It’s about humanity and joy and acceptance and attitude. It’s about courage and joyous circuit-breaking – it’s a brilliant laugh, but it’s about proper stuff – Nigel Marsh, Founder The Sydney Skinny
February 2014 |
Today was the day. The Sydney Skinny! We woke up the morning of the big event, and both felt a little nervous. It wasn’t every day you wake up knowing you’ll be getting your kit off in front of hundreds of other people – although I was taking solace in the fact that those few hundred others would also be de-robing with us! It’s all about solidarity, right?
It was brisk when we first set out, but by the time we got to the national park it had turned into a beautiful morning. We registered, collected our Nudie pack (complete with free swimming cap and Nudie voucher) then sat up on the hill until our wave was called.
When it was time to head down to the beach, it all felt a little surreal. Was I really about to take my clothes off in front of a crowd of other people, including my friend?? How comfortable would I feel? And how comfortable would other people be? Was it going to be an entire beach of awkward glances and shuffling feet? Or would everybody embrace their bits and jump in without any inhibitions?!
After a slightly treacherous walk down to the water, we were happy to discover it was definitely the later. There were people who quite clearly regularly frequented nudists spots, others who were newbies like us, and a few who were happy to keep their clothes on (until getting in the water). A guy up on a hill that sat out by the water played acoustic guitar, the beach was lined with umbrellas, lifeguards dotted the water on boards and volunteers waited at the waters edge with sarongs to hand to those finishing their swim. It all felt so relaxed, and the day had really warmed up!
We got down to our bikinis, but then weren’t sure whether to whip them off, or wait until our wave was called down to the water… we then saw new swimmers making their way down so decided the time had come! I will admit it felt a little strange to walk down the sand in nothing by my birthday suit, but at the same time, not as nerve-raking as I thought – with an entire beach of nude bodies of all shapes, ages and sizes there was a great sense of camaraderie and acceptance. I decided then I’d probably feel stranger to have clothes on! The swim itself was brilliant. The water was gorgeous once you got going, and as we’d opted to do the shorter distance (300m) we were able to paddle along as we liked, swan on our backs and really take it all in.
Coming back to the beach, we passed a guy really taking his time. He said then he wished he’d done the 900m as he didn’t want it to be over just yet, and the both of us agreed! But, we finished in style, lay up on the sand, spoke with some of the other swimmers then had another quick dip between waves before getting dressed again and heading back to the event grounds.
Back among the fully dressed, we grabbed our free Nudie juice (their new chia blend is incredible – like dessert in a bottle!), a free Willie Smiths organic apple cider and sat down in the sun. Music played, an organic food van parked up at the back, and there was a tent giving out massages to people once their swim was over.
After our cider, we packed up our things and made our way back to the car – we both felt invigorated, blissfully happy and incredibly grateful (for so many things, including our health, our beautiful bodies and this wonderful experience). Hats off to all of the people and sponsors who helped make the event happen – we already have plans to go back again next year!
It’s difficult to be an arsehole if you’ve gone for a naked swim with 1500 other people – Nigel Marsh
A COUPLE OF YEARS ON…
Each year since, Mel and I have gotten back in our birthday suits and shared the ocean with even more beautiful bodies than the year before! There’s been a much larger crowd in recent years, with even more fun on offer for us nudies too.
After all of the heats have been out in the water, the last wave of the day is the party wave, where participants are able to get back in for one last swim and celebration! We swam, we sunned, we explored the beach and spoke with fellow nudies.
The Sydney Skinny confirms again and again, how good it can feel in your own skin, and I can’t wait to join in the fun again next time around! Big shout out to Nudie who help make this such an outstanding day. Head to The Sydney Skinny’s website if you’re feeling brave and bold and would love to get involved with the next swim!