High Tide Galway is an innovative Open Water Swimming Company based in Galway, Ireland. We specialise in Open Water Swimming instruction and advice,( Level 2 Open Water Instruction qualifications), safety guidance and swimming apparel. We also host swimming events and related swimming activities. Each Friday at 4.30pm and Sunday morning at 10.30am we organise High Tide Olympics, a fun activity welcoming all swimmers to join us for a 100m, 250m, 500m, 1km or 2km Sea Swim. It’s great fun and everyone is welcome. On Saturday morning we organise Gentle Swimming at the Big Beach, Salthill for the less experienced, novice swimmers who just wish to immerse, learn breathing techniques, acclimatise, learn basic stroke technique and become part of a Sea Swimming Community. Again, all are welcome and as with the High Tide Olympics, Gentle Swimming is FREE…….

Joe Kennelly, the founding member of this company is passionate, not just about the thrill and excitement of Open Water Swimming, but also about the proven benefits, both physical and mental of Cold Water Immersion. It is his belief that the sea, and indeed all forms of natural water immersion, nourishes the body, soul and mind.

While Joe has spent most of his adult life competing and participating in long distance Open Water Swimming events, ( He recently completed his 10th solo Galway Bay crossing in support of Cancer Care West)….he also strongly advocates the concept of ‘Gentle Swimming‘, whereby one benefits greatly from simply immersing oneself and moving gently in this unique environment. In addition, for the more experienced and eager swimmer, who may wish to increase their distance and participate in Open Water events, Joe, a professionally trained and fully qualified Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coach, organises the High Tide Galway Olympics every Friday evening and Sunday morning. Joe is also available for both private and group lessons, safety advice, use of proper equipment, training programmes and instruction.

High Tide Galway also offer a range of swimming related products, including the much sought after High Tide Galway SwimCoat (even Bill Murray purchased one), the Mala Snamha Swim Bag, (containing a branded cotton towel, silicone swimming cap, beanie cap, goggles, silicone ear plugs, hand cream and a thermal flask) high quality Swim Secure Goggles and a must have TowFloat.

Would you like to try Open Water Sea Swimming?

Join us for ‘Gentle Swimming’ Saturday’s at 10am (all year round)

Wednesday’s at 6.30pm (May – October)

There are lots of people who don’t Sea Swim but who are very curious about what it’s all about and would like to give it a go. The benefits of Sea Swimming and Cold Water Immersion are well documented and terms / phrases such as Open Water Swimming, Wild Swimming, Snamhaí Sásta, SeaVite, VitaminSea, etc. are part of daily discussion. While some of us are fortunate to have experienced the benefits, (mental, physical, social and emotional), there are several who would love to give it a go and see if it would work for them. Our Gentle Swim includes a safety brief (tides, currents, swells and rips), suitable clothing and equipment, warm up exercises, safe entrance and exit from the sea, acclimatising, gentle movement and breathing. However, much more importantly, it also includes fun, friendship and community

For the love of Swimming

Meeting Point: The Big Beach Salthill, every Saturday morning at 10am and Wednesday at 6.30pm

All are welcome….and it’s FREE.

Join us for a ‘walking group’ every Wednesday during the winter months at 7pm along the Promenade in Salthill.

Many of us are a little bit afraid to swim during the winter months but it we think it is really important to keep the group together! We have just started our walking group that will run every Wednesday between November 2022 and May 2023. Like mentioned above there are plenty of benefits, (mental, physical, social and emotional), to walking too!

Meeting Point: The Claddagh Hall, Claddagh.

All are welcome….and it’s FREE.

High Tide Olympics

High Tide Olympics takes place every Friday afternoon from 4.30pm and every Sunday morning from 10.30am all year round. The aim of our Olympics is to promote and encourage open water swimming, focusing on achieving longer distances, varying conditions and temperatures and fitness. While some people swim 2km others just swim to the 100m buoy. As the summer months roll in distances are increased in preparation for longer open water swimming events, such as the Galway Bay swim in honor of the late Francis Thornton, The Slyne Head 10km challenge, the Ballyconneely Charity Swim amongst others….. Everyone is welcome and this event is FREE!

High Tide Classes

Swimming Lessons & Advice

Open Water Swimming Lessons

We run Open Water Swimming camps in Bunowen Bay, Ballyconneely, Ladies Beach, Salthill and Traught Beach, Kinvara.

Our ‘Variety Swimming’ lessons are perfect for those who wish to swim proficiently and over distance, improve their breathing technique and level of fitness and move efficiently. 

****Swimming Lessons commence Monday, June 12th at 7pm. Groups of 12 participants. Tow Floats essential. Lessons include basic CPR training.

Further details and bookings, Joe 0879651498

All our lessons are grounded in good, pragmatic, safety and wellbeing advice .

