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4175 OVERLAND AVE. (map)
(JUST SOUTH OF CULVER BLVD, NEXT TO VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK)
CULVER CITY, CA 90230
LAP SWIM HOURS AS OF SPRING 2011:
MONDAY-FRIDAY: 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM (LONG COURSE)
MONDAY & WEDNESDAY: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (SHORT COURSE)
TUESDAY & THURSDAY: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (SHORT COURSE)
SATURDAY: 7:00am - 9:00am (LONG COURSE); 9:30am - 2:00pm (SHORT COURSE)
YEAR ROUND OUTDOOR POOL (50 m x 25 y, 8 x 20 lanes, 4-12 feet deep)
HEATED (79°F in winter, 81° in summer) & CHLORINATED
COST: $4.00 / $2.50 FOR SENIORS & DISABLED
15-VISIT PASSES: $35 Residents / $50 non-residents / $20 Seniors & Disabled resident / $25 non-resident
MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED!
It has been far too long since I posted a good old-fashioned pool review, and I apologize for that, but I have a good excuse! I have been busy the last few weeks moving to the westside. What this means for me is a much shorter commute, which is fantastic, but what it means for Swimming in LA is something even more wonderful: a whole bunch of new pools for me to discover, explore and share with you - just in time for summer, dear reader!
And so, to inaugurate this new era of aquatic reportage, Ric and I visited the much-beloved Culver City Plunge last week, a place that I’m sure we will be returning to regularly. The Plunge is lap-swim central, a sparkling outdoor shrine for the truly devoted, flanked on one side by a massive tower (the actual function of which I have yet to determine) and shaded by several huge trees lining the adjacent sidewalk. Pleasant surroundings, to be sure.
The locker-rooms are nothing fancy, but a step up of sorts from some of the pools we’ve featured, with lots of hot push-button showers, changing stalls and mirrors with outlets so you can get ready on the go. Be sure to bring a padlock and a pair of flip-flops for hanging out on the big concrete deck. On the day we were there, each of the pool’s eight lanes was marked slow, medium or fast, and held at least three or four swimmers. This seemed daunting at first, but once we jumped into the brisker-than-expected(!) water, we realized the lanes were rather sizable. We swam easily in a circle with two other people, but I can imagine that once the weather gets warmer and more people start coming out of their shells, it could get hectic, especially if you are using a kickboard or a float like I usually do. I’d suggest going earlier than we did (12pm) if you like more solitude. One other thing that is a bit of a bummer: the pool does not seem to be open on Sundays much. And it only offers recreational swimming on weekends from 12.15 to 2pm during the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I like that so much time is dedicated to lap-swimming on the schedule, but 3.5 hours a week total for the kiddies to jump off the high dive? That’s it? I find that surprising.
One of the reasons for the busy-ness of the Plunge must be because it is one of the most accessible pools on the westside. It’s also clean, pretty cheap, parking is easy, and there is the option to swim long-course during the day and short-course during the evening. On top of that, there are a variety of swim lessons, lifeguard training, and aerobics classes on offer (see culvercity.org for information). Another reason is because it is one of the main training pools for a gaggle of swim teams, and for the Southern California Aquatic Masters Swim Club (SCAQ), which, according to its website, is “the largest Masters swimming program in the United States.” They offer 65 different workouts at seven different facilities per week, including Echo Deep and USC. While I’m not sure if I am quite ready for that level of workout, I plan to learn more about Masters swimming in the near future, so I will keep y’all posted on that. But, in the meantime, I give the Plunge a solid thumbs-up! I just hope it doesn’t get too crazy there once the heat comes to town…