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VOBSTER QUAY OPEN WATER ACTIVITY CENTRE
VOBSTER QUAY
SURFACE WATER TEMP:  16.5 °C    UPDATED:  12-06-2024
SURFACE WATER TEMP:  16.5 °C
8th January 2024
WINTER SWIM UPDATE
STAY SAFE AND HAVE FUN AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS
Get your 2024 swim season off to a 'fresh' start with a spot of Winter swimming right here at Vobster Quay. To ensure that you stay safe and have fun, we've introduced some all-important changes to our safety procedures. Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with these changes to prepare for a Winter full of refreshing swimming.
Winter swimming may not be for everyone, but we know that many of you enjoy the exhilarating swimming experience that the colder conditions has to offer. To ensure that swimmers remain safe as the temperature drops, we've implemented some important changes to our swimming procedures.

Everyone is expecting colder water, but we also have fog and possible frost and snow to plan for. The helpful advice below will give you an insight into what changes we have made to keep you safe during the colder months of the year. We hope you have a great winter and continue to enjoy the superb swimming on offer right here at Vobster Quay. If you're planning on swimming right through, excellent - we're here to help. If you're taking a break until the warm weather returns, we look forward to seeing you back in the Spring when the vegan carrot cake thaws.

Swim Safety Videos
Need more information? We've got a great set of videos from swim coach Richard Smith on acclimatising and re warming - make sure you check them out now.
Photo courtesy © Sally Hooper
ALL CHANGE FOR WINTER
SWIM COURSE CHANGES
Last Winter we successfully added the 'Winter loop' between December and April. With the water temperature dipping below 12 degrees, this marks the point where we open the 140m Winter loop or, as some of you playfully refer to it, the 'out to the crack and back' loop.

Please do not combine the Winter loop with our other swim courses as a 'shortcut start'. This and other route combination creativity creates confusing extra work for our already hard-working lifeguards! The opening of the winter loop brings another big change - the 750m swim loop is now closed until April 2024.

Other swim lakes around the country implement a shorter maximum swim loop as good practice and we have taken the decision to do the same. With the 750m loop closed over the Winter months, the longest loop will be now be 550m. Swimmers are still welcome to swim further than 550m, but as a combination of shorter loops instead of one long 750m loop.

The swim buoys at the far end of the 750m loop have now been pulled out of the water until April 2024.
WINTER COMFORT
CHANGING ROOM UPGRADES
Last year we replaced all the flooring in the changing rooms, which was a great success and followed the roof renewal a couple of years ago.

In anticipation of cooler temperatures ahead, we have recently installed new boilers for the showers and are now working on the ceilings. We are also renewing the shower flooring in the gents changing room.

All of this takes time and we do try to minimise the disruption on busy swim days and weekends. Thanks in advance for your patience during this time - we are aiming to have most of the work completed by the New Year, making sure the warm changing rooms are available for the colder weather in January and February. The 'horsebox' cubicles are always available on the far side of the car park.
SWIM SAFETY ADVICE
BEWARE OF 'AFTER DROP'
Colder water and Winter weather means extra care should be taken in planning, swimming and re warming post-swim.

In particular, please be aware of 'after drop'. After drop occurs due to cold moving from the tissues to the core after the end of your swim. It can take 30-40 mins for this core cooling to stabilise. After drop can lead to dizziness, nausea, fainting and even severe hypothermia/cardiac arrest in extreme cases.

We always get some swimmers over the Winter who insist on re warming in the shower and end up needing medical attention - hot showers are the WRONG way to re warm. The correct way is a swift change into dry layers and food, plus a gentle post swim exercise to gradually re warm.

Need more information? We've got a great set of videos from swim coach Richard Smith on acclimatising and re warming - make sure you check them out now.
BOOKING MATTERS
BOOKING AHEAD + SPECTATORS
The Winter months are often quieter and more relaxed, but it still helps us plan if we know how many of you are coming swimming.

There will always be some days (especially at weekends) when sessions may still fill up - think hard-to-resist crisp and sunny winter lake swimming - but remember that other swimmers will be thinking the same. Booking ahead prevents disappointment.

Thinking about bringing along a spectator? Spectators don't need to book, but they must be registered on our system before their first visit.

Once your spectator has successfully completed the online registration process on our online booking system, just bring them into the shop so that we can issue them with an orange wrist band so that they can purchase food and beverages. Note they only need to register once but will need to sign in each time they visit with you.
GET THE KNOWLEDGE
WINTER SWIM SAFETY VIDEOS
Professional swim coach and lead Vobster lifeguard Richard Smith has produced a wealth of information on winter swimming on our website. Don't miss his superbly informative videos too - check them out to refresh your knowledge for winter season safety!