The World Open Water Swimming Association – or WOWSA – is a group of people who are passionate about open water swimming and are deeply interested in supporting the sport of open water swimming at its grassroots level. WOWSA supports race directors by offering a comprehensive race insurance program for race directors, teams, association, relays, and individual swimmers.
WOWSA promotes swimmers – from ice swimmers to professional marathon swimmers – by offering the Daily News of Open Water Swimming and publishing the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine and annual Open Water Swimming Almanac.
WOWSA shares information by managing Openwaterpedia, an online resource of swimmers, pilots, coaches, events, products, services, observers, associations, pods, teams, books, films, kayakers, and paddlers involved in the sport. WOWSA recognizes swimmers who achieve the Oceans Seven, become members of the Half Century Club, 24-Hour Club, and Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, and who set records in oceans, lakes, and rivers around the world.
WOWSA celebrates swimmers, coaches, pilots, race directors, and other participants in the sport by conducting the annual WOWSA Awards and maintaining the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website and database. WOWSA offers guidelines, rules, policies, and procedures to conduct open water events, relays, and solo swims. It also ranks swims around the world for its World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims, Africa’s Top 100 Open Water Swims, Asia’s Top 50 Open Water Swims, America’s Top 100 Open Water Swims, Canada’s Top Open Water Swims, Most Difficult Open Water Swims (Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere), and vets nominations for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
WOWSA is a privately held organization headquartered in Huntington Beach, known as Surf City, U.S.A. From this base along the Southern California coast within view of the Catalina Channel, its principles are constantly traveling to dozens of events and swims around the world, always curious to learn the latest in training, tactics, techniques, and trends in the sport. The principles give lectures, presentations, and talks on the esoteric and eclectic aspects of the sport at events, conferences, and seminars, always interested in sharing its information and engaging with the sport’s enthusiasts of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
At the grassroots level, WOWSA has seen open water swimming become a lifestyle and a mindset for ice swimmers, extreme swimmers, stage swimmers, marathon swimmers, channel swimmers, relay swimmers, and all those who venture beyond the shoreline whether it is with their own bioprene or clad in neoprene. Its purpose is to continue serving these aquatic adventurers as the sport develops and prospers.