Advantages of USMS membership? (or Should I get one?)

worthyadvisorworthyadvisor Member
edited June 2013 in General Discussion
Hi all,

Now that I'm getting back into my swimming routine again, I'm wondering (again) if there is any advantage to becoming a USMS member as an open water swimmer? I didn't bother when I was training before, but I'm wondering if it's worth it now, since I plan on doing more swims in the next few years than just the Tiburon. Besides the training, can a membership get you access to swimming areas that you wouldn't normally be able to swim in? Do legal agencies ask if you are part of this organization? If there isn't an advantage to USMS, is there any other organization that I should look into?

Thanks
Gina
Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Gina,
    If you and one other person (maybe two) could create a USMS club and as long as one of you has eyes on the other two, you're covered by USMS insurance.

    Other than that, I can't think of one. The Swimmer magazine isn't worth the $30-something bucks.
  • @ironmike: there's a club at the pool I swim at, so I was wondering if they did things that I couldn't do on my own...although, from your post it sounds like not...
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    You probably have to joinUSMS to practice with the masters team. My team registration fee just includes entry to USMS
  • I have my membership to train with my club. Other than that, as an open water guy, there isn't a lot of other benefit, in my mind. Especially with fewer and fewer races being sanctioned by USMS.
  • You probably have to joinUSMS to practice with the masters team. My team registration fee just includes entry to USMS

    Luckily only half the pool is set aside the usms...the rest of the lanes are for anyone.
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    Unless you plan to compete in USMS sanctioned events, I think there is little benefit to membership. Many clubs/workout groups require memberxhip for insurance purposes, but actually don’t comply with all the fine print.
    USMS.... meh.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • So, it looks like USMS is kinda meh, are there any organizations that I *should* be looking at?
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited June 2013
    Are there any particular gaps that you are looking to fill? Various channel swimming associations have newsletters, some requiring membership. @loneswimmer's database of organizations ought to be useful in this regard.
  • oxo said:

    Are there any particular gaps that you are looking to fill? Various channel swimming associations have newsletters, some requiring membership. @loneswimmer's database of organizations ought to be useful in this regard.

    Not really...mostly curious, actually. There's a couple of groups here in the Bay Area that I'll probably be part of once I'm back into ocean swimming shape, but I was mostly wondering if there was a national/international organization that people thought it was useful to belong to (for whatever reason). The google search was a mixed bag, so...
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • NiekNiek Member
    You're there already at http://www.marathonswimmers.org
    And the channel_swimmers (at) googlegroups (dot) com might come in handy. But for that one you have to apply through Nick Adams
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited June 2013
    IMO, there is value to USMS if you want access to coached pool workouts and/or want to compete in pool meets. I also believe there is value in a well-coached pool workout, even for open-water only swimmers.

    If you really don't have any interest in pool swimming (the coaching and/or the meets), then I really don't see any point in joining USMS. There are some USMS-sanctioned open water events, but you can participate in those without having an annual membership. And, since you're in the Bay Area, there are far more interesting swims available by joining the South End Rowing Club.
  • worthyadvisorworthyadvisor Member
    edited June 2013
    Niek said:

    You're there already at http://www.marathonswimmers.org

    Good point! ;)
    evmo said:

    If you really don't have any interest in pool swimming (the coaching and/or the meets), then I really don't see any point in joining USMS. There are some USMS-sanctioned open water events, but you can participate in those without having an annual membership. And, since you're in the Bay Area, there are far more interesting swims available by joining the South End Rowing Club.

    Ok, that makes sense. I don't mind pool swimming for the training, but I'd rather be in the ocean (or river, or lake, or...). I remember reading a bit about the South End Rowing Club, and I've also been on Swim Art's mailing list for a long time. Like I said earlier, I'll hit them up once I'm back into swimming shape (in other words, I can do a mile in the pool again in an hour or less...darn injury...).
    Training for The Tiburon Mile 2014 and possibly Alcatraz! Also: I'm a seminary student.
  • malinakamalinaka Charter Member
    I got one last year since I'd be in two USMS events (2 Bridges and Boston Light), so it paid for itself. This year, I got one just because and used it to trail a masters team that required it (I didn't join, of course) and later unexpectedly signed up for a USMS meet (yeah, like a pool meet with diving blocks!!) and USMS open water swim, so again it paid for itself.

    It isn't expensive, and it seems to be paying for itself without any effort. Plus, I get to keep my CIBBOWS identity despite living on the other coast.
    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
  • Having a USMS membership allows one to drop in for a coached workout when traveling. Sometimes that is the best option.
    It's up to the individual state whether one-day registrations are allowed, or not, for OW swims (at least it was up to the state when I served on the Long Distance and Open Water Committee for Illinois). If one-day registrations are not allowed and USMS holds the sanction, then a full year's membership would be required to swim the event.
    (I haven't paid much attention to such matters for a couple of years, so the regulations may have changed.)
    USMS offers online workouts confected by top-notch swimmers and coaches that are viewable only by those with a USMS membership. I have found them quite useful. The OW workouts are written by a member here.
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited June 2013

    I remember reading a bit about the South End Rowing Club, and I've also been on Swim Art's mailing list for a long time. Like I said earlier, I'll hit them up once I'm back into swimming shape (in other words, I can do a mile in the pool again in an hour or less...darn injury...).

    Looking at this thread again, the more I think the answer to your question--

    So, it looks like USMS is kinda meh, are there any organizations that I *should* be looking at?

    ...is really just to join the South End Rowing Club. Right away-- just come hang out and make some new friends. You don't need to be in swimming shape. Bring fins or wetsuit or whatever you want, nobody cares. We have slow swimmers, fast swimmers, marathon swimmers, folks who flop around on their backs, and everything in between. If you're injured, you can still be involved in club swims by volunteering to support them (kayaking, cooking, timing, etc.). You can take up handball or rowing. Whatever. It's a fun, lively place, come join us!
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Someone years ago told me that SERC had an inexpensive membership for people who live out of the area but visit regularly. Any truth to it?
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited June 2013
    bobswims said:

    Someone years ago told me that SERC had an inexpensive membership for people who live out of the area but visit regularly. Any truth to it?

    Members who live more than a certain distance (100 miles, maybe? not sure) from SF are eligible for a discounted out-of-town rate. However, one must be a full member for at least a full calendar year before registering as an out-of-town member. In other words, it is designed primarily for members who move out of town, rather than folks who (like me) initially joined while living far from SF.
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