The Alcatraz swim requires three areas of swim competency for a safe and enjoyable program.  Training will take place in Aquatic Park Cove which is a protected swim area of the San Francisco Bay.




Each swimmer needs to be signed off by a coach on each of three competency areas as follows:

  1.  Introduction to Open Water Swimming: Acclimate to sea water in the Bay, do some laps, float, learn how to trust your wetsuit and use the extra buoyancy of salt water.
  2.  Endurance and Skill Development: We’ll practice the special skills that will help us demonstrate the ability to swim a distance of 2 miles in the Aquatic Park environment. No time limit. By now you will know and have practiced the techniques for endurance in open water. Your comfort level will be high. We’ll do the “Two Loops” swim within Aquatic Park Cove.
  3.  Open Water Conditions Experience: We will try out our new skill set on a swim out thru the entrance to Aquatic Park and a short distance into the SF Bay in order to experience swimming in wave conditions. Once you complete this requirement you will have the skills, the endurance, and the confidence for a successful Alcatraz swim.

Numerous opportunities will be available to practice with coaches or individually, as will opportunities to get signed off on the qualification swims.


Tips For Success:

  • Practice often, and get in some exercise every day.
  • Swim with a buddy at Aquatic Park.  There is no lifeguard.
  • Show up to practices early.
  • Everyone is a little intimidated at first, but your confidence will build quickly.
  • Don’t worry about sharks where we swim.  You won’t see one.

Swimming in the ocean is 95% mental and the other half is physical.   The biggest obstacle is not the water, it’s what’s going on in our own heads.