Safe Boxing Day Swim

How to navigate Boxing Day Swims safely

Boxing Day is a traditional day to take a festive dip and over the last few years cold water swimming has seen a massive increase. We reached out to Swim coach Sarah Porter to find out the best way to navigate a boxing day swim.

So whether it’s your first or 20th Boxing day swim, here are Sarah’s top tips on how to do them safely.


1.Check in with yourself

How are you feeling?  If you haven’t had much sleep, eaten or not your usual self then today is not the day to go into cold water, as your body is already working pretty hard to make you feel well and adding the extra stress of cold water will do it any good whatsoever. The water will always be there tomorrow. If you are well – then make sure you have eaten before you go and take a warm beverage for afters – trust us, you’ll thank us later.

swim with prideswim with pride


2.Scout out the water

Make sure you know the water that you are going into.

Are their safe entry and exit points?

Do you know how deep it is?

Are there any dangers you need to be aware of?

There are various online resources you can look at for information. If you are going in the sea – check the tides – are there any rips or rocks that you need to know about? Talk to local people and check the resources included below.


3.Get kit right

What do you need to wear? Wear something on your feet – you don’t know what lies beneath the surface – this can be sea shoes, old trainers or you may have wetsuit boots. A bright hat – this helps you to be seen – this can be a bobble hat or a swimming hat – the brighter the better. A brightly coloured tow float is a great investment if you are going to be a regular swimmer – it can help you be seen, store your keys and can work a float aid for a short amount of time.


4.Pre and post swim tips


Wear plenty of easy to put on layers

A vest to step into is a top tip rather than fiddling with a bra for the ladies!

Have your clothes in the right order to put back on as you will be cold and won't want to faff!

Wrap your clothes/towels in a hot water bottle - toasty clothes are great! 

As soon as you get out take off wet kit and dry off

keep moving

A hot drink and cake are always good to have post-swim to restore any lost heat or sugar levels

Warm up slowly and your body will return to normal - except you will feel amazing!

Swim your own swim and don’t get carried away – your body will keep cooling after you get out.

Cold water shock -  when you first enter cold water your body is saying no no. Take it slow and control your breath – let the out breath be longer than the in.

    • Stay shallow whilst you are getting your breathing under control – take it slow – do not run in and duck under.
    • You get the same benefits from 2 minutes as 10 so get out wanting more.


Useful resources:

Windy – tides and waves

RNLI – float to survive

Outdoor Swimmer.

Wild – App