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Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim


Frequently Asked Questions

                                                  (updated 11-17-2023)



How do I register for the race?


All registration for the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim is done through on-line registration. To register for the event click the registration tab above.


How do I register a minor for the race?


Register Minor if you are Already an Active Member

Register Minor if you are not a current Active Member

What is the cost of the swim? What methods of payment do you accept?


The registration fee for entries received between April 1 and April 30 is $50.00. The registration fee for entries received between May 1 and June 30 is $60.00.  The registration fee for entries received between July 1 and July 22 is $70.00. Payment is made by credit card through the on-line registration process.


Can you enter the day of the race?


No. Late entries are not accepted. 


Do I have to take the check out swim in order to enter the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim?


Any contestant who did not complete the 2023 Pier-to-Pier Swim must pass a 500-meter “check out” swim. Decision of lifeguards at “check out” is final. Out of state swimmers who are unable to attend the required “check out” swim may request a swim check “waiver” from the Swim Coordinator Gary Crum at: Waiver requests are very limited and must include verification of successful completion of another long distance open water swim within the last twelve months. Waiver decision of the Swim Coordinator is final.


When are the dates of the 500-meter check out swim?


The 2024 check out swim dates are: July 13, 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The tryouts will be held on the south side of the Hermosa Beach Pier.


Do I need to register for the race prior to taking the “check out” swim?


Yes. Applicants must register for the race on-line prior to showing up for the “check out” swim. We will issue a full refund for anyone who shows up for the “check out” swim and doesn’t pass the swim test.


What is the swim course for the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim?

Is there a time limit on the swim?


Yes. There will be a 2-hour time limit for the swim. For safety reasons, those swimmers still in the water after 2-hours will be instructed to swim to shore.


What is the check in procedure for the race?


In order to streamline the pre-race check-in process, we are providing a pre race packet pick-up. You may pick up your race packet (swim cap, wristband, timing chip, etc.) the day before the race (Saturday August 5) between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The packet pick-up location is at 2600 Strand in Manhattan Beach. This pick-up procedure is designed to allow swimmers to check in the day before race without having to go through the full check-in procedure the morning of the race. Swimmers who are unable to check in on Saturday August 3 may still do so at the race site the morning of the race between 7:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Early arrival is strongly recommended.


What do I need to bring to the check-in?


You are not required to bring anything to the check-in although if you bring  a printed copy of the race confirmation that you were emailed when you registered for the swim it will expedite the process. 


Where do I park the day of the race?


Parking is limited and available on a first come first served basis. Carpooling and drop-offs are highly recommended. Leave early to allow time to find parking.


Do you provide transportation for personal belongings from the start to the finish?


No. Sorry, we are unable to provide this service. Participants are obligated to make their own arrangements for personal items.


What is the ocean water temperature usually like during the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim?


The ocean temperature for the swim varies from year to year but the average water temperature for Hermosa Beach in August has been around 70 degrees. It has been warmer the last couple years, but you never know. In 2010, we had a particularly cold year for water temperature.  As a safety consideration, we added the option of a "wetsuit division" starting in 2011. It is highly recommended that swimmers prone to hypothermia compete in the "wetsuit division". Generally the water temperature isn't a huge issue for most swimmers. 


Can I wear a wetsuit during the swim?


Yes. The Dwight Crum Pier-to-Swim includes a separate Wetsuit Division. Female swimmers in the Wetsuit Division will start in the second heat. Male swimmers in the Wetsuit Division will start in the third heat.  About 70 percent of the swimmers swim the race in the "swimsuit division" and about 30 percent swim in the "wetsuit division".


What is considered a wetsuit vs. a swimsuit?


Swimwear allowed for the International Surf Festival Dwight Crum 2-Mile Swim is defined below. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to understand the appropriate swimwear allowed at this event. Swimsuits shall conform to the current concept of appropriate.


Swimsuit Division: Swimwear shall include only a swimsuit, cap or caps and goggles. Swim caps shall be defined as head gear conforming to a traditional swim cap design and shall not extend to protect the neck and shoulders. Nose clips, earplugs and wristwatches are allowed.The competitor shall wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials. For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder nor extend below the knees.


Swimmers are not permitted to wear or use any device or substance to help their speed, buoyancy or endurance during a swim (such as wetsuits, webbed gloves, fins, snorkels, etc.). Any devices used to maintain body heat are not permitted, except for those entered in the Wetsuit Division. Any swimsuit made out of "neoprene" regardless of coverage or design shall be considered a wetsuit and must compete in the Wetsuit Division. Any swimmer who participates in the Swimsuit Division in a swimsuit made of neoprene will be reclassified to the Wetsuit Division or disqualified.


Wetsuit Division: Wetsuits or any other heat-retaining swimwear will compete in the Wetsuit Division. Swimwear may include a swimsuit or wetsuit, cap or caps, goggles, armbands and rash guards. Nose clips, earplugs and wristwatches are allowed. Swimwear for men that extends above the navel or below the knees, and for women, covers the neck, extends past the shoulder or extend below the knees shall constitute a wetsuit regardless of material.


Do I have to wear the provided swim cap?


Yes. The caps designate your official participation in the race as well as your race division.


Is it possible to swim with a friend or family member of the opposite sex?


Yes. This requires both parties to start in the later heat. The swimmer starting in a later heat can keep track of his own swim time. The official time will not be adjusted for the later start.


Can I have my own paddler to escort me during the swim?


