Why Riptide

The Riptide Experience              

Thanks for your interest in the Riptide Swim Team! We’re pleased to share with you what we call “The Riptide Experience.” Riptide isn’t your typical USA Swimming Team. We place tremendous emphasis on providing a coordinated, full suite of services to support each family and their swimmer’s developmental process. Here’s how:

Bluewater Aquatic Center –  Riptide swimmers have two, beautifully maintained, 25 yard pools all to themselves. We provide CLEAN, UV filtered water at an ideal temperature and chemical balance for training.  Riptide swimmers benefit from consistent access to 15 practice lanes. We have more private water, 100% of the time, than any other Club in the state!

Riptide Senior Elite - Riptide Senior Elite, the upper echelon of our training groups, is led by Head Coach Mike Parratto. Over Mike’s 37-year career, he has coached Olympic Gold Medalist Jenny Thompson, numerous U.S. National and U.S. National Junior Team swimmers, scores of talented collegiate swimmers and dozens of State Champions!  Mike is a USA Swimming National Team Coach, a USA Swimming Junior World Championship Assistant Coach, and is widely considered to be one of the one of the very best Club coaches in the country.

The Riptide Development Process – Riptide takes great pride in the application of a consistent, structured progression plan for every Riptide swimmer. Our swimmers learn proper, detailed stroke technique BEFORE eventually being transitioned into high-intensity training environments. This patient approach results in fewer injuries and far fewer swimmers forced to “unlearn” inefficient and ineffective technique engrained as a result of tens of thousands of yards doing things wrong! At Riptide, we want swimmers to LOVE the sport! We value a patient, proven development process to ensure each swimmer has the best opportunity to improve as they progress through their years of swimming. Our top down/bottom up coaching approach assures that ALL of our coaches are “on the same page” when it comes to your swimmer’s development. At Riptide, EVERY swimmer matters!

Dryland Strength & Conditioning – Being your best IN the pool requires a great strength and conditioning program OUT of the pool. Coach Mike is very proud of his long history of strong, injury-free swimmers.  At Riptide, we emphasize a quality strength and conditioning program beginning in our novice practice groups. We build strong shoulders, a solid core, muscle flexibility, enhanced range of motion and a dedication to great stroke technique. This formula makes Riptide swimmers far more immune to the overuse injuries that plague other Clubs. Riptide Dryland practices are consistent, professional and expertly supervised to ensure your swimmer gets the Dryland advantages they deserve.

Private Lessons - Riptide’s expert coaching staff is available to provide private lessons support to all swimmers. It’s important that our families understand that we believe your swimmer should be getting the feedback and attention they deserve in every practice. We take great pride in an engaged coaching staff with eyeballs on their swimmers instead of their iPhone! However, we know some swimmers want more than we can provide in a typical practice environment. We, therefore, offer access to our full staff of coaches for private lessons. You may book, on-line, either 30 or 60-minute sessions with any coach you’d like. Want more time with your daily coach? No problem. Prefer a fresh perspective from a different coach? It’s our pleasure. We can address stroke technique, work on starts, discuss racing strategy for the big Meet, etc. We’ll address whatever is on your mind.

Clinics Series – Our Elite-Performance Clinics are offered four to six times per year. Each clinic addresses a specific stroke/start/turn and includes best practices video presentation, the emphasis of key learning points and in-water drills. Many clinics also include extensive underwater camera analysis. Pat Underhill, Riptide’s Head Age Group Coach, leads these clinics and loves putting his exceptional technical skills to the test with our swimmers. Customer feedback is outstanding! We encourage you to check-out a clinic sometime soon.

Parent Training/Orientation – We know that, for many of our newer families, the world of competitive swimming can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. We want you to feel at home…to feel confident that you know the “lay of the land” and have a working knowledge of what to expect going forward. Whether understanding the world of swim meets (Pre-C, ABC, MRC, Championship, etc.) the maze of “time cuts” (C, B, A, CH, Zone, etc.), this thing called “taper” or your volunteer commitments and what in the world it means to be a lane timer, we have you covered. We even offer a parent mentoring program for that personal touch when you just aren’t sure about something.

Professional Administrative Support – Do you like your emails and phone calls answered in a timely, professional manner? Riptide has a full-time team dedicated to making sure your experience with Riptide is “white glove” competent. If you have questions, we have answers.

We’re proud of what we’ve built and continue to build. In only three short years, we’ve become the largest USA Swimming Team in Minnesota. Riptide swimmers are proving to be a FORCE across the Twin Cities, the State, the Central Zone, the USA and the world! Want specifics?

  1. Regan Smith, age 15, is a current USA Swimming National Team member. Regan was a member of Team USA’s 2017 World Championship Team and its 2017 Junior World Championship Team where she was a double-gold medalist. She carries Top Eight FINA World rankings in the 100m & 200m backstrokes and is the Junior World Record holder in the Women’s 100m backstroke. Regan holds multiple USA Swimming National Age-Group Records.
  1. Riptide sent three Senior Elite swimmers to the USA Swimming Speedo Junior Nationals Meet in December of 2016.
  1. Riptide sent 11 swimmers to the 2017 USA Swimming Speedo Sectionals Meet in Indianapolis and captured 7th place overall!
  1. Riptide sent 82 swimmers to the 2017 Minnesota Long Course State Championship Meet; this was our largest contingent yet. Our team finished 3rd overall!
  1. Thirteen Riptide swimmers represented Team Minnesota at the 2017 Central Zone 14 and Under Championships. Riptide sent its biggest contingency of swimmers to the Zone meet to date!
  1. Riptide won the 2016 Short Course Minnesota Senior State Swimming Championships. The team captured the overall championship, the men’s championship, the women’s championship as well as the individual high-point championship titles.


The future is bright for Riptide. We know that picking the “right” team for your swimmer is a big decision. We take your child’s future very seriously and are committed to operating the best swim program available. Come in and join the Riptide Family…let’s get your swimmer on the fast track to excellence!


About Riptide

The Riptide Swim Team, a USA Swimming 2017 Silver Medal Club, is Minnesota’s largest swim team. Riptide is based in Apple Valley, MN and trains as the sole tenant of the beautiful Bluewater Aquatic Center. Since its inception in 2012, Riptide has grown to more than 550 USA Swimming registered athletes. Riptide swimmers participate in competitions ranging from novice meets up to the 2017 World Championships in Budapest Hungry.                            952-953-2922