• Martin Spierings

Lap Swimming In Santa Cruz During The Pandemic

Updated: Jan 11

Let me know opportunities I've missed in the comments!

Thankfully, despite the restrictions and the very serious stage of the coronavirus, outdoor swimming is still allowed. It's not the same of course (no changeroom access, online booking etc.) but everyone I've met swimming during lockdown seems to be appreciating it as an important part of their physical and mental health. Here are your options and how it works at time of writing


Simpkins Family Swim Center

979 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA

Cost: $8/swim

Registration: A highly competitive event at 12pm noon on Tuesdays (for the following Fri-Sun) and Thursdays (for the following Mon-Thu)

Slots: 45 mins on the hour. I feel like the 15 mins between sessions to sanitize is a little excessive at this stage knowing what we know now about the disease now but that's the way it has stayed since they reopened.


Overall Experience: You have to line up outside before your swim but if you're lucky enough to have booked a lane it's a smooth safe process where you're not in contact with anyone. You are definitely limited to 45 mins. A whistle is blown and everyone gets out. Unfortunately at time of writing they have had some boiler problems and in the past have had staffing issues and other reasons to close down completely which has been frustrating for regular swimmers.


Enterprise Sports Club

100 Enterprise Way G100 Scotts Valley, CA

Cost: $99/month membership + $99 sign up fee.

Registration: Each day online reservation opens up a week in advance on their app.

Slots: You can reserve times of 30 or 45 min as well as 15 min in the hot tub as a post-swim treat! The pool is fairly available in the mornings and the evenings during the weekday and all-day weekends.


Overall Experience: Although an expensive option if you're not swimming regularly the online process is easy and you can sometimes get a bit more than 45 mins in if you arrive early and your allocated lane is free. It's a nice pool and the hot tub is an added bonus. I can often reserve a lane I want with only a day or two advance notice. Sometimes booked lanes go empty which is annoying because people should cancel if their not going to show but often don't because, being a membership, there's no financial penalty.


Harvey West Pool

275 Harvey West Blvd. Santa Cruz, CA


Cost: $10 + USMS membership

Registration: Online weekly 10am on Wednesday. Seems like the exact schedule still being figured out.

Slots: These are coached workouts of 1 hour and 15 mins and are limited to one a week. They are pretty competitive to get into because there are only one or two sessions held a day. People from the same household can share a lane.


Overall Experience: Seems like a good option for those that want/need to swim for more than a hour.. Harvey West is a great and underrated pool among the redwoods although capacity is small (6 lanes).


La Madrona Sport Club

1897 La Madrona DriveSanta Cruz, CA


Cost: $175/month but there's a waiting list.


Overall Experience: They have a couple of nice pools but let's face it you're not rich or beautiful enough to be a member so let's move on...


In-Shape Capitola

1100-1200 41st Ave, Capitola, CA


Cost: $69.99/month + $49.99 enrollment

Registration: Online booking which opens at midnight! Hours are fairly flexible but sign-up, like Simpkins, is competitive

Slots: Only 30 mins but I've heard there's ways around that.


Overall Experience: Also a nice pool I've swum in before. Limited to 4 lanes would make it comfortable regarding the social distancing. Again, biggest challenge is securing a lane at sign-up.


Want to add some structure to your swim training? Get a personalized month-by-month plan of printable workouts customized to your availability and experience.


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