General Info

updated 8/25/22

Making Waves is a volunteer-run weekly swim for all self-identified fat people now held most SUNDAYS throughout the year. Making Waves has been a Bay Area tradition since 1980. Making Waves is a fat-positive space and discussions of dieting or weight loss are strongly discouraged. All self-identified fat people are welcome.

The FIRST SUNDAY of each month is FRIENDS & FAMILY SWIM — the swim is open to friends and family all sizes, all genders, accompanied by a fat person.

Since late in 2015, the swim has been managed by a volunteer Coordinating Committee. Current members are Lynn Ellen Marcus, Judith Stein, and Lin Wilkerson. When needed, we post notices looking for new members on our email list and the Fat Swimmers Facebook page.


Making Waves has the indoor pool for our exclusive use on SUNDAYS, 11:15a-12:45p. (changing October 2 to 11:45a-12:45p)

Upcoming Swim Dates: 

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

Making Waves is open to self-identified fat people of all genders every week.


The weekly drop-in rate is $6.50-$20 (sliding scale) per swim. No one is turned away for lack of funds. All proceeds go directly to pay for the weekly pool rental fee and required liability insurance.

Swim cards of 10 swims are available for purchase so that you don’t need to have cash each week. This is meant as a convenience, rather than a money-saver. The cost for a swim card is $65 – $200. We are certainly happy to receive more than that if you are inclined to donate to our fund.

Please pay at the table in the indoor pool. We accept cash or a check payable to Making Waves. Payments for drop-ins or 10-swim cards may be given to any member of the Making Waves Coordinating Committee: Judith Stein, Lin Wilkerson, Lynn Ellen Marcus, or other designated collector. If you are unsure, please feel free to ask one of the swimmers who to pay once you arrive.


We swim in the indoor pool at Albany Aquatic Center, 1311 Portland Ave Albany, CA 94706


  • POOL: The indoor pool is around 86 degrees and chlorinated.
  • ACCESSIBILITY OF POOL: Good street parking. It’s a short, flat walk from the street to the pool entrance, and into the pool or changing room. No stairs required. The pool itself has shallow stairs with sturdy railings and a hydraulic lift rated to 350 pounds.
  • ACCESSIBILITY OF CHANGING ROOMS: The women’s and men’s changing rooms each have sturdy benches in one group changing room, one large group shower and two private showers, one with a shower chair and a hand-held shower sprayer. There is also a private gender-inclusive restroom with an ADA toilet and one shower that has a shower seat with a hand-held shower sprayer.


Since the Coordinating Committee began to manage the swim (late 2015), we have talked a lot about what makes the Fat Swim so special – a respectful and supportive community that comes together without judgement to exercise, swim or play in the water. We want the swim to continue to be a fat-positive environment, without diet talk or focus on weight loss. The Fat Swim exists because of the support – both energy and money – of our communities.

We have been asked about the use of the 200-pound definition of being fat. We recognize that this is a highly imperfect measure of fatness – 200 pounds looks very different on different bodies. However, despite having tried a variety of factors to determine “who’s fat” over the years, we haven’t found a better alternative.

Please know the following:

  • We have no interest in any policing of body size or gender identity for folks coming to the swim
  • We do not want body shaming – of any type – to be part of anyone’s fat swim experience

If you have any questions or issues about the appropriateness or behavior of some particular person at some particular swim session please speak privately to someone on the Coordinating Committee. [Contact Us] At least one of us should be at nearly every swim.

As always, we welcome your comments and ideas about the swim. We thank you for your ongoing interest and participation. And we hope to see you (and many of your friends) at upcoming swims.


7 Responses to General Info

  1. LindyTuttle says:

    Hi-how do I join the class? Thanks lindy tuttle

  2. Linda Tillery says:

    Is Making Waves still meeting at the Albany Pool on Sundays?

  3. Sue Martinson says:

    I would like to join you. Can I just drop in.

  4. Shelly says:

    I have not yet attended a swim, but look forward to doing so except on the first Sunday of the month because of the allowance of regular-sized women. As a super sized woman, I have had traumatic experiences when it comes to pools and the beach and have not been swimming since I was 15 (in a friend’s private pool).

    I work with a fat positive therapist and will let her know about the swim so that she can share it in her community (she is a fat positive activist). Now that I know that this resource is available, I would hate to see it end, so while I cannot help financially, I will spread the word.

Comments are closed.