There are several Polar Bear and Penguin challenge levels so you can choose the level to suit you. As the Challenge progresses through November to March you may drop down levels if you wish but you cannot go up. You may swap from Polar Bear to Penguin but not vice versa.
You must be 18 or over to enter any of the challenge levels.
E.g. you can enter as Gold, Arctic or Jedi and slide down through Silver and Classic all the way to Penguin if the going gets tough. But you can’t enter as Classic and then upgrade to Gold…
The swims must be swum outdoors in the sea, river, lake or unheated lido.
For Polar Bears all swims must be swum in just a swimsuit, single hat, googles, noseclips and earplugs ( if required ).
Please read the FAQs to make sure your body of water falls within the rules.
CLASSIC - dip, dunk, bob up to you shoulders twice a month - no distance required.
SILVER - swim 250 metres twice a month
GOLD - swim 250 metres twice a month and complete 1000 metres minimum total distance each month during the challenge period inclusive of the 2 x 250 m.
ARCTIC / ANTARCTIC - swim 250 metres twice a month and complete 3000 metres total distance each month during the challenge period inclusive of the 2 x 250 m.
JEDI APPRENTICE / NINJA APPRENTICE - see Jedi & Ninja & Apprentice levels
JEDI / NINJA- swim 250 metres twice a month and complete 3000 metres total distance each month.
In addition to become a Jedi Bear or Ninja Penguin you must also complete ALL the following specified swims at some point during the challenge period. They follow a logical & recommended progression but don't have to be swum in any specific order ....PLEASE NOTE - for Jedi swim at 7.00 degrees or less you will need to send in photographic evidence of the temperature on two DIGITAL thermometers both showing the temperature to 0.1 degrees or a link to the event at which the swim took place. N.B. the temperature MUST show on BOTH thermometers to be the required chilliness.
1500 metres at 9.00 degrees or less
2000 metres at 9.00 degrees or less
1250 metres at 8.00 degrees or less
1750 metres at 8.00 degrees or less
1000 metres at 7.00 degrees or less
1500 metres at 7.00 degrees or less
750 metres at 6.00 degrees or less
1250 metres at 6.00 degrees or less
450 metres at 5.00 degrees or less
1000 metres at 5.00 degrees or less
NB - 1. The specified swims can be included in the 3000 metres total
NB - 2. There must be a minimum of 24 hours between each of the specified swims.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR JEDI BEARS AND NINJA PENGUINS.
This is an extreme challenge which should only be attempted by experienced cold water swimmers and a medical check up is advised.
UK temperatures may not get low enough to complete the challenge in the UK so some travel at your own expense may be necessary.
Several of the Jedi swims are individual qualifying swims for an Ice Mile attempt under IISA rules. Please refer to the IISA website for more information on Ice Miles https://www.internationaliceswimming.com/