The world of swimming is an exciting sport but it can be a little daunting when it comes time to purchase equipment. These articles will help you figure out which equipment to purchase for your child.
Swimming Suits (Jammers, Briefs, One-Piece)
Men- Make sure the suit has a drawstring waist
Briefs, racers, and “Speedos™”: These minimalist suits allow full range of motion for all strokes and have decreased drag. Briefs are the traditional lap swimming suit for men and are worn for practice and racing. Take note that while briefs and racers are sometimes colloquially called “Speedos™,” Speedo is a brand that makes a full run of swimsuit styles. Jammers: A longer version of briefs, these suits hit mid-thigh. They provide more coverage than traditional suits. They are worn for practice and racing.
Swimsuit Fabric & Durability: Some suit fabrics are designed to withstand hours of exposure to sunlight and chlorine, while others are meant to stay lightweight and water-repellent during a race. Suits made of LYCRA™ or spandex have more stretch and are more forgiving, but tend to fade and grow loose quickly. Suits made of 100% polyester are more chlorine resistant and long-lasting. Polyester blends combine the durability of polyester and the stretch of LYCRA™ or spandex. Fully-lined suits do not wear through as quickly and prevent fabric transparency.
For practice- Traditional workout suits are one-piece suits with thick straps and fairly modest back and leg cuts. They are made of stretchy, comfortable fabric. Suits come in LYCRA® fabric (forgiving and comfortable) and polyester (durable and colorfast). Traditional workout suits are extremely versatile and can be used during lap swimming, open water swimming, swim racing, diving, aqua jogging, and water aerobics.
For competition- There’s a comprehensive description, complete with pictures, of the various fabrics available for competition suits here: SwimOutlet
Before you shop and buy (hopefully at SwimOutlet) those goggles take a moment to browse these articles. Goggles are an important part of your child’s swimming gear.
Picking the Perfect Pair of Goggles by Olivier Poirier-Leroy – a former National level swimmer
Here is what you should keep in mind when picking out a set of goggles at your local swim shop.
- Every goggle maker claims that their particular models are anti-fog. And while this may be true for the first couple weeks of swimming workouts, the anti-fog solution inevitably wears off. Ask any competitive swimmer which goggle is the “most” anti-fog and you’ll get a laugh.
- Goggles with an adjustable nose piece is important. Seek goggles that feature an adjustable nose piece. This way you can adjust the length between the two lenses to fit your face. Proper fit is important because goggles that don’t fit your face properly will leak. Additionally, when goggles come with an adjustable nose piece, it generally means you can replace the nose piece if and when it breaks instead of having to buy a brand new set of goggles.
- The tint you choose matters more than you think. Swimmers—and I am just as guilty as anyone—always go for dark or mirrored lens. They simply look cool. But there is a drawback to a darker lens, particularly if you train in an older indoor pool that is poorly lit, as I often do. When the anti-fog fades with darker lenses, it becomes especially hard to see the pace clock, the wall, and other swimmers when you’re swimming indoors. Dark and mirrored lenses work fantastic for outdoor swimming, but a lighter tint is advisable for indoor swimming.
- Comfort. Last, how do the lens feel on your face? If this is your first time swimming, pick a pair of goggles with padding around the lenses so they don’t dig into your eye sockets. Goggles like the Speedo Vanquisher, for instance, offer rubberized padding around the lenses that make them more comfortable against your face. Test out a couple of different pairs, and remember that you will be wearing them for extended periods of time in the water. If they hurt while you’re in the store, move on to a pair that has more padding on the lenses.