BY NANCY HESLIN
IMPORTANT: THE 2020 ÖTILLÖ SWIMRUN HVAR WEEKEND ON APRIL 18 & 19 HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL NOVEMBER 7 & 8. FOR MORE INFORMATION, READ HERE.
While most of us are under some type of home confinement, posts on the Löw Tide Böyz’s Instagram feed can provide a welcome laugh-out-loud moment.
“We’re both pretty funny guys,” says Californian Chipper Nicodemus, who played baseball in Junior College. “We had followed a lot of meme pages and thought it would be fun to do our own that was super-niche to the swimrun sport.”
Chipper, 32, who works in marketing for a tech startup in San Francisco managing paid media, like Facebook and Google ads, came up with the idea for a listener acquisition strategy.
“It’s been a really creative outlet for us and a fun way to connect with swimrun athletes all over the world,” explains Chris Douglas, a 42-year-old attorney, also based in San Francisco, who also owns his own sports management company that serves brands and race directors in the endurance space. “Plus, it’s a great way to make fun of triathletes and talk about pull buoys.”
“We both had kids around the same time we were getting burnt out from the triathlon scene,” Chris admits. “The biggest challenge with swimrun was the gear as at the time there wasn’t a ton of resources or companies offering swimrun-specific stuff. So we did a lot of trail and error.”
“The biggest surprise is how well we work as a team,” adds Chipper. “We had always trained together, but racing together has been rather enjoyable. We haven’t wanted to strangle each other with the tether by the end of the race so that’s a definite plus.” He is quick to add that they have “extremely supportive and encouraging wives” and will turn around on runs early or cancel races to be with family.
Chris admits the idea of a swimrun-specific podcast came during one of their many dad garage hangouts. “Our triathlete friends were asking us questions about swimrun and we thought why not do a few episodes of Swimrun 101-type content for those new to the sport, especially in the U.S.?”
The “data-driven” duo says their audience is about 65% from the U.S., 15% come from Sweden with 10 different countries making up the rest. “Our mission is to help the sport of swimrun grow into an inclusive, diverse and supportive manner in the United States, so that anyone who is aligned with that, whether or not you are good or fast, could be interviewed by us,” Chipper points out.
The guys describe the swimrun scene is the U.S. as “still in its infancy, but on the brink of exploding.” They encourage listeners to support local swimrun events and race organisers, and they have two Odyssey Swimrun events – Orcas Island & Austin – on the calendar this year.
“Everyone in the swimrun space was super excited for Catalina Swimrun, ÖTILLÖ’s first race in the U.S. We loved the experience but our favorite moment had to be meeting our listeners. People coming up and showing us their pull buoys or high-fiving us during the race was so much fun!” Chris shares.
Chipper adds, “We would definitely recommend the Catalina race. The Experience and Sprint distances are a great way to get folks into the sport and the wetsuit rental program from Ark Sports is an amazing way to reduce the barrier to entry.”
So who exactly came up with the name Löw Tide Böyz? “It was Chris. We added the umlaut and Swedish to our site to pay respect to ÖTILLÖ and the origins of the sport we love so much.”
Article first published for ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Magazine March 2019.