Essential Swimming Gear for All Types of Swimmers


Sophia Li, Staff Writer

Swimming is not an easy feat, whether it be competitive swimming or a beginner testing out the water for the first time. Swimming requires the ability to float, endurance, strength, and flexibility. However, as a swimmer myself for more than 10 years, I understand the importance of having the right gear, whether it be figuring out how the suit sizes run to having the right training gear like fins or buoys. This article will contain everything that any swimmer needs to perform the best of their abilities.

A Cap and Goggle

If you’ve watched any swimming at a higher level, you’ll know that most competitive swimmers wear caps and goggles. Even as a beginner, a cap and goggles are extremely important, as they help reduce drag in the water, and can help one see. Especially for those with longer hair, wearing a cap is extremely important, as it can also help prevent the chlorine in the pools drying out your hair.

As for caps, there are two main types of caps, silicone caps and latex caps, categorized from their different material. Silicone caps are thicker, smoother, and overall have better protection. They are great for people with longer hair because they hold up better, but the downside is that they can slip off easily and are trickier to put on. Latex caps are thinner and lighter, and are quite easy to put on. One struggle of using a latex cap is that it can sometimes snag your hair, and they rip easier than a silicone cap.

“For me, I really like using a silicone cap when I swim because it covers my hair well and it prevents damage to my hair! I like to wear my club team’s cap as well as Arcadia’s cap during practices,” Vania Ahmadi, freshman on Arcadia’s Varsity Swim team stated.

Goggles are universal, as there are all types, colors, straps, and brands. However, the best seller in the swimming community are the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Goggles. These goggles are classic, as they have a tint (color of choice), and are extremely comfortable to wear. Their size is also universal, as there are different eyepieces that are provided to accommodate different sizes.

Training Equipment

If you’re a beginner, training equipment might not be your top priority, but for competitive swimmers that train, equipment is essential. The most common training equipment includes kickboards, buoys, fins, and paddles.

To start, kickboards are used for kicking, which strengthens the legs. This is essential for swimmers, especially at the end of a race. The traditional kickboard is a tombstone kickboard, which like the name suggests, is shaped like a tombstone. The top is circular, and the bottom points out, which is great for gripping. Arrowhead kickboards are also popular, as they offer a better grip and have a much wider base. For both types of kickboards, brands like Speedo, Arena and TYR sell a variety of types with all colors and shapes for different ages.

Buoys and paddles go together when used for pulling, which is like the opposite of kicking. Pulling works the upper body, using solely one’s arms to pull themselves through the water. Most brands like Arena, TYR, and Speedo sell amazing types of buoys, and as for paddles, the brand Strokemaker sells versatile paddles Strokemaker paddles come in a variety of sizes, ranging from toddlers to elite paddles for olympians. Additionally, Strokemaker paddles allow for the swimmer to take out and adjust the straps to their liking.

Last but not least, one of the main pieces of training equipment used to build speed and have a better feel for the water are fins. Fins make it easier for one to swim through the water. Most swimmers start out with Speedo fins, but for those more advanced and use shorter ones, they will transition to TYR fins.

“I love to use fins because they make me fast and they give me extra power. I especially like to use them when I work on my underwater drills, as they make me really fast,” freshman Reena Hsieh, former competitive swimmer, stated.

To hold all of these equipment, many swimmers also invest in a mesh bag. Mesh bags come in all shapes and sizes, with some having compartments for goggles, and others are just a straight up net. Personally, I enjoy using the Speedo and Arena mesh bags because of their simplicity and how much equipment they can hold.


Last but not least, swimmers of all types need swimsuits to swim! Beginner competitive swimmers might want to purchase suits from Speedo or Arena, to test out name-brand suits. As one improves, they can climb up the suits to purchase more expensive ones that are better for performance. One of the most popular brands among female swimmers is Jolyn. Jolyn offers swimsuits of all types, with one to two-piece swimsuits to tie-back and fixed-back suits. Male swimsuits like jammers, briefs, and competitive kneeskins are also important. Jammers and briefs are most commonly used for training purposes, and kneeskins have a special material that’s waterproof for competitions. Kneeskins are a type of techsuit, an extremely fast suit that compresses the body (womens have techquits too).

“My favorite brand of swimsuit is Jolyn because their variety of suits have really pretty prints and they’re comfortable as well. They last long, and they don’t wear out like other suits do over time. My favorite Jolyn suit is the Brandon suit, because it’s a tie-back, and easy to wear!” Ahmadi also shared.

Overall, being a swimmer requires a lot of gear, and sometimes it may be hard to find a good fit for you. However, with any gear, brands like Speedo, Arena, and TYR are sure to always have amazing quality products for all types of swimmers. From caps and goggles to actual swimsuits itself, having the right gear is an important step in the right direction to improving one’s swimming skills!


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