Yes. Personal paddlers are optional and must use a surfboard or paddleboard 9 feet long or longer. Standup Paddleboards (SUP's) or kayaks are not permitted to escort the swimmers because because of the danger they present to other swimmers. Paddlers must be able to finish the course and are not allowed to assist their swimmer except in the case of an emergency. Paddlers will meet their swimmer on the North side of the Hermosa Beach Pier. Paddlers may escort their swimmer until they get to the Manhattan Beach Pier at which point they must paddle to the beach on the South side of the MB Pier. Paddlers are not allowed on the north side of the Manhattan Pier under any circumstance because it creates a safety hazard for the other swimmers and interferes with the finish of the swim. Paddlers must be careful to stay out of the way of other swimmers and not impede their progress or safe participation in the race.


Do all swimmers start at the same time?


No. The race will be conducted in three separate heats. All males in the Swimsuit Division will start in the first heat, which will begin at 9:00 a.m. All women in the Swimsuit Division and all women in the Wetsuit Division will start in the second heat, which will begin at 9:05 a.m. All males in the Wetsuit Division will start in the third heat, which will begin at 9:10 a.m.


What do I do if I need help during the swim?


Swimmers needing assistance should stop swimming, float on their back and raise their arm. This will alert rescue personnel to your need for assistance.


What do I do if I choose to exit the race prior to finishing?


It is important that all swimmers dropping out of the race prior to the finish check- in with lifeguard personnel and provide them with their race number and surrender their timing chip. This allows rescue personnel to account for all swimmers.


How will the race be timed?


Timing chips will be provided and must be worn by all swimmers. To be timed, you must wear your chip and step on the finish line mat. If your chip is lost during the swim, please alert the timing official when you cross the finish line. Your finish place and time will be adjusted as accurately as possible.  All chips must be surrendered at the finish.


When will I get my results?


Results will be posted on the beach immediately following the completion of the race and will also be available on our web site (


What do I do if I have a question about my results?



Timing questions should be directed to the timing company who will have a representative on the beach at the finish in an attempt to resolve any timing issues.


What awards will be given and when are they awarded?


Medals will be awarded to the top 3 place finishers in each of the division’s age groups. Swimsuit Division: Men & Women 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30- 34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75 & Over. Wetsuit Divisions: Men & Women 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & Over. We will also award a medal to the youngest finisher in the swim and the oldest finisher in the swim. Awards will be presented on the beach at the conclusion of the race.

Can I get a refund if I have a conflict and can't participate in the swim?

No.  Like most athletic events, the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim has a strict no refund policy.  Optional registration insurance is offered through the Active Network (see below).

Is Registration Insurance available for the swim?

Optional registration insurance is offered through the Active Network at the time of registration at an additional charge. This 3rd party registration protection is not run by the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim organizers or the International Surf Festival. If you purchase registration insurance and want to process a claim, use this link: 


Are volunteers needed to help put on the race? How do I volunteer?


Yes. We couldn’t put on the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim without the help from our wonderful volunteers. We have volunteer opportunities (15 and over) to help with the “check-in” process the day before the race, the morning of the race, and at the finish line. All volunteers get an International Surf Festival Official t- shirt. If you would like to volunteer, please email Swim Coordinator Gary Crum at:


Are there any local masters swim groups that can help me prepare for this race?


While we cannot endorse any swim groups, we are aware of a couple Masters Swim Teams in the area that may be able to help you prepare for the race.


-  South Bay Swim Team Masters (310) 643-6523


-  El Segundo Masters (310) 524-2738


-  Tower 26 Swim Team (Santa Monica area) or

How many years has the Pier to Pier Swim been conducted?

The Pier-to-Pier Swim was one of the original International Surf Festival events and has been conducted every year since 1963 except 2020 when the swim was canceled because of "COVID" restrictions.  2023 is the 61st annual Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim.

Why is the race named after Dwight Crum?


Dwight Crum was an excellent distance freestyler who competed for the University of Southern California in the early 1940s. He was hired as a lifeguard in 1941 and promoted to to lieutenant in 1952 and then Captain in 1954 for the Los Angeles County Lifeguards. He was put in charge of the South Bay beaches including Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach, some of the West Coast's most popular beaches, from the late 1940's through the early 1970's. As a young man who loved the ocean, Dwight helped elevate the professionalism of his chosen career and motivate many to follow in his footsteps throughout his career. During his rein as Captain, he was involved as one of the founders and served as Vice President of the National Surf Lifesaving Association (now known as the United States Lifesaving Association).


In the 1950's, the cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach hosted their own separate beach festivals. In 1963, the cities decided to join forces with Los Angeles County and created the International Surf Festival. Due to his experience and leadership, Dwight was appointed the Chairman of the International Surf Festival and held this position for 15 years. In 1969, he was promoted to Assistant Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches.


In 1972 when Crum retired, the Pier-to-Pier Swim was renamed the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim in his honor for his contributions over the decades. People remember him fondly and how he touched every aspect of the Festival.


It was common for Dwight to start the swim and then run over and grab his swim cap and join the race. The Pier-to-Pier Swim was his favorite event and he competed in it numerous times, including his last swim at age 72.


Crum passed away in 2000 at the age of 77. But his legacy, and bloodlines, continued. His son, Gary followed his father's career path with the Los Angeles County Lifeguards and served 17 years as the Section Chief in charge of the same beaches as his father. After Gary retired in 2001, he became Chairman of the International Surf Festival for 10 years. In 2010, he took over as the race director of the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim.


Where can I find the latest information on the Pier-to-Pier Swim?


The latest information on the swim is available on our website or by following us on Twitter @pier2pier_swim or on facebook under Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim.


My question was not answered here. What should I do?


Please email your question to the Race Director, Gary Crum at:

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