORT BEACH 0.4 Continue on MACARTHUR BLVD 2.6 Turn Left on CA-1 SOUTH 0.9 Turn Right on Marguerite to Ocean. Turn right onto ocean and drive down to public parking or park on the road above the beach. They are easy to find as they meet at the lifeguard tower closest to the breakwater jetty.

You already have the SCAQ website but feel free to give me an e-mail at wireland@hbblaw.com if you have any other questions. Good luck--and I really do recommend the Nite Moves if you can only do one event. Its a great experience and Santa Barbara is always worth visiting.

September 6th, 2003, 11:23 PM
Thank you for all your help.

On a Thurs. night I swam at Playa del Run and it was so much fun. I may actually think about moving to Calfornia. It was a great race and everyone was so nice.

Thanks for the suggestions.