Got a preview of the first issue of H2Open Magazine, the world's first magazine devoted exclusively to the sport that we aquaphiles love so much. I got a soft-copy preview, so I cannot judge its glossiness, how it feels in the hands, or how bright and lovely the pictures are. But I must say, all of this looks great in the soft-copy version!
This is the fourth installment of my review of the first issue of H2Open Magazine. In this installment I will review the regulars. In the regulars, you get departments like Letters, News, Classic Swims, Iconic Swims, Top Spots, Competition, Race Listings, etc.
News: This is a typical section of most magazines, and in this day and age, hard for most magazines to beat online sources. Most all of the news bits in this department I had read before online. But, where the magazine shines, is in the photography. The pictures of the bizarre costumes at the Cold Water Swimming Championships are hilarious.
Letters: The letters section is sure to become bigger in future issues. The thing I like is the prize for best letter. I hope that the magazine keeps this up. Granted, I'd rather have a Finis Swimsense watch than a Swimovate, but beggars can't be choosers.
View from a Coach: Coach Rick Kiddle shares his opinion on the growth of OW swimming. Good points all, and I hope he's right about the growth. I look forward to many more OW swim competitions in the future. Coach Kiddle's point, however, is that with the explosion in popularity, we must make sure that beginning OW swimmers (different from beginning swimmers, but with similar risks) know how important safety is. Never swim in open water alone.
Iconic and Classic Swims: I am happy that this first issue features an iconic swim from Penzance, Cornwall...since I'm going there this summer! (See above.) This is the feature I mentioned earlier that had a photo of the location now, beautiful, wavy, and reminiscent of Lake Michigan, and a picture of the same location decades ago, with young swimmers diving into the gray water, daring and exciting. I intend on taking the same picture there this summer, and will post it here. And then, as if Simon had read my mind, the classic swim is my choice for first channel crossing: The Strait of Gibraltar. Great pictures of comedian David Williams and Olympian James Cracknell crossing the strait for charity in 2008. The best quote of issue 1 is in this feature, from Williams: "Swimming and throwing up shouldn't go together." I agree. How about you, Rob?
Top Spot and Lido Life: Each issue will feature a nice place to swim, picked by readers. This month's is a place called Billabong Watersports Lake. Looks nice. The best part of the magazine, as I mentioned before, is the side-bar. In the Top Spot regular, at the bottom of the page, they list three other top spots. Potentially, I'll have 12 top spots to swim in during my UK trip this summer! In Lido Life, first off, I learn that a Lido is an outdoor swimming pool, or perhaps a recreation center with an outdoor pool. Or an island reef separating the lagoon of Venice from the Adriatic sea. Well, that last definition was from The Internet Machine. The lido featured this issue is Tooting Bec in London. This pool is the second largest fresh-water swimming pool in Europe! It is 300 feet by 100 feet. Imagine that. 100 yards per length! How wonderful to not have to flip so often.
The Rest: The competition and race listings are what you'd expect, but the highlight once you reach the end, regretably reach the end that is, is the I ♥ OWS regular section. The magazine asks swimmers out there to submit their story, in 600 words or less, and this month Jo Stoller shares her story. Very well put sentiment, one I'm sure many of us share.
So, that's it, dear readers. The magazine is worth the cost. I hope that you will join me in subscribing.