NEW YEAR’S DAY: West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on for 2017!

(2016 Alki Polar Bear Swim photo by Scott Nelson)

Just got confirmation that the West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on again for Sunday (New Year’s Day 2017). From organizer Mark Ufkes:

January 1, 2017, at 9:50 am, polar-bear swimmers will line up along the beach across from Duke’s.

With a countdown, at 10 am sharp we will hold hands with our friends and run into Puget Sound.

Bring water shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2017 with you. Also bring the lessons you learned in 2016. Running into the water with friends and family will help you leave behind the complexities of 2016 and start the new year clean and burden-free. We hit the water at 10 sharp.

Thinking about trying it for the first time? Here’s our coverage from last year, including video and links to previous years’ coverage.

22 Replies to "NEW YEAR'S DAY: West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on for 2017!"

  • West Seattle Hipster December 26, 2016 (10:21 am)

    Clothing optional?

    • WSB December 26, 2016 (10:59 am)

      Not that we’ve ever seen; I believe that’s technically illegal, but hey, you can be the first.

      • West Seattle Hipster December 26, 2016 (11:13 am)

        I was planning on it.  I am hoping that it won’t be illegal, seeing as we are tolerant of nude bicyclists.  

      • Paul December 31, 2016 (10:45 am)

        Actually public nudity in Washington is not illegal… as long as it’s not sexual in nature. 

  • Double Dub Resident December 26, 2016 (11:15 am)

    Thinking of trying  it for the 1st time? 


  • Rick December 26, 2016 (11:28 am)

    Ride your bike into the water. That should cover it. Pun intended.

  • G. Costanza December 26, 2016 (12:05 pm)

    beware of shrinkage

  • waikikigirl December 26, 2016 (12:27 pm)


    Need I say more???? 

  • Miss B December 26, 2016 (12:28 pm)

    I’m thinking strategic hand placement = clothes ;-)

  • Rick December 26, 2016 (12:41 pm)

    I’m gonna need a bigger pair of hands . Apologies to “Jaws”.

  • polar bear December 26, 2016 (12:50 pm)

    Will Duke’s be serving clam chowder on the beach?

    • WSB December 26, 2016 (12:53 pm)

      They usually do, but Mark didn’t mention it in the announcement.

  • Larry S December 26, 2016 (3:09 pm)

    Can people wear a wet suit?

    • WSB December 26, 2016 (3:40 pm)

      There is no dress code, no charge, no age restrictions, no registration … it’s pretty casual. The link above goes to our story from last year, which in turn links to our coverage from half a dozen previous years, and you can look at any or all to get an idea of what people have and haven’t worn … TR

  • Mark December 26, 2016 (6:04 pm)


  • Sue December 29, 2016 (7:57 am)


  • Dlivingston December 29, 2016 (6:12 pm)

    Do we need to sign up for this? 

    • WSB December 29, 2016 (6:17 pm)

      Nope. No registration, no fees, just show up.

  • Kayleen Dunson December 29, 2016 (8:37 pm)

    The Seattle Softball Umpires will be there again (this is our 4th Annual Plunge) decked out in our umpire uniforms. Come ask us if umpiring something that fits you. We’ll have a bonfire and warm drinks after. Don’t be shy, we welcome all.

  • Brian December 30, 2016 (10:55 pm)

    Forecast is for 34 degrees and snowing!  

  • Scooby January 1, 2017 (7:47 am)

    I want to do it naked! Who’s with me?

  • Glenda January 1, 2017 (7:57 am)

    Is the plunge still on?

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