Come and join other open water swimmers preparing for VOWSA’s swim series. These practices at Kitsilano Beach are perfect opportunities to meet new people and familiarize yourself with the challenges that await you in the open water. You should be comfortable swimming 1 km in a pool.
Water temperature in English Bay varies over the season from about 14C at the start of June up to a high of 20C near the end of August. Upwellings of colder water around the course can be refreshing on a hot day, but we do advise wearing a wetsuit both for warmth and flotation.
Our practice swims are completely volunteer-run, and we depend on swimmers like YOU to help keep these practices running! You can contact our volunteer coordinator Pauline at vowsa.volunteer “at” gmail.com for more information!
The swim course circles Kits Bay inside of the powerboat exclusion zone and averages 1.3-1.5 km for the full circuit. A map of the approximate course is available here; though movement of buoys due to tides and snags will alter the course over the season.
Location & Time
- Sign-in can be found near the main tower, by the trees, near the boat house restaurant. – Map
- Practices are every* Mondays and Thursdays beginning at 6:00 pm for safety briefing and sign-in.
- Swims start at 6:30 pm; VOWSA lifeguard supervision from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
- Practice swims start May 30th 2016 and conclude September 1st*
*No practice swim on Monday August 1, 2016
What to bring
- Completed Practice Swim Waiver *
- Drop in fee or have paid for Seasons Pass – see costs below
- A parent or coach if you are under 19
- Brightly coloured swim cap (not white)
- Swim suit
- Wetsuit (not mandatory but a really good idea)
- A warm change of clothing for post swim
You should be comfortable swimming 1000 metres (40 laps in a 25m pool) and have all the recommended safety items.
*You can complete a waiver at the beach, but bringing your own will save us time.
For technical problems with registration please contact vowsa.president “at” gmail.com
2016 Registration Fees
|Single Drop in||$5 (Cash Only)|
|Season Pass||$45 (Only Available Online)|
|5 Swim Punch Card||$20 (Available Online or at the beach)
Please bring proof of registration to collect at your first practice swim.
Please note a 2.9% surcharge for credit card processing will be added at the time of registration (online registration only).
Change rooms, washrooms, cold outdoor showers (!), concession stand, pay parking lot (very limited free on-street parking).
We do not always have a volunteer to watch your gear while you swim, so prepare to leave valuables in your vehicle or lock them with your bicycle on the beach.
Coached Training with SeaHiker
Struggling with open water swimming or feeling out of your depth? Check out Sea Hiker courses to get your skills and improve your open water confidence. Click here for more information.
Lessons and Stroke Analysis with Catalyst Kinetics Group
Come improve your swimming and learn with Catalyst Aquatics
- professional, experienced swim coaches teaching beginners and high level athletes (1-on-1 to create an optimal learning environment)
- Elite Endless Pool
- unparalleled feedback
- mirrors on the bottom of the pool while you swim
- delayed video feedback while you rest
- video summary to analyze at home
Don’t have a wetsuit? A great place to rent or purchase a wetsuit is West Point Multisport. They are located at 3780 West 10th Avenue (South side of the street, between Alma and Highbury). They also carry a wide selection of swim caps, goggles, swim suits and other swimming accessories, as well as triathlon products. You can contact them at 604-569-1102 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention you heard of them through VOWSA.
For more information, check out our wetsuit sponsor page.