Polar Bear Swim 2008

It’s a tradition that’s 88 years in the making. On January 1st thousands of brave souls across the Lower Mainland will flock to English Bay to take a dunk in the chilly Pacific Ocean for Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim.

…the swim takes place at 2:30pm on the first day of each new year. Costumes and the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race are the highlights of this event.

To be a club member you must register before the swim. Registration takes place in front of the English Bay Bathhouse from 12:30pm – 2:30pm each New Year’s Day. You may also register by clipping out the coupon in the Province Newspaper and presenting it at the registration desk the day of the swim. [Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club]

Did you know there was a woman who participated in the swim for 77 years?

January 1, 1928: 16-year-old Ivy Granstrom made her first entry into the chilly waters of English Bay in the Polar Bear Swim. Ms. Granstrom, blind from birth, will go on to appear at 77 consecutive Polar Bear events. [Vancouver History]

Last year 1,601 people braved the rain and 8 degree temperatures to make the plunge – that’s 8 degrees celcius for the air AND in the water (which is 46F). I have yet to muster up the courage to attempt this but I think 2008 may be the year. Good luck everyone!!

4 Comments so far

  1. feygele (unregistered) on December 31st, 2007 @ 4:07 am

    I’ve done this every year for… many years. In Vancouver and White Rock (and in other provinces and countries too). I highly recommend it to folks who have yet to “muster up the courage to attempt this:” it’s good fun, and a great cure for a hangover!


  2. Rebecca (unregistered) on December 31st, 2007 @ 9:06 am

    I believe the dip at Crescent Beach in Surrey at noon will be a nude one :P


  3. Todd (unregistered) on January 1st, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

    brrrrr…. this is something I have always found hard to understand. Now…. why doesn’t anyone ever make a big deal if I plunge into the luke warm caribbean??? Sounds like a way better annual ritual to me!


  4. TOM (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    This was my first dip in english bay. Very fun! It was a lot easier to make it out to the buoy than to swim back in. I guess I had something to focus on on the way out.



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