Ocean Swimming - Adam 'Ocean' Walker

What to expect when you first start ocean swimming...

When transitioning from lake to ocean there are a number of things to consider which can differ from a local lake. Here are my 6 TIPS!!!

Building Confidence

Swimming in the ocean is very different to swimming in a lake, so initially you want to practice close to the shore where you can easily stand up. Also limit the amount of time you plan to swim and build up from there.

Water Temperature

In the summer between June – August shallow lakes can get up to as 26 degrees Celsius water temperature if air temperatures are consistently warm. However, in the Ocean it is unlikely you will get over 19 degrees in the UK, so please be mindful if you are taking a dip particular in cooler climates like the UK. You may decide to wear a wetsuit or rash vest until you get use to the water temperature.

Ocean WalkerOcean Walker


As well as protective swimwear for temperature, there is likely to be more hazards than organised lake swims, such as boat traffic that are unaware of you swimming. Having a brightly coloured tow float is a highly recommended piece of equipment for visibility and safety in the Ocean.

In addition to safety equipment, if you are wanting to train for a long distance in the Ocean such as a channel swim, you may go from daylight to dark as you will be a number of hours in the water. Therefore, I would recommend clear goggles for night swimming and polarised goggles for day swimming to reflect the sun.  In addition, lights can go on your googles and costume so you are visible in the dark. You can also light up your tow float inside.


It is unlikely in a lake that you will experience rough choppy conditions like you would in an ocean, therefore learning to swim in rough conditions is advisable and getting use to the up and down motion and the extra challenge rough conditions can bring. Also checking currents and tides so you know where and when the best time to swim is.


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Having an effective Swim Technique

Swimming efficient in the ocean is very important, particularly if you faced with big waves and wanting to swim for a long period of time in order to save energy. In addition, having a technique that helps prevent injuries and protects the body, which will enable you to have longevity in the sport. Breathing and sighting in the ocean can be more difficult with testing conditions so it requires practice.

Swim partner

Having a buddy you can swim alongside for safety and to keep you motivated when training. In addition having someone who can walk the side and keep an eye on you is also advisable when it comes to the ocean.