Masters Swim Training - All you need to know

We’re changed things up a little this year so have a read and see how it will affect you.
3.45pm – 4.45pm
We have two lanes of Masters swimming. This is for intermediate swimmers – those who can swim 400m without stopping and would like to improve their technique and speed targeting asub 7m30s - 9 min 400m (lifeguard/lifesaver qualification time).  There will be technique drills and some set swimming. 
5pm – 6pm
We will have 1 lane of beginner masters for those who cannot yet complete 400m without stopping, who are new to the water or who just haven’t swum in an age and would like to get back into it. 
We will have 3 lanes of more advanced masters – those able to swim 400m in less than 7m30s.  These sessions will be geared towards improving technique, speed and stamina.

Please note there will be no uncoached lane for swimming on a Sunday, all lanes will be taking part in a coached session.  

If you’d like an uncoached swim then Wed night (7.45 – 8.45pm) is for you where there will be the option of following a set or of doing your own thing.

All coached sessions will require you to have swim fins - maybe not every week but most. Please make sure you bring yours with you or get yourself a pair as soon as.  We’d recommend Finis Floating fins or Aquasphere Alpha Fins both available on wiggle or amazon.

Get in touch with any questions
If you are not sure where you fit in please contact Lyn at or on 07768 17490 and she can advise. If you have mates that are keen then please bring them along - remember they can have 3 taster sessions before they need to join up.

In praise of our nippers

We had the Devon Ocean Championships last month for the nippers. It was a wonderful, exhausting day and I wanted to take a moment to sing their praises.

There are, if I’m honest, occasionally moments in the week before a big nipper competition that team managers can find themselves asking why we do it. The splendid Rich Elliott and myself are the nipper team managers and there can be lots of planning, ‘to do’ lists, entry forms and meetings in the days leading up to a competition like the Devons.

Our part of the bargain is to try our hardest to make the day enjoyable for everyone, not just the brilliant 20% who win about 80% of the medals. We want to give as many of our nippers as possible the chance to experience competition in a friendly, supportive environment.

Giving up the day to compete is a commitment from children and their parents that we really value. It can be pretty scary to compete in an actual real-life ocean, one that is trying to dump water on your head or flip you off your board - and doing that aged 8 is a big ask.

There are lots of ways to measure success at these events. Some more obvious than others. One is in how many new children you can bring along with you, and we had a rash of brand new nippers competing which was brilliant. Bertie Saunders, Josie Moore, Paddy Lansley, Archie Cresswell, Jack Davis, Fin Cole: you all made us very proud on Putsborough Beach!

Another is in watching the children cheer one another on. Everyone encouraging one another, cheering each other and celebrating each’s achievements (whether that was getting medals or simply getting to the end of the course). I loved watching (and hearing) our girls chanting for Rory as he tried to battle his way through to a medal in the flags for example.

Another is in our nippers’ endless capacity to take part. The 'have a go’ attitude of all of our nippers on the day was astonishing. Whether it was swimming or paddling out back through an increasingly challenging set of waves, those attempting the gruelling ‘Golden Nipper’ for the first time, pushing hard on the 1km run or lining up for beach flags in front a backed arena of spectators. I’d like to single out the bullet-proof Romesh Molligoda here for his Duracell bunny impression: up for any race, at any point in the day, in any conditions. Even when the waves were double his height, by mid-morning this 9 year-old was up for taking a spot in the 10-11 year-old surf relay team.

One of the real joys is in watching the kids in your charge develop over time. Nippers like Soren Wilton who have transformed in front of your eyes, not just (seemingly) doubling in size but also in confidence and taking an enjoyment from their own considerable abilities that is a real pleasure to watch.

There are the medals of course – and lots of our kids are blessed with bags of natural talent, whether it’s their speed on a board or their speed on the sand, or their fast reaction times. In the sea Sam Hare continued his amazing run in his first year of competition, smashing the competition to win gold on his board, while Daisy Lambert and The Mia Morris Medal Machine bowed out of their last nipper comp with medals swinging round their necks.

We are, as ever, slightly in awe of Jess Adams’ athleticism. She led our best performance on the beach in years – with gold and silver in the sprint and flags for her, and golds in the flags for Oscar Lambert and James Hare with a silver for Amias Tufnell and bronze for Mia. I have watched the irrepressible Hare Major miss out by a hair’s breadth on a few medals and so it was amazing to get to see him take gold.

