The breast stroke was the preferred Viking method. It was normal to learn to swim as a child. In order to strengthen the leg strokes they often swam with weights on their backs. Swimming was a popular competitive activity, the most common competitions were:


This was a wrestling match in the water. The idea was to keep the opponents head under water until he gave up. These matches often lasted for hours and were the most popular form of swimming competition.

Distance swimming

The swimmers started from the beach and swam out towards the open sea. They would turn around when they didn't dare swim any further out. The last one to turn was the winner. The longest swims that we know of were about 30 km.

Speed swimming

The goal here was to be the first across the finish line. This was a very popular form of competition.

- 14. august 2004 -