Winter swimming is an increasingly popular winter sport among Estonians. Is it because Estonian winters are no longer full of snow or is it just a need for something other than skiing?
In Estonia, the water temperature rarely exceeds 20 degrees even in the summer. So for some visitors swimming here might seem like a dip in icy water. But the best Nordic swimming can be experiences from November to March when the water temperature is somewhere around 1 degree Celsius, the water under an icy cap and the surroundings covered in snow.
Winter swimming isn't a simple dip in icy water. It's more than just an impulsive and quick plunge. We often jump into an ice hole following a hot sauna and then run back as fast as we can. It's charming and fun and is deeply rooted in sauna traditions. However, winter swimming is an endurance sport where the main focus is on strengthening the mind. Every time you step through snow towards a hole cut in the icy water, every time you have calmly stepped into water and reminded yourself that calm breathing is the key, you are a winner. A winner in itself!