We watched Rory Lansley and Jess Goodfellow come within one place of getting medals in flags too! Stacks of medals in the relay sprints for teams of the boys and girls like Gracie Trueman, Gaby Lansley, Millie-Grace Elliott and ‘Flo-Jo’ Benfield, all of whom didn’t drop a single baton all day. Archie Cresswell stood next to me on the start line of the sprints and said quietly but firmly, “I’m quite good at running”. Sure enough, dude had two sprint bronze medals round his neck an hour later.

Another total joy is those who turn up and aren’t lucky enough to get a medal but light the place up simply by being there, and by being happy and cheering on others. Children like Chloe Hagley, Evie Poynter, Maia Moore, Daisy Cox and Daisy Upward, who are an utter joy to have around on a long hot day on the beach and without whom we would be a much poorer club.

For each of our nippers we desperately want to give them a moment that is their own at these events. Something to stick away in the memory bank. Something to replay in their heads on the way home. Like watching Milly Lambert absolutely smashing it on the board and making the finals. Or watching Amias come flying out of the sea like a small blond exocet missile to overtake two unsuspecting other kids on the line with his board, determination etched on his face.

And then you think: ah yes. THAT’S why we do it :)

Paul Trueman




Back to the beach!

We are heading back to Croyde beach this Wednesday (10th) to kick off another long summer of nippers on the beach with fun waves (*crosses fingers*) and sunshine (*contemplates ritual sacrifice*). 

If you're a parent or carer of one of our nippers then you can keep in touch with us this summer via our closed FB nipper group that we use to keep you up to date with sessions (without spamming your inbox).

If you're looking for advice on getting a wetsuit then read our blog post and if you want info on times of sessions all the info is here.

If you're new to the club we'd love to welcome you to a few free taster sessions this summer before you decide if it's for you and your nipper. Message us via our FB page or call Jenny on 01271 890101 to find out more. 


Tips on buying a wetsuit

Summer is fast approaching and nippers will be back on the beach on Wednesday 10 May.

If you’re thinking of getting a new wetsuit for your nippers (or yourself), here are a few things (and a cracking membership discount) to bear in mind. 

First off, apologies for stating the bleedin' obvious but.....

...Small people can get COLD

The ocean is still pretty chilly in May. Some kids like a thick 5/4 winter suit all summer long but they can be a real pain to get on and off. Don’t even think about shorties until late summer unless you and your children are from Newcastle and impervious to the cold. Equally who wants to buy a winter AND a summer suit for fast-growing kids?

One answer is to look at a slightly lighter ‘spring’ weight suit that should keep them warm but be more flexible, wearable all summer long, and (crucially) less of a Total Parenting Pain in The Arse to get them in and out of. Ultimately though, if in doubt, particularly if your nipper is little, go for warmth and a suit thick enough to keep them toasty.

Boots and gloves are a YES

Pretty much all kids will need boots and gloves, certainly for the first month and possibly longer. A rash vest is a good idea for kids too. The boots are handy as they make walking out the gulley to the beach much easier.

You don’t have to buy new…

Please feel free to use the Nippers group page (or Masters) to trade in your existing wetsuits or ask if anyone has a second-hand for sale. You might snap up a bargain.

…but if you are buying new, remember our club discount

We’re chuffed to bits to say that our excellent local business Tiki is offering our members a 25% discount on all its own-brand suits, boots and gloves. Their suits are brilliant (full disclosure, I bought this Tiki Zepha Summer wetsuit last year and the plush inner lining puts the lush into plush – keeps you toasty) and it’s obviously a local business and therefore A Great Thing. It's probably best to head to the Tiki Velator factory store rather than the store in Braunton if you're looking to buy. Stu Poynter is your man if you're keen on a Tiki suit or want to find out more.

Remember: if it’s good enough for Cotty….

Keep warm

When you’re changing in the car park at the end of a session, it can be a little parky. We have top-of-the-range club DryRobes for sales that are perfect for you to change in, or wear for your nippers onto the beach pretending-that-they’re-for-your-kids-when-really-we-all-know-they’re-keeping-you-warm.

Juniors (4-9yrs / 80cm long) are £74.50 and Adults (5'5" - 6'4" - 1.2m long + 84cm wide) are £80.50. Our prices will beat what you can get them for in the shops and if you’re interested drop Stu a line to reserve yours while we have them in stock. 

We'll be selling DRs and other kit at the Dry night on the 3rd May where you'll be able to pay cash or we can take the money through the GoCardless setup.

See you on the beach...

Paul T