Steven Munatones

From Open Water Swimming Wiki

Steven Muñatones was an American water polo player, a collegiate swimmer, and an open water swimmer from Huntington Beach, California who has been as an athlete, coach, administrator, writer, race director, kayaker, paddler, official, observer, author, lifeguard, reporter, Olympic commentator, aquapreneur, and adviser in the the sport of open water swimming.

In addition to founding the World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Oceans Seven, WOWSA Awards and Openwaterpedia, he founded KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Foundation and serves as an ambassador for the American Heart Association. He has written 20,344 articles on open water swimming, water polo and KAATSU to date.



A glimpse into the life of Steven Munatones - post heart attack - given at the Science Center at Harvard University on June 2019. He experienced a ventricular fibrillation arrest, atypical thrombus (clot) and a MI (myocardial infarction) in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, otherwise known as a widow maker, before his 17-year-old son saved him with Hands-Only CPR and he came out of a coma in May 2016.

Advisory Roles[edit]

Aquatic Career[edit]

Coaching Experience[edit]

Writing Career[edit]


Guinness World Records[edit]

He established a partnership between the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) and the Guinness World Records (GWR) where WOWSA serves as GWR’s advisor on open water swimming records and information regarding the sport. WOWSA and GWR support the open water swimming community to verify and celebrate the most significant superlative achievements in this wide-ranging series of open water disciplines.

Films and Television[edit]

The Science of Diana Nyad's Swim from Cuba to Florida[edit]

The Science of Diana Nyad's Swim from Cuba to Florida, a documentary film by Thiago Da Costa and Tim Wheeler about Diana Nyad's swim from Cuba to Florida

Tactics & Techniques of Elite Open Water Swimmers[edit]

Tactics & Techniques of Elite Open Water Swimmers is an educational video written by Steven Munatones and produced by Marc Randall, filmed at the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships in Marine Stadium, Long Beach, California.

Open Water Swimming Conference[edit]

Munatones organized the 2-day Open Water Swimming Conference sponsored by U.S. Masters Swimming in San Francisco, California:

2019 Open Water Summit Introduction Video[edit]

With Quinn Fitzgerald, Megan Melgaard, Steven Munatones

Top Ten: Extreme Adventures about Oceans Seven[edit]

about Darren Miller on the Oceans Seven

Body, Mind, Soul Heroes In The Catalina Channel[edit]

A film by Lucas Rivet of La Fabrica Films and Asociación Argentina Gestión y Desarrollo del Deporte about Matías Ola and his Oceans Seven journey

North Shore Lifeguards[edit]

On the North Shore of Oahu

Open Water Swimming Brands & Terms[edit]

He authored Open Water Swimming, a text book on open water swimming as well as created or popularized the following:

Race Director and Advisor[edit]

Munatones has served as a race director and helped organize dozens of open water swimming competitions, clinics and camps around the world including the following:

Pan Pacific Swimming Championships[edit]

Munatones organized the 2011 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships and the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Long Beach, California where Tactics & Techniques of Elite Open Water Swimmers was filmed.

Special Olympics World Summer Games[edit]

Munatones was the Technical Director of the 1.5 km open water swimming competition and POW exhibition at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games which was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year:

Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame Induction[edit]

Steven is a marathon swimmer and contributor. It’s hard to imagine an international open water swimming community without Muñatones and his work for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Openwaterpedia, WOWSA, the Global Open Water Swimming Conferences and others. Steven is an indefatigable presence reporting on the big and the small of open water swimming news around the world, round the clock, seven days a week and quietly assembling an online historical record. His presence and voice regarding Vermont’s open water swimming scene may not be so well recognized, but his impact should not be underestimated. He has been a competitor and covered the professional swim, la Traversée internationale du lac Memphrémagog. swimming the length of Lake Memphremagog in 1984 in 9 hours 16 minutes and 9 hours 13 minutes in 1985. And, he was there right from the start covering the first Kingdom Swim in 2009, the establishment of Be Kind to Your Yacker Week in April, the formation of NEKOWSA on a very cold weekend in January 2010, the inauguration of the Willoughby Swim, the re-opening of international swimming between Newport and Magog, In Search of Memphre, the creation of the NEK Swim Week in 8 lakes over the course of 9 days totaling 46 miles, the first winter swim and the cutting of a two-lane, 25-meter pool in the ice of Memphremagog, and the opening of The Clubhous in Derby, Vermont in 2013 as the nerve center for open water swimming and winter swimming in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Steve’s coverage has been broad, frequent, relentless and unequivocally supportive. He identified Kingdom Swim as one of the top 100 swims in the world, Willoughby and In Search of Memphre as two of the top 100 swims in the US, and Memphremagog and Willoughby among two of the top 50 open water swimming venues in the Americas. Steven had such a large & positive impact on Vermont Open Water Swimming, he has offered encouragement and support to swimmers and event directors, volunteers and organizers in such a way that has exponentially aided the growth of our great Vermont open water community.

WOWSA Awards[edit]

He has hosted the annual WOWSA Awards along with the annual International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the Global Open Water Swimming Conference in various places around the world:

  • Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.: 2008 WOWSA Awards
  • Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.: 2009 WOWSA Awards
  • Long Beach, California, U.S.A.: 2010 WOWSA Awards
  • United Nations Building, New York City, U.S.A.: 2011 WOWSA Awards
  • Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, U.S.A.: 2012 WOWSA Awards
  • Cork, Ireland: 2013 WOWSA Awards on 11-13 October
  • Isle of Bute, Scotland: 2014 WOWSA Awards on 20-21 September
  • Tunisia: 2017 WOWSA Awards on September 11-13
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A.: 2019 WOWSA Awards