Open Water Swimming Coaching in Pembrokeshire, Wales

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some FAQs we're often asked.

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Topics:

Coastal Adventure Swims

Swim Pembrokeshire Sea Swimming Club

General Stuff

Coastal Adventure Swims

Q: Do I need a wetsuit?

A: Yes. This is for safety/common sense reasons and to be fair to all people on the trip, if you get cold we will all have to exit the water.


Q: Do you supply wetsuits?

A: Yes, we have a small stock available for rent. Please select this option when making the booking and contact us immediately to reserve the suit.


Q: If I cannot make a Coastal Adventure Swim trip can I do it another time?
A: Yes, we have them planned approximately every month through the swimming season. You can book the date you prefer on the booking page in the website.

Q: Does the special Swim Pembrokeshire club member discount for the Coastal Adventure Swim apply through the year?
A: Yes, but we ask that you are a paid club member to take advantage of these offers to be fair to other paying club members..

Q: Do I need to be a paying member of the Swim Pembrokeshire sea swimming club to use the club member discounts?
A: Yes please. For an annual subscription of just £40 per year Swim Pembrokeshire members have the following benefits:

- Reduced rates at weekly club sessions
- Qualified and experienced swimming coaches
- Stroke / video analysis & recommendations for improvements
- Reductions on frequent events like Yoga & Sea Swimming sessions, night swims, swim treks and coastal adventure swims
- Monthly newsletter with tips and tricks
- Club t-shirt and swim cap


Q: Do I have to pay for Swim Pembrokeshire club membership before the Coastal Adventure Swim?
A: Ideally, yes. However you can pay for club membership within a couple of weeks if you are not able to right away. If you are not sure / don't want to be a club member then feel free to use the 'YEAROFTHESEA' promotion code instead. Click here to learn more about the club and sign up. After signing up you will need to enrole as a member and make payment in order to become a fully paid member of Swim Pembrokeshire sea swimming club.


Q: How do I sign up to be a member of Swim Pembrokeshire?

A: Click here to sign up and enroll as a paid member. NOTE: You need to enrole as a member and make payment once you sign up, in order to become a fully paid member of Swim Pembrokeshire.


Q: What if I don't want to pay for a club membership?
A: No problem, if you do not wish to pay for club membership just use the 'Year of the Sea' discount code - 'YEAROFTHESEA' - when making your booking for a £10 discount.

Q: Can I bring my husband/wife/friend if they are non-swimmers?
A: Yes, if spaces permit. There is just as much to see on the boat. It's a great day out for anyone. We're sorry but we are not able to do different rates for non-swimmers.

Q: Can I bring my kids on the Coastal Adventure Swim?
A: Minimum age for swimmers is 16, but they must be accompanied by a swimming adult. Minimum age for non-swimmers is 12 years, accompanied by non-swimming adult. Subject to space on the boat. We are able to take a maximum of 12 people including children and adults.

Q: What are the Coastal Adventure Swims like?
A: If you have ever done scuba dives from a boat, it will be similar format. We will partner with a swim buddy, get kitted up, kit check, review swim plan, get wet! There is a ladder to get in and out of the water from the boat. We will swim close to the land once in, so we can see more, but we will not be more than 1-200 metres from land or the boat at any point. Obviously the boat needs to stay away from the coastal rocks. The swims are easy-intermediate level depending on your swimming ability. The focus is on fun and enjoyment, not pace, not endurance.

Q: Have Swim Pembrokeshire swum the routes before?
A: Yes, all swim routes are thoroughly explored first hand, in the water and documented in detail They were AWESOME! All routes have been mapped and assessed for risk. We will run through the swim plans with you before every swim.

Q: Do I have to do all 3 swims on a day trip?
A: No. We come back to the boat after every swim and relax, chat, eat, drink tea/coffee, have a laugh. Then we move to another site and go in. If you want to skip one or call it a day and stay on the boat this is entirely up to you. There is just as much to see from the boat and if the sun is out it is great for sunbathing!


Q: I have a swimming event near to the date of the boat trip, won't I be tired?

A: No. These swims are designed to be relaxing and enjoyable. The pace is slow. They are in fact a great way to unwind, stretch the muscles, clear your mind and de-stress. You can join in or sit out on any of the swims we do and sit on the boat, relax and read a book if you want to rest. What better way to prepare for a swim event?


Q: I am scared of seeing a seal in the water, can I skip that swim?

A: Yes of course. Seals are territorial and we know where they will likely be. You can choose to stay on the boat when there is a likelihood of seals being present. We do not purposely seek out seals and at no point do we approach seals in the water or on land. Swimmers who do this will be asked to refrain from doing so, or in extreme cases asked to leave the water.


