The Full Story
I am passionate about all things open-water swimming, with a special interest in ultra-marathon swimming (generally defined as any open-water swim equal to or greater than 20 kilometres in distance). I've had the great privilege of completing the New Zealand Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming - made up of Cook Strait, Lake Taupo, and Foveaux Strait - a challenge that only 10 people have completed across history.
In May 2023, I completed the longest, unassisted, continuous open-water swim in New Zealand's history - a distance of almost 100 kilometres from Karaka Bay, Aotea Great Barrier Island to Campbells Bay, Auckland.
I love to share my experiences, both in speaking to crowds and in the written word. If you would like to hear more about my stories and the key themes that sit behind the swimming challenges that I have undertaken, get in touch.
For anybody wondering, I didn't come out of the womb swimming (although, I may have been kicking). In fact, my early experiences with swimming were not overwhelmingly positive. My favourite part of swimming lessons when I was younger was when it was all over and mum rewarded our efforts with a treat; generally, a raspberry twist. The incentive worked for a time, before I dropped the mundanity of following the black line in favour of football boots.
It wasn't until later in life, during my early twenties, that I stumbled into open-water swimming in what became an unlikely passion. To that, I owe a debt of gratitude to my brother and dad, who together introduced me to this world through a local ocean swimming event. It was three kilometres of pain, fear, anxiety, relief, and joy that made me feel unbelievably alive and set me on a collision course with fate.
As the story goes, the distances grew and grew, and grew some more. What was initially a nerve-wracking and completely uncomfortable three-kilometre swim evolved into an incredibly challenging 5-kilometre swim; then, over the years, 10-kilometres, 20-kilometres, and, well, you get the picture!
In pursuing the ultra-marathon swims that I have undertaken, I have found more than just the pain and glory that comes with completing a challenge of this nature. I've found myself. I want to share this gift with the world - and to help you, whoever you are, to find who you are. I hope that my writing inspires you and starts you on that journey, and that the lessons and stories contained within the four walls of this blog help to enlighten you on your path.
I welcome you to interact and connect with me if you have any questions at all related to swimming or any of the topics which I write on.
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New Zealand Herald: Younger brother's big swim for chopper service
Northern Advocate: Auckland marathon swimmer makes history
NZ Ocean Swim Series: A swimmer's story - Jono Ridler
Otago Daily Times: Cold comfort: inaugural ice swimming pool champs
Hokonui Radio (Audio): Fastest swim across Foveaux Strait
NZ SwimBikeRun Podcast (Audio): Strait talking with Jono Ridler
Newstalk ZB: Ocean Swim Series - Rangitoto