Alcatraz Clinics

We have a series of Alcatraz swim clinics scheduled year round. Do not miss the opportunity to learn about the crossing before your event!

Many swimmers who have trained with us during our clinics have reported better times in their competitions this year, plus they felt strong and confident during their race. Our regular Crissy Field clinics include a mile of open water swimming and instruction and advice from coaches. During our special event Alcatraz clinics, swimmers are transported to Alcatraz by boat and try the water.

This is very valuable experience so that on race day you don’t encounter an unwelcome surprise – you are ready! Upon request, our WWS coaches will critique your stroke and provide you with suggestions to make your stroke more efficient and faster. This is a wonderful experience with a great group of people in a non-competitive environment.

Crissy Field Clinics

If you’re attending a Crissy Field clinic, you’ll be doing a 1-mile practice swim along the shoreline with coaches and safety (both are always present at our swims) to guide you and talk about swimming Alcatraz. You’ll start at the East Beach and swim to the St. Francis Yacht Harbor.

This length is much like the last swim leg of many big events, and you’ll experience some of the bay and ocean currents and water you’ll find out near The Rock.

Bay Clinics

During this Alcatraz clinic, swimmers are transported to Alcatraz by boat. Once we arrive at Alcatraz, participants swim parallel to the island to experience sighting and feel the currents of the bay. After the swimmers return to the boat, they are taken to the potato patch where they can experience the rough water directly in front of Alcatraz.

This is very valuable experience so that on race day you don’t encounter an unwelcome surprise – you are ready! The last jump is usually near the destination of the race and swimmers practice their sighting, and “feel” the water near the cove opening to Aquatic Park, the steps of the Saint Francis Yacht Club or Crissy Field. You will learn about the currents you might expect during your race and plan your route accordingly.

At A Glance


  • Throughout the year
  • Small groups of swimmers to allow for individual attention from coaches
  • You will be in and out of the water three times to experience different waters in the bay for 10-15 minutes at a time
  • $35 non-members; free for members for regular clinics
  • $195 non-members; $139 members for special event clinics
Special Clinics

Check our calendar for special clinics and their details. We tend to set up clinics for major local events, such as the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon and Sharkfest.

Despite this, all swimmers looking to get into a clinic are welcome, even if you are not preparing for a triathlon or other non-WWS event. Many of these will take you out in the bay like our Bay Clinics, but check the details for each one.