Making Waves

A Bay Area fat community tradition: swimming together since 1980

A supportive space for self-identified fat people to swim, exercise or just hang out.

Where: Albany Aquatic Center indoor pool, 1311 Portland Ave., Albany, CA

When: Sundays, 11:15a-12:45p (changing in October to 11:45-12:45)

Suggested Fee: $10 (sliding scale from $6.50 to $20). Please pay in the pool area, NOT at the front desk.


The Fat Swim (Making Waves) is in dire financial condition. The COVID pandemic has brought us to the brink of having to close the swim permanently. We certainly don’t want to do that, so we need your help.

First, some facts and updates. Right now, the 90-minute swim, using the whole pool, costs us $198 per week. That cost is unsustainable. The Coordinating Committee. (Lynn Ellen Marcus, Judith Stein and Lin Wilkerson)  met with the Aquatics Director to ask for a reduced fee. Given their own increasing costs, the pool is unable to reduce our fee. We have one alternative to try.

As of October 2,  the swim will be cut to 60 min. from 11:45 – 12:45.

That will reduce our costs by $60 per week. At that reduced cost we will still need about a dozen swimmers each week who pay $10 on the average. (Because we have a sliding scale some pay less, and others pay more.) We did have a small reserve in our bank account  to cover any shortfall, but extremely low attendance once the pool reopened has completely eliminated that reserve.

Two things that we want everybody to know about the swim.

  1. The swim is now OPEN TO ANY GENDER OF FAT FOLKS defined as over 200 pounds.
  2. The indoor pool at Albany is in a LARGE, SPACIOUS, VERY AIRY ROOM and with windows that can be opened to bring in fresh air if swimmers want. It’s not an outdoor pool but the COVID risk is probably very small because it’s so big.

So what can you do? 

FIRST, COME TO THE SWIM. Help us publicize the swim with your friends and social networks.

SECOND, if you’re in a position to, PLEASE DONATE MONEY:

Donations for the fat swim can be sent to:

Making Waves
PO Box 27206
Oakland CA 94602

Please make checks payable tom “Making Waves”

or by Venmo to @lynnellenmarcus

THIRD, SPREAD THE WORD ON SOCIAL MEDIA. If you know social media, help us get our presence out there.

The fat swim has been a Bay Area institution since the mid-1980s. While it’s possible that the swim has outlived the need that created it, we don’t think so. We welcome new swimmers for exercise, socializing and support. Please join us.

Judith Stein (she/her) for the Coordinating Committee


OCTOBER 2: Friends and Family Swim. Folks of all ages, sizes and gender are welcome at the swim as long as they are accompanied by a fat swimmer.


Pool is closed on the following dates:

September 11th
October 16
November 13th
November 27
December 25
January 1