Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I tell if I qualify for a swim?
A. Each swim has a qualifying level:
EXPERT open water swimmer, member of USMS, and/or USTA, competes in open water races.
EXPERIENCED open water swimmer, swims open water regularly for races, fitness and/or recreation.
COMPETENT open water swimmer, swims in open water occasionally.
NOVICE open water swimmer, swimming in open water is new to me.
2. Q. What will I need to bring to the swim?
A. All swimmers are required to wear a suit, bright colored cap,
Goggles, and swim buoy. Wetsuits, fins, earplugs, nose plugs, are optional. Safety Escorts can require additional Safety devices, such as lights, for the night swim, or ban unsafe equipment, like earbuds and mp3 players.
3. Q. Can I rent or borrow equipment?
A. Yes, we have swim buoys and lights to borrow. We do not
4. Q. How can I tell if the water cold enough, or too hot for a wetsuit?
A. Temperature is always a personal choice, but here are our guidelines:
Below 60 degrees, wetsuits required unless approved
60-65 degrees, wetsuits recommended
65+ degrees, wetsuits not required
72+ degrees, wetsuits not recommended
5. Q. Will there be transportation and storage for my things?
A. Not necessarily. Every swim location is different. We try to launch from locations that have public restrooms and parking, but that is not always possible. We request that you leave big and bulky items in your car, or locked to your bike, and bring only what you can carry in your swim buoy, like a wallet, cell phone, sandals, and keys. Safety Escorts cannot carry personal items, unless it is for a medical emergency, or a long distance training swim requiring feeds.
6. Q. Will there be food, or should I bring something?
A. We typically provide food and beverages, unless it is not described in the details for the swim. We will make an effort to accommodate dietary preferences.
7. Q. Can I sign up a minor who’s level qualifies them?
A. Lynn Cox swam the English Channel, and set the record for both males and females when she was 15, so we will make exceptions. Please contact us, state their experience, and we will send you a waiver for a minor.
8. Q. What if a swim is cancelled, do I get my money back?
A. Unfortunately, no. We do give you credit for another swim.
9. Q. What training do the Safety Escorts have?
A. All Safety Escorts must have training in CPR, and swimmer management. Safety Escorts are NOT lifeguards, and are prohibited from attempting anything beyond a basic water rescue, and putting themselves in danger. Every swim has a Safety Plan, that includes early exit, local emergency providers, and water conditions. Safety Escort has the authority to end a swim at any time, if they deem conditions unsafe.
10. Q. If the swim is a point-to-point, or I am uncomfortable, and want to exit the water, can the Safety Escort give me a ride back to my car?
A. Yes, all Safety Escorts are required to have a valid driver’s license, and insurance.
11. Q. If we are camping, do I need to provide my own equipment?
A. Yes, Swim Oregon does not provide camping equipment, except for firewood, food, and cooking equipment/supplies, when meals are included.
12. Q. Can Swim Oregon help us with equipment/wetsuit rental?
A. Swim Oregon can recommend places where you can rent equipment.
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