About Us

About RealSwim Adventures

Real Swim Adventures is the creation of expert swim coach Dan Abel, creator and owner of Fit and Abel. After a lifetime of swimming Dan has set about to provide a swim experience like no other; ‘I have coached 100’s of swimmers both in the pool and the open water. So many swimmers love competition yet for a large majority the swim experience for them is much more than a finish line and finisher’s medal. I wanted to create an experience that is not just about swimming as fast as you can or beating the person next to you. RealSwim Adventures is about personal challenges, such as swimming from Island to Island. It’s about taking swimming to its birthplace – the open water. It’s about sharing that experience with a small group of like-minded people. It’s about appreciating the environment in which we live and in RealSwim’s case the focus is on the beauty of New Zealand and the Pacific. And it’s about having fun, because swimming should be fun. After the swim it’s about sitting down, maybe with a glass of wine or a beer, and reflecting on each other’s experience. Discussing how the same swim created different impressions on all of us.  And doing it all in true Kiwi style’

RealSwim Adventures seeks to bring Dan’s vision to life. We do hope you will come and join us not just on a swim, but on a journey, a RealSwim Adventure.

Quality Experiences

RealSwim Adventures are all about the experience and the RealSwim Adventures team make sure each and every person has an experience of a lifetime. People go on our swimming adventures for various reasons and to achieve various goals, our team take the time to get to know every person and find out why they are attending and what they want to achieve, this way we are able to focus your experience to achieve your goals.

Our ready to go adventure tours have been thoroughly researched and strategically structured for both location and content ensuring every participant gains maximum satisfaction from the experience.

Fit & Abel

Fit and Abel specialises in open water swimming – we truly believe swimming is one of the best forms of exercise available. We can help you with adult learn to swim, open water swimming, competitive triathlon and open water or pool swimming aspirations. Fit and Abel has both pool and open water swim locations

The pool is normally where swimmers are ‘born’. A pool provides a safe environment to get comfortable in the water, learn swim technique and improve fitness. Once swim technique and fitness have been achieved the options become plentiful. If you are of a competitive nature then competitive swimming, triathlons or an ironman event may be your calling. If you enjoy the fitness of swimming but are also drawn to the relaxing and ‘zen like state’ that can be achieved with longer swims or you just enjoy swimming in a natural environment then open water swimming might be the answer. Fit&Abel can tailor coaching and swim experiences to suit your requirements. It’s what we love doing and it’s what we’re good at. Whatever your level of swim ability Fit&Abel can help you on the journey.

Dan Abel

Dan Abel, creator and owner of Fit and Abel

RealSwim Adventures founder, swim coach and swimmer including former USA Collegiate swimmer and NZ’s Cook Strait. Dan’s passion is open water swimming. You can read his full bio here.

Philip Rush

Philip is one of the true legends of Open Water swimming, he currently holds the fastest (and one of the only) three way crossings of the English Channel, not to mention a double Cook Strait crossing, a two way (82km) Lake Taupo swim and he is a member of the exclusive ’24 hour club’. Philip has been guiding swimmers across Cook Strait for probably longer than he probably cares to remember. Philip will be part of the team on our Queen Charlotte Cook Strait adventure week, this is a terrific chance to share a dinner experience and a drink with Philip and get an insight into the world of an Open Water legend. You can read his full bio here.

Brett Naylor

Brett’s resume could potentially span many pages … Olympic swimmer, 5 x Olympic swim coach, NZ Master Swim Coach, Owns pro Aqua Services , swimming pool and learn to swim business, Coastguard crew member and all around top kiwi bloke. Brett ‘Nails’ Naylor has more swim yarns to tell than number of laps you’ve ever swum. Best of all Brett loves the Cook Islands and he’ll make sure you do too.

Henry Lawson

Henry is a senior Surf Life Saving NZ Guard, a qualified Rescue Boat Driver, an Advanced Life Guard, and he has Life Guard Instructors and Examiners awards.
In his own words…

I’m an adventure junkie with a particular love for the water. Having been a rock climber, white water kayaker, mountain biker and skier I always find myself coming back to the water (of the liquid variety). Starting swimming at a young age, the lane quickly lost its appeal to me and I sought other ways to get my weekly dose of water, moving onto water polo, underwater hockey and even giving canoe polo an ill fated attempt. I love to use my skills to explore new and exciting locations and have been lucky enough to travel all around New Zealand.

Helen Norfolk

Helen ‘Norfy’ Norfolk is a triple Olympic swimmer, 2 x Commonwealth games competitor, Commonwealth games medalist and businesswoman and mother. Helens swimming success came about because of her hard work and dedication. Helen has transferred these disciplines to other aspects of her life now but enjoys staying in touch with the water and sharing the joys of swimming and good times with others. Never without a smile on her face, Helen is passionate about ensuring you have a true RealSwim Adventure.

Scott Molina

WildTri coach Scott Molina was born February 29, 1960 in Pittsburg, California, where he grew up one of seven children. As a professional triathlete (1982-’95, excluding ’93), Scott claimed 104 professional victories including six USA professional championships, 50 USTS triathlons, two “World’s Toughest Triathlon” titles, Ultraman World Championships, 1991 Zofingen Duathlon, 1988 Hawaii Ironman World Championships and 46 podium finishes of either 2nd or 3rd place.

In 1990, Scott married fellow professional triathlete Erin Baker. Residing in Christchurch, New Zealand since 1994, Scott and Erin now have three children: Jennifer, Miguel and Tandia. His hobbies include training, multisport, reading about sport, health and nutrition, yard and house work, golf, grocery shopping, and lying on beaches.