Sporting Life

THE NORTH FORK
POLAR BEARS CLUB

Meet the crew of close friends and Long Island locals who embrace taking a weekly ocean plunge—all year long. We spent a weekend with a few of these intrepid souls, going from the welcoming lounge of the Sound View Hotel to a (very) brisk dip in the Atlantic.


THE
WARM UP

“Since I began this cold-water swimming
journey, I have more energy and sleep like
a baby—but the greatest benefit is the
connection to my fellow Polar Bears.”
—DAFYDD SNOWDON-JONES,
design architect & transformational facilitator

THE
WARM-UP

“The most important thing for me is to have a
relationship with the water and the desire to
visit it every day. You might not want to start
cold-water swimming in February—but if you
do, build gradually…and get a swim buddy.”
—PATRICIA GARCIA-GOMEZ,
water practitioner & sensory immersion artist

“I don’t really get as cold anymore. I embrace the chill and enjoy winter activities more now that the cold doesn’t affect me like it used to. Jump in the water anytime, anywhere, and be present and grateful.”
—TOD HART,salesperson

For me, cold-water swimming is so many things: life affirming,
invigorating, euphoric, adventurous, spiritual—and sometimes
quite challenging. It’s a starkly beautiful experience that gives you
intimate knowledge of the world around you, and your place in it.

MEG MCGINNIS

Cofounder of M18 Public Relations, mom to Una & Orson

THE
PLUNGE

“I took my first winter swim on a November day and continued to go thereafter no matter the conditions: wind, rain, snow or blizzard. The practice was a solitary one for many months. During the pandemic, I promised myself I’d go daily no matter what—and surprised myself when I followed through.”
—MEG MCGINNIS

THE
PLUNGE

“A group of friends decided that we would plunge every Sunday, snow or shine. When I was out of town, I did snow angels in my swim trunks to show solidarity with the group.”
—TOD HART

THE
PICNIC

“If you’re looking to effect change in your life, getting out of your comfort zone is imperative—and cold-water swimming will certainly accomplish this. During the early days of my plunging experience, this phrase would often rattle around inside my head: Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
—PHIL SCHAPPERT,
builder & craftsman

THE
PICNIC

“We plunge in the morning and I feel cleansed all day. It’s a clarity you feel inside. I used to live on a small farm, and by 8am you felt like you’d accomplished a lot because you woke up before sunrise. Plunging brings up very similar feelings.”
—JEFF NEGRON, estate gardener

THE
POSTGAME

THE
POSTGAME

“Cold water brought us together, but this group has become some of my closest friends and supporters—and vice versa. For all those who are seeking and searching, cold-water swimming can add so much to your life and well-being. Pushing yourself to limits you didn’t think possible works wonders for your physical, mental and emotional health.”
—MEG MCGINNIS

Thinking about taking the plunge?

Here’s what to bring…

Made-in-the-USA Polar Plunge graphic T-shirt

Heritage 14 oz. fleece North Fork Polar Bear Club graphic hoodie

Long-sleeve made-in-the-USA Polar Plunge graphic T-shirt

Made-in-the-USA North Fork Polar Bear Club graphic T-shirt

Follow @northforkpolarbears
on Instagram

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