Swim Lessons

Our swim lesson program follows the American Red Cross progressive swimming level model which includes five levels. Group lessons are age and level dependent.
We offer Private & Group Lessons.

All of our swim instructors are American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Certified.

Age Restriction
Children must be a minimum of 3 years old at time of lesson and be 100% "potty trained". Swim diapers are NOT allowed in the Recreation Center pools.

We offer private and small group lessons.


Call (805) 893-2501 or email swimlessons@recreation.ucsb.edu

Summer 2018 Lessons

One week "mini session" June18-22
Two-Week Sessions begin June 25th

2018 Session Dates
Mini Session: June 18-22

Session 1 - June 25 to July 6 (No lesson July 4)
Session 2 - July 9  to July 20
Session 3 - July 23 to August 3
Session 4 - August 6 to August 17

Click Here to see the Group Lesson Schedule.

Register online beginning April 18, 2018 at 10am.

Summer Lesson Fees
    Private lessons: $190/child.
    Group lesson (3-5 children, Red Cross levels 1 - 6): $75/child.
    Semi-Private** (2 children): $140/child (limited availability and requires approval of aquatic staff)
    Mini Session (private only): $95/child

Session 1 (June 25-July 6) will be pro-rated to $171 (privates), $67.50 (group) due to the Independence Day Holiday 7/4/18.

**Semi-private lessons are allocated to pre-arranged parties, such as siblings or friends that have similar swimming abilities. We cannot accommodate semi-privates for swimmers who are different swim levels.

Call 893-2501 to switch your previously purchased private lesson to a semi private and arrange for payment of the additional fee. Please note that it is the customer's responsibility to find a suitable second child for the semi private lesson.

Lesson Times
Morning Lessons
10:00 - 10:25
10:30 - 10:55
11:00 - 11:25
11:30 - 11:55
12:00 - 12:25

Evening Lessons
4:00 - 4:25
4:30 - 4:55
5:00 - 5:25
5:30 - 5:55
6:00 - 6:25
6:30 - 6:55

Mini Session Lessons
June 18-22
Times Offered:  4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm
Private Lessons: $95/child

Summer lessons run for 25 minutes each day.

Swim Clinic

August 6-August 17, 2018
Wrap up your summer and prepare for Fall swim team & water polo opportunities with our Swim Clinic!

The clinic will consist of in-water drills(swimming & treading), longer distance sets, and timed swims which are designed to build endurance, increase efficiency in the water, and increase each swimmers confidence in their own abilities.
Certified Instructors are able to offer the guidance, instruction, and tips necessary to help participants top off summer or prepare for aquatic opportunities in schools and local club teams.

Participants must be a minimum of 8 years old and swim at or above the specified requirements of Red Cross Learn to Swim Program Level 4. This means that each participant must be able to swim a minimum of 25 yards freestyle continuously with a rhythmic stroke pattern along with 25 yards backstroke continuously, tread water for a minimum of 90 seconds, and be competent enough to swim in the deep end without an instructor in the water.

Fall Group Lessons are full for Sunday afternoons
For private youth and adult lessons, please contact our swim line at 893-2501 or essr.swimlessons@sa.ucsb.edu

Please Note:
UCSB Recreation introduced a new online registration system in November 2015. You will need to create a new user account to register for our offerings.

UCSB Faculty/Staff and students automatically have accounts in the new system tied to your UCSB NetID.

All other patrons will need to create a new account.

Click Here for the UCSB Recreation Registration Site

Online Registration

Cancellations and Refunds

Be sure to only purchase lessons which your child can attend.
There are no refunds except those granted at the discretion of the administrative supervisor.
Refunds will only be granted should medical or other extenuating circumstances dictate. Medical issues require a doctor's note.
Refunds, if given, take up to four weeks to process once they are sent to accounting. Administration fees will be deducted.

Swim Lesson Levels

Please refer to these examples when placing your child in a group lesson:

Level 1:
 Water Exploration
Swimmers have little or no experience with the water. Swimmers will be comfortably oriented to the water and taught basic pool safety. Skills taught include submerging the face, blowing bubbles, bobbing underwater, assisted front and back floating, kicking on front and back, and assisted front and back gliding.

Level 2: Primary Skills
Swimmers are able to perform all of the skills in Level 1. Swimmers will learn to independently float on their front and back, independently glide on their front and back , glide on their front and back while kicking, retrieve objects underwater, front and back crawl for at least 5 yards, roll over from front to back and back to front in the water, and jump into the pool and level off from a vertical to horizontal position.

Level 3: Stroke Readiness
Swimmers are able to perform all of the skills in Level 2. Swimmers will learn to tread water, glide on their front and back for 10 yards, elementary backstroke, and kneeling and compact dives.

Level 4: Stroke Development
Swimmers are able to perform all the skills in Level 3. Swimmers will further develop the skills learned in Level 3 and will increase their endurance by swimming freestyle and backstroke for 25 yards, elementary backstroke for 10 yards, tread water for 2 minutes as well as learn "side-breathing," breaststroke, and the standing dive.

Level 5: Stroke Refinement
Swimmers are able to perform all the skills in Level 4. Swimmers will learn to side-breathe on both sides, swim breaststroke (10 yards), sidestroke (10 yards), underwater for 3 body lengths, elementary backstroke (15 yards), dolphin kick (10 yards), and freestyle and backstroke (50 yards). Swimmers will also learn flip turns, diving on the diving board, and feet-first surface diving.
Age Breakdown
Level 1a = 3-5 yrs
Level 1b = 5-7 yrs
Level 2a = 4-6 yrs
Level 2b = 5-8 yrs
Level 3 = 5-8 yrs
Level 4 = 6-10 yrs
Level 5 = 7+ yrs


  • Children must be at least 3 years of age and "potty-trained' before beginning lessons.
  • Please do not schedule lessons directly before, during, or after your child's nap-time as this may interrupt their daily schedule.
  • Please make sure your child does not eat a heavy meal 30 minutes prior to their lesson.
  • Please give your children ample opportunity and encouragement to use the toilets before and after their lessons.

Facility Restrictions & Guidelines

Facility Entrance for your Swim Lesson:

  • You may enter the Rec Cen 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time to prepare for your lesson.
  • You may stay for 30 minutes after the lesson to exit.
  • Children enrolled in swim lessons are allowed practice time for 15 minutes before and 10 minutes after their lessons. Practice time is dependent upon pool availability and not guaranteed.
  • You must check in and out at the Rec Cen front desk.
  • Persons staying longer than their scheduled lesson time without purchasing a pass may lose lesson privileges.

Family Memberships and day passes for children of non Recreation Center Members are available in summer only

Swim passes for other children (siblings, friends) are available for purchase at the Rec Cen front desk by current members only from September-mid June.

Day passes are required of parents/guardians wishing to swim or use other parts of the recreation Center during lesson times.

During summer afternoon lessons, there is an hourly “adult swim only” time beginning 10 minutes  before the top of each hour (ie 3:50pm-4pm). At these points ALL children 12 & under must exit the pools.