FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I WEAR EARPHONES?
No. Your senses are already diminished when swimming. Wearing earphones further detracts your focus from the environment and so puts you at greater risk. Any swimmers wearing earphones (or similar) will be disqualified.
CAN I WEAR A TOW FLOAT?
Yes. The King Wolf Swim does not consider tow floats necessary for safety because each swimmer has personal kayak accompaniment, but if you would like to wear a tow float, feel free.
IS PERSONAL KAYAK ACCOMPANIMENT MANDATORY?
Yes. Even if you are a very strong and capable swimmer, the nature of this event requires each swimmer to have personal accompaniment to help guide the swimmer across the river, provide feeds, and make the swimmer more visible to lake traffic.
DO I NEED TO PROVIDE MY OWN KAYAKER AND KAYAK?
No. It is ideal if each swimmer comes with a kayaker but if you don't know anyone, the race director will help assign you a kayaker.
You can rent kayaks from Ahoy Rentals, located near the start in downtown Kingston.
IS THE RACE TIMED?
Yes. The King Wolf Swim uses manual timing, correct to the nearest minute.
ARE THERE AWARDS?
Each swimmer receives a handmade finisher metal from Black Dog Pottery. There are no awards for the fastest swimmers.
CAN I WEAR A WETSUIT?
Yes. If the water temperature is between 16.1 to 23.9 °C, you can decide on race day if you want to wear a wetsuit. If the water temperature is 16 °C or colder, wetsuits are mandatory. If the water temperature is 24 °C or higher, wetsuits are prohibited.
CAN I WEAR SWIM AIDS?
Yes. Swimmers can wear aids, such as fins and a snorkle. If you wear these aids, your swim will be marked as 'assisted'.
DO I NEED TO WEAR A SWIM CAP?
Yes. All swimmers are required to wear a brightly coloured swim cap to help with visibility and identification. Swims caps will be provided at the event. If you have any allergies to certain materials, contact the race directors at to make alternate arrangements.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?
No. Swimmers of any age can participate as long as they are confident open water swimmers. Swimmers younger than 18-years-old need a parent or guardian to sign their insurance waiver prior to the event.
CAN I HANG ON TO THE KAYAK?
Yes. Assuming you have the kayaker's permission, you can hang on to the kayak to feed or just take a break. However, the kayaker cannot paddle forward while you are touching the kayak.
CAN I RETURN TO THE SWIM AFTER BOARDING A MOTOR BOAT?
No. If you board a motor boat either by personally withdrawing from the swim or because one of the crew instructed you to, you cannot return to the water. The motor boats will be equiped with lifeguards, first aiders, and an emergency room doctor. The boat will take you to the swim finish if there is no significant issue, or to Kingston General Hospital if you are very ill.
CAN I TOUCH THE BOTTOM?
Yes. The only place along route that you can touch the bottom of the lake is around Goose Island. You are discouraged from standing here but you will not be disqualified if you choose to do so. However, you cannot walk in any direction.
AM I SWIMMING IN LAKE ONTARIO OR THE ST LAWRENCE RIVER?
It's hard to say. Kingston lies on the spot where Lake Ontario connects with the St Lawrence River so you can think of the water for the swim as a combination of the two.
IS THERE A CURRENT?
Yes and no. The current of the St. Lawrence River, which flows west to east (perpendicular to the swim) is minimal. However, when the water is rough, the waves push south to north (against the swimmers) so they will make the swim to Wolfe Island more challenging.
IS THE WATER USUALLY ROUGH?
The water in this part of Lake Ontario is usually calm, but Lake Ontario is a large body of water so it has the potential to be very choppy.
CAN I WEAR A GPS WATCH?
Yes. Wearing a GPS watch is recommended since there are no distance markers on the course. Wearing a GPS watch will not place you in the assisted swim category.