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The Swim

Are support paddlers included?

No, we do not supply support paddlers and you will need to get your own paddler. If you have difficulty finding one, let us know and we can put out a social media call for you!

What happens if the swim gets cancelled?

Typically, we get great weather for the swim event and cancellation is unlikely. However, in the case of severe weather (lightning, low visibility, strong winds, high waves), poor water quality or other unsafe water reason, the swim may be cancelled. If the swim is cancelled, NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED. This is because we will have spent the majority of the budget just to reach the swim event day, and we will have already donated funds to support our YMCA Okanagan Swims Program. The YMCA will not give us a refund, nor will our suppliers and sponsors, so we are unable to as well.

Where can I get my wetsuit repaired?

Fresh Air Experience on Harvey Avenue in Kelowna, BC does minor wetsuit repairs. Visit their website >

Do I have to wear a swim cap?

We will supply you with a swim cap that MUST be worn. No exceptions. The caps will have a different colour for each wave and will have your number on them. For safety and liability reasons, the caps must be worn.

I’m really anxious about the swim!

The big day arrives and you are not feeling confident in yourself? You start to wonder why you ever signed up for this thing in the first place! Don’t worry! It is a normal reaction.

Here is a great article about open water swim anxiety. It’s a lengthy but highly recommended read!

We do have a “white cap” system in place so if you are feeling a little anxious about the swim, just ask for a white cap at the information tent the morning of the swim. The white cap signifies that you are a little nervous and we will look out for you a little more.

If you have any questions (even those little dumb ones!), you are encouraged to contact us at anytime.

Do I have to swim freestyle?

There are no restrictions on the type of swim stroke you can use. Backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, side stroke, it’s your choice.

Can I wear fins or hand paddles?

No. Any devices that propel you in a forward motion are not allowed.

Can I wear a mask and snorkel?

There are no rules saying you can’t wear a mask and snorkel, but it is not advised. A mask makes it difficult to sight and the snorkel makes it difficult to breath. Not a good combination!

Can I bring my dog?

The answer is a solid “no”. Although, one year, many years ago, a swimmer did bring their dog! Look, we love our dogs too, but please don’t bring them to swim with you. (You will not be allowed to swim if you do.)



I lost my swim cap!

If you lose your swim cap, come to the Information tent the morning of the swim and we can give you a replacement. For insurance and safety purposes, you are not allowed to wear your own swim cap.

Do I have to wear a wetsuit?

It is recommended to wear a wetsuit, but not mandatory. Most swimmers do wear one.

The water temperature is usually warm enough to not need a wetsuit but the water temperature in the middle of the lake can be a little cooler, so a wetsuit will keep you warmer and you’ll also benefit from the added buoyancy. Some swimmers do not like the restriction of a wetsuit, but it is personal preference.

Can I wear a water ski style wetsuit?

We do not recommend it. A scuba, surfing, windsurfing or water skiing “Body Glove” style wetsuit is not made for open water swimming. You need flexibility in the shoulder and arm areas and these style suits are very restrictive. As a result, you will get tired quickly because of the limited mobility. And, you will experience chafing around the neck. These wetsuits also use standard neoprene which will not keep you warm for extended periods in the water and they don’t have the necessary neoprene thicknesses to keep you balanced while swimming.

Sizing is also an issue as they usually only have S, M, L whereas an open water wetsuit have many multiple sizing options for different body shapes and heights so you can get a much better fit.

Although they are tempting as they are generally cheaper than an open water wetsuit, you will be cold, tired, unbalanced and chafed. Doesn’t sound like a deal anymore does it! :)

Can I wear a costume?

We do not allow the use of costumes for our event. Although fun, wearing a costume will limit your ability to swim safely across a lake and may limit our ability to rescue you if that is required.

I am allergic to latex

If you are allergic to latex swim caps, just let us know and we will trade your latex cap for a silicone one.

Are Swim Buddy’s allowed?

Yes! We allow and encourage the use of Swim Buddy’s (personal swim float).

Can I wear a snorkel?

Yes, snorkels are allowed for use.

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