Please read through the FAQ’s before contacting us with your question at the bottom of this page.

How do I join?

Just come along to any of our sessions – they are free to join and no booking required for the dip but may be required for the pre-dip breathing due to current restrictions.

Where do you run these sessions?

Currently we have sessions in the NE of England & SW Scotland;

NE England – Sunderland, Tynemouth, Seaham, South Shields

  • Seaburn – Meet at Little Italy
  • Longsands, meet at Crusoes
  • Cullercoats Bay – Meet at the Boathouse
  • Seaham, meet at the slope down by the harbour
  • South Shields, meet between the Surf School and the cliffs
  • Cresswell Beach – meet in the public carpark opposite The Drift Cafe

SW Scotland

  • Ayr Beach – meet at the ramp opposite Ayr India
  • Irvine Beach – meet at the steps leading to the beach from the carpark
  • Prestwick Beach – meet on the ramp in front of Mancini’s Coffee Shop
  • West Kilbride – Meet at Hyndman Road Carpark

When do you run the sessions?

This depends on the area/city you are in – check our timetable here

Do I need a wetsuit

Wetsuits are entirely optional. Although our group is more about experiencing the power and benefits of the cold, please wear what you’re most comfortable wearing.

What do I need to bring?

most are just extra little luxuries and very handy especially when you first start cold water swimming).

  • Swimwear; costume, bikini, shorts and T-Shirt or a wetsuit
  • Towel or Over head Robe (you’ll probably want to invest in one of these – you can use them to get changed under).
  • A large bag (Ikea bags are ideal)
  • warm clothes – plenty of loose layers
  • A warm hat (you can even wear this in the sea)
  • Hot Water Bottle (2 ideally to place under the arm pits).
  • A flask cup with a warm drink (avoid caffeine and alcohol)
  • Dry/Tow Bag – these tie to your waist and are handy to keep your clothes/valuables in such as keys as well as keeping you safe.
  • Phone pouch, always have your phone with you in case of emergency

I have a serious health condition, can I still join?

Please check with your GP as we are unable to provide guidance on certain health conditions.

Can I join if I'm pregnant?

Generally our advice is not to though there are mixed opinions on this, and is often dependant on whether your body is already conditioned to the cold. We advise you to check with your GP or Midwife before joining.

I'm not a good swimmer, can I still join?

Yes of course you can, we never recommend going out beyond the thighs (and just dipping under) but remember to invest in a Tow Float

I hate the cold, do you have any tips?

By joining in with our pre dip breathing, this will help relax your body and mind. We will demonstrate the best way to breathe when going into the water to help keep you relaxed.

Will I get hypothermia?

Not if you condition your body gradually to the cold. Try staying in the water no more than 3 mins on your first go – over time you will build up your cold exposure time. Never compete with others, everyone’s body reacts differently to the cold.

How can I help condition my body to the cold before joining you all in the sea?

Take a cold shower at least 5 times per week, end your regular warm shower with a 30 second blast of cold water, week by week build up this time to 2-3 mins or longer. You could also build up your cold exposure time by simply going out on a colder day with fewer layers on, for example, if the weather is quite cold, try going for a 20 min walk in just a T-shirt (and of course something on the bottom half)

I'm nervous about being with lots of people, any suggestions?

Everyone is very welcoming and everyone is there for their own reasons, some come for the health benefits, some come for the social aspect and others for the challenge. If you are feeling too anxious about joining the group then how about inviting a friend or family member? If this is not possible then email us and we’ll offer more advice.

I hate how my body looks but really want to join

Then come and join and we can assure you that you’ll soon feel at ease – no one cares about how anyone looks, we come in all shapes, colours, sizes and nationalities. You are welcome and accepted just as you are.

What are the benefits of going in the cold water?

So many to mention but here are a few;

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps with weight loss
  • improves circulation
  • glowing hair and skin
  • clears and calms the mind
  • releases good feeling hormones
  • reduces muscle soreness post exercise

I don't have a child minder, can I bring my child(ren)?

Yes, although this is a Women’s group, we want to make it accessible to all women and if this means you need to bringing your child along then this is absolutely fine as long as they are with you at all times.

I don't want to do the pre-dip breathing can I still join?

Of course you can, everything is optional, the pre dip session is there to take or leave.

Why do you do the pre dip breathing/Meditation?

Many women come along feeling anxious, not necessarily about going into the sea (though often about this) so the pre dip session is to help you relax, to bring your body from it’s fight or flight (Sympathetic Nervous System) state to a rest and digest (Parasympathetic Nervous System) state. Certain breathing techniques also activate the part of the brain which acts as a natural pain suppressant, meaning we feel the cold less.

Is there a right/wrong way to warm up?

You’ll be shown the most optimal and safest way to warm up during our sessions. In a nutshell, this is done by warming the body up slowing, so no cardio workouts after cold exposure as this puts too much pressure on the heart. Instead try squats or any slow movement exercises which works the thigh muscles.

You can also use the breath to warm your body back up, breathing techniques such as Breath of Fire which I demonstrate here

Avoid taking hot showers or baths after cold exposure, only take a warm bath or shower once the body has naturally warmed itself back up.

Can I stay in the water for longer if I feel fine when I'm in there?

We don’t recommend doing this, the challenge isn’t going in or staying in the cold water, but comes once we get out of the water when the blood vessels open back up, which can cause an after drop – this is when the cold blood from the extremities mixes with the warm blood in the core and can cause involuntary shivering of the body. Shivering is the body’s automatic way of warming itself back up. The after drop often kicks in several minutes after coming out of the cold water. It is important to never over do it and to always warm up properly.

I can't make it to the group dips as I work on those days. Any tips for going alone?

We advise to NEVER dip or swim alone, always have someone with you or consider asking someone in the group if they’d be up for dipping at a time which suits you.

I'm going with friends, any advice on how we can know if it's safe to swim at our local beach?

  • Check tide times using My Tide Times App (ios/Samsung/web)
  • Check the wave height for that day using the Magic Seaweed App (only available for beaches which are surf beaches
  • if it’s the summer season then swim in yellow flag spot if your beach is life guard patrolled.
  • Check for rips and be aware that rips tend to have a stronger pull at low tide
  • If caught in a rip, remember to never swim against it, instead swim parallel to the shore at a slight angle swimming back toward the shore
  • Never swim too close to a pier or big rocks etc as there will be a rip tide here.
  • If the sea and it’s conditions look too rough then keep out. There’s always another day.

Can men join Wild Sea Women?

We want everyone to be able to experience the benefits of the cold – please check out the Iceguys group or search for local mixed swim groups in your area.

I'd like to offer a free class to your group - is this something you offer

We’re often contacted by instructors of various fields (yoga/fitness/dance etc) offering a free session to the women of Wild Sea Women – although we’re grateful for this gesture, please be aware that if it’s something we feel would fit in with our group, then it would incur a £25 admin fee to use our booking system and any promotion via our channels. Email us for more information.

I'd like to setup a WSW group at my local beach

If you would like lead a Wild Sea Women group in your part of the world,  you will need good knowledge of your local beach/lake/river,  at least 6month experience of cold exposure via water, the time to commit to leading a WSW session (either weekly or fortnightly), the ability to speak loudly in front of a large crowd and some experience of guiding the women through a short (5-10min) relaxing exercise such as breathwork, meditation etc. Being a WSW Leader is more suited to ladies who are a trained instructor i.e. yoga/breathwork/meditation/dance etc. Email us for more info

    Wild Sea Women

    If you would like to get in touch about anything drop us an email.

    Office: Sunderland Software Centre, Tavistock Place, SR1 1PB

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