Rise Fierce - A Cold Water Community

Blog - Rise Fierce - A Cold Water Community

Rise Fierce - A Cold Water Community

3 minute read

“It was called Rise Fierce because it was about getting up in the morning with a fierce attitude, ‘rise up, sunrise, go for a swim!’ But Rise Fierce has become about so much more. It's not just about getting up in the morning. It's about kind of rising up in life to whatever challenges and circumstances are thrown your way.”


What started out as a few friends getting in the sea for an icy swim has now become a community of women across the world supporting and motivating each other to embrace the cold and take the plunge together.

Having discussed the health benefits of cold showers with her friends, Sophie Hellyer decided to it would be better instead to get together and swim in the ocean. Without their wetsuits, in the middle of winter. After getting out of the water, Sophie realised the transformative effect that cold water had both on her body and mind, and the value of spending time in the sea each morning with other women.

Sophie Hellyer walking into the sea 
Sharing these experiences on social media using #RiseFierce, other women were soon inspired to get in the sea themselves and embrace the benefits of cold water swimming in the company of friends. 

We caught up with dryrobe® Ambassador Sophie back in October (before the current social distancing restrictions applied) for an early morning swim in St Agnes, Cornwall with friends Keri-anne Payne, Lucy Campbell, Grace Kingswell and Anna Blackwell.

 Keri-anne Payne, Lucy Campbell, Grace Kingswell and Anna Blackwell in swimsuits by the sea

Growing up in North Devon (just a stone’s throw from dryrobe® HQ), Sophie is a former professional surfer who by 15 had won junior national titles and was travelling the world sponsored by global surf brands. After a decade on the circuit, Sophie decided to forge her own path - fostering a diverse and inclusive surfing culture, and has become a prominent voice on the topics of ocean pollution and sustainability.

A passionate surfer, writer, producer, yoga teacher and cold water swimmer, Sophie is proud to help forge communities where women can support each other. Whether that’s online or in person at her regular Rise Fierce retreats.

 Sophie Hellyer, Anna Blackwell and Grace Kingswell getting changed after swimming

“I spent my life as a teen, and in my twenties, modelling and competing and surfing. It was always constantly comparing yourself against other women.

Now it's almost the opposite. I'm just creating spaces for women to be able to support each other.”

Sophie Hellyer in her dryrobe after a swim 

Follow Sophie:
Instagram: @sophiehellyer
Facebook: Sophie Louise Hellyer
Twitter: @sophiehellyer

Photos by Evie Johnstone
Film by Mikey Corker

The session was photographed and filmed in October 2020, adhering to the current social distancing restrictions at that time.