Q: <Quote!> "I would soil my wetsuit if I saw something as big as a seal in the water!"
A: Don't worry. Seals do not want to harm you. They are highly intelligent, inquisitive, beautiful animals and are simply interested in you. We stay well away from them anyway, we never approach them under any circumstances. Swimmers who do this will be asked to refrain from doing so, or in extreme cases asked to leave the water. However, we cannot stop seals from swimming over to check us out! If you see one near you, stay calm and just enjoy the experience. Swim away slowly. Don't splash or panic, this will cause more stress to the animal than to you.

More information on swimming with seals can be see in our blog.

Club Membership

Q: How do I become a 'member' of Swim Pembrokeshire sea swimming club?

A: Membership is £40 per year. For this you will receive loads of freebies and benefits such as discounts on club nights, club organised events like our night swims, plus special trips such as the Coastal Adventure Swims. Click here to sign up. Alternatively let us know you plan to do so and just pay the club subscription at a club night whenever is convenient.


Q: What are the benefits of becoming a member of the Swim Pembrokeshire sea swimming club?

A: Click here for details.

General Stuff

Q: What is sea swimming?
A: As it says, swimming in the sea, in all conditions, any time of year, any location, with safety as the primary concern.


Q: What is wild swimming?

A: Wild swimming is the phrase used to describe swimming in any 'natural' location - the sea, lakes, rivers etc.


Q: What is swim-running?

A: As it says! Basically you go from point A to point B, which could be a linear route along a coastline or a circular trip or island hopping, swimming between certain poinet and running between others.


Q: Do you rent equipment?

A: We do have a stock of equipment that we can rent but prefer swimmers to have their own equipment, especially the core item, the westuit, as it is essential it fits very well to reduce drag and maintain maximum swim efficiency. We can also hire tents and camping equipment if needed.


Q: Are there other things for me to do in Pembrokeshire?

A: Oh yes! If Wales is the action sports centre of the UK, then Pembrokeshire is the action sports centre of Wales. Sea kayaking, mountain biking, climbing, SCUBA, surfing, road biking, running, trail running, hiking, camping, and much much more. Pembrokeshire has something for everyone.

Click here for more information.


Q: Is sea swimming dangerous?

A: There are inherent risks of course with sea swimming as you are entering a marine environment in weather conditions you cannot control. This is an important consideration if you are not a strong swimmer. However, by doing sea swimming in a structured and planned way, with experienced swimmers, you minimise the risks and open up a new world of adventure!


Q: What kit should I bring?

A: We have a list of open water swimming kit you should consider bringing but there are some essentials obviously: goggles, neoprene hat, sea swimming wetsuit and neoprene gloves and socks for Winter sea swimming.


Q: Are you qualified to coach sea swimming?

A: Yes, see our qualifications, here.


Q: Is sea swimming good for you?

A: Very much so, you can see a few of the health benefits here.


Q: Are your open water coaching courses expensive?

A: No. Pricing for our sea swimming excursions is available upon request.

Click here for more information on our sea swimming coaching.

Click here for more information on the sea swimming locations.


Q: Do you arrange camping, hotels, meals and transport?

A: These can be arranged if required at an additional cost. We also hire camping equipment and can recommend/book you in at excellent campsites. Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs.


Q: Where do you go sea swimming in Pembrokeshire?

A: You can check out our sea swimming Pembrokeshire locations here.

We also do Coastal Adventure Swims. We're always adding to these locations as we recce more sea swimming locations, so keep visit our website regularly to stay updated.


Q: Do you teach swimming if I am a novice?

A: We offer pool coaching on a one to one basis for complete novices, but we would not advise learning to swim in the sea. We also have access to a hydropool for learner or advanced swim stroke work.


Q: Do you have a pre-requisite for participants?

A: Yes. Beginners must be able to swim at least 1000m unassisted. Intermediate and Advanced swimmers must be able to swim at least 2000m unassisted and we will carry out an assessment of your swimming ability prior to entering open water. The Coastal Adventure Swims require you to be able to swim at least 1500m in open water, unaided.


Q: Do you have a kayakker with you when you swim?
A: If we deem it necessary a kayakker will be arranged to accompany us on our sea swim routes. A kayakker is also present on paid sea swimming coaching sessions as this allows us to assess your stroke from all angles and give feedback as we go. We also film your stroke for analysis if you want us to.


Q: What can my husband or wife do while I am swimming if they are not a swimmer?

A: If we are sea swimming in Tenby or Saundersfoot there are lots of options, take a look at our sea swimming locations page for details. If the location is a bit more remote then they can take part in coastal path hiking, beach combing, nature watching or perhaps wait in a warm pub nearby! We are happy to advise based on the location you choose.


Q: Do you give feedback on my swimming stroke so I can improve?

A: Yes, we offer this as an optional extra on all of our sea swimming coaching sessions.


Q: Where should I leave my stuff when I go sea swimming and will my gear be safe?

A: Normally you can just leave your gear in your car. Although Pembrokeshire is a safe place we are not responsible for your gear storage, so if you are worried about this we would recommend taking keys with you (for example) in a watertight storage type tow float.

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