Paris Ice Swimming:
The concept of wild-swimming is now well known into the community of Parisian swimmers: competitions in the Canal de l’Ourcq, the success of the informal events shared by the “laboratoire des baignades urbaines et experimentales“, the promises to make the Seine bathable for the Olympic Games in 2024, the projects of open water-pools in the lake Daumesnil and in the bassin de La Villette …
Paris Wild Swimming!
For my part, since September, here I make one weekly swim in the Canal de l’Ourcq, to strengthen my immunity, and especially to try to progress a bit in this discipline little known in France: Ice swimming.
Swimming all over the year
However, two major concerns for training in Paris:
– finding cold waters (ideally between 0 and 10C)
– finding friends who are stupid enough to come and swim in and ensure the safety!
The perfect team:
To find (very) cold waters, we were very lucky this winter, the temperatures were low, and the water froze on the channel of Ourcq! Last year, I did not see the water temperature falling below 10C, this year it remained more than 2 months below 5C.
Very cold water this year….
To find partners, I launched an innocent call on social networks, and about twenty people wanted to try and answered the proposal. The community is formed, whenever one of us has time to bathe, he throws an e-mail and finds a buddy to swim with.
Buddy for security:
There are as many different profiles as there are swimmers, and that’s is very nice: few people practiced this activity, some are good swimmers, some are not as fast, but no one really is a specialist in this discipline, since France does not have this “ice-swimming” culture.
Here we are not in the competition, hold 10 seconds during his first immersion or 10 minutes for the most seasoned in a water close to 0C degree remains a great satisfaction for everyone, no speed contest, just the pleasure of leaving adventure at the corner of the street, get out of his comfort zone, like the adrenaline rush provided by this exercise and find ourself, shivering around a hot tea on the docks of Pantin!
a painful first swim?
A joyful first swim!
This discipline is gradually federating, attracting more and more from Paris fans to Palavas les Flots (big ice-swimmers club, thanks to the Aqualove led by Jacques Tuset). It would not be impossible to see the first official competition in France next year and imagining a team from France training to participate in the next world championships to be held in Tallinn in Estonia in March 2018!
This discipline is for everyone’s if you do not get any cardiac or circulatory problem, it is enough to gradually acclimatize to the temperature of the water with the seasons. Do not forget to never ever swim alone, the swimming dangers associated with hypothermia must be taken into account by all who would like to test it.
Swimming in Parisian icebergs!
Last thing do not forget that swimming in Paris and its canals is still officially prohibited.
Photos and text: Alex Voyer