Your First Swim Social: What You Need to Know

Your First Swim Social: What You Need to Know

You’ve signed up for your first Cacao + Swim Social and you’re feeling super excited but also so nervous! 

The good news is that you’re not alone in feeling this way. We’ve had many first timers come along to these events and they’ve all felt exactly like you do right now. Fear not, At Dawn is about community and encouraging women to feel great in and out of the water, so if you’re looking for a friendly, fun, small group to get in the sea with, you’re in the right place! (and if you haven’t signed up yet - this is where you need to go).

Here’s what you need to know before you join us…

What to bring:

Swimwear - If you haven’t done some form of cold exposure before then we’d suggest wearing a thin wetsuit but if you’re feeling brave then a swimsuit is all you need! We have an extended kit list for Winter which you can find on our blog here.

Towel/Drying Robe - sounds obvious but make sure you bring a towel or robe to dry off with. Dry Robes are popular, especially in the colder months because they make changing a breeze, but you can also shimmy out of your kit under a towel.

Loose clothing - we’ve watched a lot of women wrestle into leggings after a cold water dip. Comfy joggers and a loose sweatshirt are easy to put on and mean you can warm up more quickly. Bring socks and slip on footwear too.

Hat - in the Winter months you’ll probably want a hat. Some people go the extra mile and bring a hot water bottle!

Changing mat - not essential but highly recommended. It’s nice having something to stand on that will stop your feet from getting too sandy while you dress.

Mug - if you’re having cacao then please bring a mug/cup/drinking vessel to enjoy it out of!

We advise that you don’t bring anything too valuable because we leave our stuff unattended on the beach while we get in the sea. Me and Em are always on hand to take photos of the group and we can take personal shots to send on if you want that too.

Where to meet:

All of the swim socials start at the bottom of Gordon’s Zig Zag, Southbourne, BH6 3PA. You can find parking along the main road at the top or on one of the side streets. Please arrive on time and if you can’t make it - send an email to 

What to expect:

Every social starts with a quick name check followed by an introduction from me and Em. After that, we take a short wander along the beach before finding a spot to sit down and get our swim kit out. Next up is Breathwork. You’ll be guided through a practice designed to help you feel grounded, calm and uplifted prior to your sea swim.

Then it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…time to get changed and head into the sea! We know that everyone’s comfort zone is different and encourage you to do what feels good FOR YOU. Whether it’s standing on the shore with your toes in the water or plunging in for a swim, whether it’s 5 minutes or 30 seconds, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you listen to your body and enjoy the experience.

When everyone is changed we serve up cacao and sit around for a chat. Cacao is a great alternative to coffee which is why we serve it at our morning events. It will help wake you up without the comedown you often get from a cup of coffee, and its grounding, calming, effects make it a great accompaniment for some relaxed conversation.



 Want to warm up in style? Grab one of our super cosy screen printed sweatshirts. They're oversized with a relaxed fit - perfecting for slipping on when you're back on the beach after your cold dip!



When you've had your fill of cacao and conversation, it's time to head into the weekend feeling calm and rejuvenated.

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