Pool Swimming Lessons for Children.

Joe offers 3 weekly session of pool lessons catering for Primary School children, each Wednesday from 3.50pm. 4.25pm and 5.05pm in Kilcornan Pool, Clarinbridge. Beginners, Improvers and Advanced swimmers are catered for.

Simply call 087-9651498 for details.

Open Water Swimming, Kayak and SUP Board Rental

High Tide recently opened a small Adventure Centre at Bunowen Bay, Ballyconneely. (June to September). This beautiful beach, known locally as ‘Tra Chaoil’ (the narrow beach), was recently voted one of Ireland’s Top 5 Open Water Swimming and Kayaking locations. Alongside a 1.2km swimming circuit and daily swimming instruction, High Tide also rent out Kayaks and SUP Boards.

Those who venture out on the Kayaks or SUP boards will be able to view historic sites in the bay, including Bunowen Castle, the home of the Pirate Queen Grainne Mhaoil, Doon Hill, Bunowen Pier, the Kelp house and Slyne Head Lighthouse to name but a few.

Each Friday evening High Tide sponsors a 1.2km swim with all profits going towards the Ballyconneely Charity Fund.

Yoga and a Dip

In keeping with Joe’s philosophy of Gentle Swimming, High Tide also offer weekly Yoga and Dip sessions. Participants can enjoy the wonderful instruction of Yoga teacher Fiona, followed by the swim instruction with Joe as participants are gently introduced to the serenity and beauty of immersing oneself in the sea.

Our Products

If you wish to purchase any of these products, simply call Joe on 087-9651498 for sales and delivery

Mála Snámha


High Tide Towel


Swim Secure Tow Float


High Tide Beanie


High Tide Thermal Flask


Silicone Swimming Cap


SwimSecure Fotoflex Goggles


About Us

Joe Kennelly

Joe, a Clare native grew up on the shores of the wild Atlantic close to Spanish Point and White Strand beaches. His earliest childhood memory is that of his father Mick supporting him in the water with his strong hand under his chin and uttering words of encouragement, “move your hands and kick” He has been swimming ever since and spent several Summers working as Lifeguard in Spanish Point. However, Joe’s love affair with Open Water Swimming commenced in September 1983 after he moved from West Clare to Dalkey, Co. Dublin. He soon became a regular in the famous Forty Foot and started competing regularly in Open Water Swimming events. He has been a daily swimmer since. Joe now resides in Galway City where he is very much immersed in the Sea Swimming community. He still competes in several Open Water Swimming events annually, including the Galway Bay Swim, (recently completing his 10th solo crossing) the Lough Derg Swim, Warrior of the Sea, the Slyne Head 10km, The Lahinch to Liscannor challenge and The Killary Fjord Swim to name but a few. He has also gained much respect as an Open Water Swimming instructor having recently obtained a Level 2 Swimming Instructor qualification with Swim Ireland. He is also a fully qualified lifeguard. He was also instrumental in the publication of Open Water Swimming, your guide to enjoying it safely’, published by Water Safety Ireland. He is now available to share his expertise upon request.

In addition to Swimming lessons, both sea and pool, Joe is well adept to public speaking and provides both safety and wellbeing talks to groups and organisations.

In recent years he has logged well over fifty beautiful swimming locations throughout Ireland many of which are detailed on his Instagram account hightide_galway

While Joe has participated in numerous Open Water Swimming events since childhood, it is still his belief that he is happiest when “Gently Swimming”, particularly with friends, in some of his favourite bathing spots, to include Blackrock Salthill, White Strand Miltown Malbay, Tra Chaoil Ballyconneely and Dublin’s Forty Foot.

Joe’s other passion is Water Safety. He was recently involved with the production of ‘Open Water Swimming, your guide to enjoying it safely’, as initiated by Water Safety Ireland and is a very strong advocate of proper safety procedures for those who participate in this sport. He recently qualified as a Level 2 Open Water Swimming Instructor with Swim Ireland; has pool lifesaving and swimming instruction qualifications with Swim Ireland and is a qualified Open Water Diver (PADI). Joe has had a lifetime involvement in search, rescue and recovery with Galway Lifeboat and Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit.

Paddy Farrell

Paddy is a Roscam Native and grew up yards from the sea on the edge of Galway Bay overlooking the Burren, Salthill and the famous Blackrock Diving Tower.

Paddy has a keen interest in kayaking, surfing and SUP having spent the last number of years in Lahinch Co. Clare. With the launch of his own company imminent, Farrell Sports, Paddy has a background in Sales and customer service from the hospitality industry and has joined our team to help promote our new brand.

Contact Us

Phone: 087 96 51 498

Email: joekennelly@yahoo.co.uk